UConn women’s sophomore guard Anna Makurat will return for Big East tournament

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Alexa Philippou, Hartford Courant
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A crucial piece for the UConn women will make her return to the court for the No. 1 Huskies this weekend.

Sophomore guard Anna Makurat, who has missed UConn’s last 13 games, will be available for the Big East tournament, coach Geno Auriemma said Thursday. Makurat last played at Tennessee on Jan. 21 and has missed time ever since with a “lower leg” issue that SNY recently revealed was a stress fracture.

“I don’t know for how long per game, but we will have her available.” Auriemma told reporters. “I’m hoping that it’s, you know, 10 minutes, whatever the case may be. Just enough to get her feet wet again.”

Makurat started six of nine games she played for the Huskies this season, averaging 4.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 28.1 minutes per game. Though she shined as a 3-point shooter last year (hitting 41.0 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc), she struggled in that area early in the season, managing only 32.3 percent from the perimeter.

Auriemma has previously said that Makurat’s return could provide a big boost for the Huskies, who have missed her ability to help UConn space the floor as well as her facilitating. While players like Evina Westbrook and Nika Muhl have been great facilitators to complement Paige Bueckers, Bueckers is still the only UConn player shooting better than 33.3 percent on 3s.

Makurat can make her return as early as Saturday at noon, when UConn takes on the winner of the first-round game between St. John’s and Xavier.

Alexa Philippou can be reached at aphilippou@courant.com