Big East Tournament semifinal: UConn vs Marquette: What you need to know

UNCASVILLE — The UConn women’s basketball team will face No. 5 seed Marquette in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament on Sunday.

Beyond the obvious of chasing their 27th conference tournament title, the top-seeded Huskies will be looking to avenge one of their losses from the regular season. They dropped a 59-52 result to the Golden Eagles on the road back on Feb. 8.

Fatigue was a clear factor for UConn in their first loss to Marquette in program history, with mental errors plaguing them throughout the night as the team committed 19 turnovers.

“The physicality of Marquette is something that you have to deal with,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said on Saturday. “A lot of the experience that they have, they play with a lot of confidence. … It’s gonna be a tough matchup for us. And I hope that us not being the exact same team that they played last time plays into that a little bit.”

The Huskies do look like a much different team now than they did when they last faced Marquette, as as they only had eight players available for that matchup with Azzi Fudd and Caroline Ducharme both out.

Fudd returned to the court for UConn in a 69-39 win over Georgetown on Saturday after sitting out 14 games with a right knee injury. She finished with 10 points, four assists and two rebounds in 17 minutes. Ducharme hit her head in the second quarter of that game and sat out the rest of the afternoon, but head coach Geno Auriemma said he expects the sophomore guard to be back for the semifinals.

Marquette defeated No. 4 St. John’s 57-47 in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Chloe Marotta led the Golden Eagles with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

“For (UConn) to have Fudd back I’m sure is a huge boost,” Marquette head coach Megan Duffy said after the win. “She’s one of the best players in the country.

“We had an amazing night, an amazing moment out at the Al McGuire Center three weeks ago beating UConn and historic for our program, but we also understand UConn in March is definitely different. We’re going to treat it as a very separate entity, this third game. We’re definitely not resting on what happened out at our place and obviously we know when it’s a one and done mentality we’re resetting ourselves, they will as well.”

What else to know

Site: Mohegan Sun Arena

Time: 3 p.m.

Series: UConn, 16-1

Last meeting: Marquette 57, No. 4 UConn 52 on Feb. 8, 2023 in Milwaukee

TV: FS1; John Fanta (pxp), Kim Adams (analyst), Meghan Caffrey (reporter)

Streaming: Fox Sports app

Radio: UConn Sports Network on 97.9 ESPN