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Preview: UConn seeking 5th straight win against Ohio State

Geno Auriemma’s UConn Huskies open up their season against Kevin McGuff’s Ohio State Buckeyes on Nov. 11 in Storrs, CT.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Ohio State at Connecticut
UConn and Ohio State haven’t met since 2016, when UConn won by double digits.
Photo by David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports

On average, the UConn women’s basketball program has defeated Sunday afternoon’s opponent, Ohio State, by 28 points. The two teams haven’t met since 2016, where the 19-point UConn win represented the closest margin of this Big Ten/AAC rivalry. Will Kevin McGuff’s Buckeyes, who clinched the 2018 Big Ten title over Maryland, overcome a stress test in Storrs for their third game of the 2018-19 season? Or, will Geno Auriemma’s Huskies pick up where they left off when these teams last met?

Year-by-year results

2010: UConn 81 - 50 Ohio State

UConn’s Tiffany Hayes scored 26 points, while Stefanie Dolson notched 15 rebounds. This win also secured an 88-game win streak for the Huskies, tying John Wooden and UCLA’s streak from the ‘70s. UConn would break this record in their next game against Florida State.

2013: UConn 70 - 49 Ohio State

Darryce Moore finished with a team-leading nine rebounds for Ohio State as UConn’s Dolson notched a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

2015: UConn 100 - 56 Ohio State

Five UConn players scored 10-plus points in a rout of Ohio State, who had just lost to then-No. 2 South Carolina the week prior, 88-80.

2016: UConn 82 - 63 Ohio State

Despite a 23-point performance from Kelsey Mitchell, alongside a 15-rebound game by Stephanie Mavunga, Ohio State couldn’t keep up with Napheesa Collier’s 27 points and Katie Lou Samuelson’s 26.

Ohio State Buckeyes at UConn Huskies

When: Sunday, Nov. 11 at 12 p.m. ET

Where: Gampel Pavilion, Storrs, CT

How to tune in: CBS Sports Network, 97.9 ESPN Radio

Injury report: Ohio State will be without transfer Ashanti Abshaw, who suffered a torn ACL in the offseason, for 2018-19 season; no injuries to report for UConn.

Keys to the game

Will UConn’s season opener streak end against Ohio State?

Unless you’re UConn, who’s 5-0 in its last five season openers, winning in Storrs is a tall order. That said, Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff might be facing his fifth straight loss to UConn, regardless of the additions to his roster.

The formula for a UConn win is rather one-dimensional: feed the ball to Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier. In the 2016 matchup against Ohio State, Samuelson and Collier went 17-of-40 from the floor, in addition to combining for 15 rebounds and 53 points. One Husky that’s not garnering enough attention, though, is Crystal Dangerfield, who’s especially lethal in fast breaks, ball placement and draining threes.

How can Ohio State compete with UConn?

A lot can change for a team in a year’s time and Ohio State’s done just that during its offseason. For instance, they inked five graduate transfers, including Carmen Grande from Ball State. Over the span of 1,100-plus minutes in 2017-18, Grande would record 369 points and 294 assists, which is comparable to Gabby Williams from 2017-18.

The bad news for Ohio State is the loss of Kelsey Mitchell, who now plays for the Indiana Fever. Not only did Mitchell lead the team in assists (148), but she also led in total points (849). Likewise, both Shayla Cooper and Stephanie Mavunga are chasing their hoop dreams in the WNBA, leaving Makayla Waterman as the only Buckeye who played against UConn in 2016.

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