UConn women’s basketball heads to Georgetown in wake of Aubrey Griffin injury: How to watch, what to know

WASHINGTON — The UConn women’s basketball team should have cruised into Sunday’s matchup at Georgetown riding the high of a 94-50 victory over No. 21 Creighton on Wednesday. Instead, the Huskies were brought down by yet another injury, this time to fifth-year forward Aubrey Griffin.

Griffin suffered a noncontact left knee injury late in the third quarter at Creighton and there has been no update from the program on her status. UConn (11-3, 3-0 Big East) will have just nine available players against the Hoyas (12-2, 2-1) after starting the season with 13.

“When this happens, the basketball part is really secondary,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said after the game. “You try to say how are we going to replace her on the court, but I don’t think anybody is thinking like that. It’s more the rest of your teammates just knowing you’re going to have to fight your way through this and it’s not an easy one.”

Auriemma has to revamp his rotations yet again without Griffin, and Georgetown provides a good opportunity to experiment. The Huskies have won their last 35 meetings with Georgetown dating back to 1994, and routed the Hoyas 69-39 last season. UConn’s most recent loss in the series was by two points in the 1993 Big East Tournament.

The Huskies now have only three available forwards, which means redshirt freshman Ice Brady and junior Amari DeBerry will have to pick up the slack behind All-American Aaliyah Edwards. DeBerry is averaging just 6.5 minutes per game but has looked capable in her limited time on the court, and at 6 feet 6, UConn desperately needs her size.

Brady, who missed the 2022-23 season after dislocating her patella in practice, is averaging 13.3 minutes per game and has played the most in UConn’s biggest matchups. Her only two games with 20-plus minutes came against No. 2 UCLA and No. 10 Texas, though her production was underwhelming with no points against the Bruins and five turnovers in Austin. Brady excels as a rebounder, but her scoring consistency needs to improve quickly.

“Ice has a lot of talent, a lot of natural skills, but she doesn’t know how to use them right now,” Auriemma said after Creighton. “It’s about competing really hard, asserting yourself offensively and defensively, rebounding the ball, playing D. I thought today was her best game. She gave us some great minutes … and I’m hoping this gets her going in the right direction.”

Freshman Qadence Samuels can also help fill the void left without Griffin’s athleticism. Samuels has shown consistent improvement and had a career performance against Toronto Metropolitan on Dec. 20 with 18 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. She also had a well-rounded outing at Creighton, logging eight points and six rebounds in 16 minutes.

“She never loses her confidence, which I love, and she’s getting better defensively,” Auriemma said after beating Marquette on Dec. 31. “We have to get her a lot more reps with the first team in practice going forward, because that will take care of a whole bunch of things … I have real high expectations for Q. Really high.”

UConn at Georgetown

Site: Entertainment & Sports Arena, Washington, D.C.

Time: 1:30 p.m., Sunday

Series: UConn, 35-2. Last meeting: UConn, 69-39, March 4, 2023 at Mohegan Sun



Radio: UConn Sports Network on Fox Sports 97.9