Two weeks into the season and the UConn Huskies continue to respond to every round of adversity, in a big way.
The NCAA.com Team of the Week, UConn improved to 3-0 on the young season and moved up two spots in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll to No. 3 overall after beating then-No. 3 Texas and 10th-ranked NC State last week.
Many wondered how head coach Geno Auriemma and the Huskies would react in the early portion of the 2022-23 season after star junior guard Paige Bueckers suffered a season-ending torn ACL on August 5. The uncertainty and gap left by Bueckers departure has been filled seamlessly by several on the UConn roster, but none more than sophomore guard Azzi Fudd, who has averaged 30.0 points per game to lead the Huskies charge through the first three games.
Fudd’s latest heroics included back-to-back 32-point outings in wins over two top-10 teams last week. Against Texas on Monday night, Fudd dropped a career-best 32 points off 13-of-21 shooting, adding four assists as UConn won 83-76. On Sunday against NC State in a 91-69 win, she matched her career-high with 32 points again, making 12-of-24 attempts from the field while adding two steals and two rebounds. For the week she shot .556, including .476 from three.
In the win over NC State, the Huskies also recovered from a scary moment before the game when longtime Huskies associate head coach Chris Dailey fainted after the national anthem. She was attended to on the court by medical personnel for a few minutes before being taken off on a stretcher. The 63-year-old waved to the crowd and smiled as she left the court. The UConn players were shaken and tearing up as they went back to the locker room as the start of the game was delayed 10 minutes. Dailey texted the players during the game that she was okay.
UConn, after composing itself, then proceeded to score the first nine points leading to a 23-13 lead after one quarter. Fudd had 11 points in the period and 22 at the half as the Huskies led 40-33 over the Wolfpack and never looked back. Senior Lou Lopez Sénéchal and junior Aaliyah Edwards backed Fudd with 20 points apiece, while junior guard Nika Mühl broke the UConn school record with 15 assists. The game with NC State was a rematch of the team's double-OT thriller in the Elite Eight of last season's NCAA tournament at the Bridgeport Regional.
The Huskies are back in action at the Phil Knight Legacy this weekend in Portland, Oregon. UConn opens the tournament against Duke on Friday, Nov. 25 and will then play either Iowa or Oregon State on Sunday, Nov. 27.