UConn women overcome Butler’s flurry of 3s, take down Bulldogs 97-68; Paige Bueckers sets two program assist records

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Alexa Philippou, Hartford Courant
·2 min read
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It wasn’t the complete rout that many may have expected from UConn against a 2-15 team, but it was a sizable win nonetheless.

Behind double-doubles from Paige Bueckers and Aaliyah Edwards, the No. 1 UConn women’s basketball team took down Butler 97-68 on the road Saturday afternoon in their second-to-last regular season game.

In the second quarter, Bueckers set a UConn freshman record for assists in a season, needing only 20 games to surpass the 123 assist mark held by Pam Webber and Renee Montgomery. Bueckers had nine dimes in the first half alone, and added five more to also establish a program single-game record with 14 (surpassing the 13 by Susie Sturman, Laura Lishness and Montgomery).

UConn (20-1, 17-0 Big East) had five players in double figures entering the third quarter, with Edwards ultimately finishing with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Bueckers had 20 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds, Evina Westbrook 16 points, Christyn Williams 15 and Olivia Nelson-Ododa 11 and nine rebounds.

Surprisingly, Butler (2-16, 2-15) scored the most points a Big East team has put up against the Huskies this season.

After only scoring 35 points the first time the teams faced off, Butler came out hot, starting the game 8 for 14 on 3s despite shooting only 30 percent clip from beyond the arc entering Saturday. Butler led briefly twice and tied things up in the second quarter, but UConn closed the half on a 14-4 run to enter the break up 53-39.

The Huskies managed to get their three-balls going against Butler’s zone, making 7 of 14 in the first half. Bueckers (three) and Westbrook (2) were mostly responsible, the latter starting perfect from the floor (5-for-5, 2-for-2 on 3s).

UConn earned its first 20-point lead late in the third, as Edwards scored seven straight to help the Huskies cross that threshold. Edwards scored eight more points in the fourth to help UConn approach the 100-point mark. Butler managed only four threes and 29 points following intermission.

Alexa Philippou can be reached at aphilippou@courant.com