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NCAAW Recap: No. 3 UConn’s ‘Big 4’ pave way to blowout win at Villanova

Christyn Williams, Evina Westbrook, Paige Bueckers and Olivia Nelson-Ododa combined for 81.1 percent of the UConn Huskies’ scoring and the team attempted 19 more free throws than the Villanova Wildcats.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 16 Women’s UConn at USF
Christyn Williams was one of four UConn players to score in double figures on Tuesday night. All tallied at least 17 points.
Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The No. 3 UConn Huskies have four big stars: juniors Christyn Williams and Olivia Nelson-Ododa, redshirt junior Evina Westbrook and freshman phenom Paige Bueckers.

Tuesday night was one of those nights where stars did what stars do — align in great performances en route to a 90-52 Husky victory over the Villanova Wildcats in enemy territory.

Williams scored 18 points to go along with a team-high seven assists and eight rebounds in what was battle of unbeatens. Westbrook — the team’s most efficient 3-point shooter on the evening, who made two of three attempts — notched the next-best performance with 17 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Playing all 40 minutes for the first time in her career, Bueckers scored 19 points and, like her teammates, performed well in other areas, adding six boards and five helpers.

Nelson-Ododa shot 7-of-9 from the field and made 5-of-6 shots from the free-throw line to tie Bueckers with a game-high 19 points. Nelson-Ododa also had six rebounds and three blocks.

The Wildcats (7-1, 2-1 Big East) toughed out the first quarter, even leading 10-8 halfway through the opening frame, and only trailed by six points (23-17) entering the second. They

At the break, the Huskies (5-0, 4-0 Big East) increased their lead to 13 points (42-29) behind a better defensive effort and nine points from Bueckers in the second quarter. They shot 9-of-12 from the charity stripe in the first half, while the Wildcats did not attempt a single free throw. By the end of the game, UConn was 15-of-21 from the stripe and Villanova was 1-of-2.

The Huskies really began to pull away in the third quarter, winning the frame 19-8, and the fourth, 29-15.

Sarah Mortensen led Villanova with 17 points and hauled in nine boards. The Wildcats’ best player, Maddy Siegrist, was good for 15 points, though well below her season scoring average of 24.4 points per game. She also added five rebounds and four steals.

Brianna Herlihy chipped in nine points and a team-high 11 rebounds. She also had four assists and three blocks.

The Huskies won the points in the paint battle, a demolishing 56-14.

Next up

UConn: TBD on Tuesday, Dec. 29 vs. No. 18 DePaul Blue Demons

Villanova: 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 2 vs. Georgetown Hoyas