The Wolfpack have the personnel required to match up with—and potentially present challenges to—the Huskies. Head coach Wes Moore can deploy a big rotation of 6-foot-5 senior center River Baldwin, 6-foot-3 grad forward Mimi Collins, 6-foot-5 grad center Lizzy Williamson and 6-foot-3 freshman center Mallory Collier.
None of those players can match the talents of UConn senior big Aaliyah Edwards, who led the Huskies with 23 points and nine rebounds in their opening rout of Dayton. But beyond Edwards, the Huskies’ size is untested. In her college debut, 6-foot-3 redshirt freshman forward Ice Brady had three points in 10 minutes, while 6-foot-6 junior forward, Amari DeBerry, who has yet to gain the trust of head coach Geno Auriemma, played just five minutes.
23 points— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) November 9, 2023
MVLi was back in action last night! pic.twitter.com/AyVngWy567
UConn, of course, has a slew of elite perimeter players capable of carrying the team to a road victory, led by redshirt junior and preseason All-American Paige Bueckers. A bit rusty in her first official action since last summer’s ACL tear, Bueckers tallied eight points, seven rebounds and four assists. The starting trio of senior guard Nika Mühl, junior guard Azzi Fudd and junior wing Caroline Ducharme combined for seven made 3s and 33 points in the opener, offering the kind of shooting and scoring efficiency that few teams can match. Off the bench, freshman KK Arnold contributed eight points, seven assists and four steals in her first college game.
Paige Bueckers ➡️ Azzi Fudd— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) November 9, 2023
We missed this pic.twitter.com/J6FaK64Plu
NC State likely will need another outburst from Aziaha James to keep up with UConn. The junior guard drained five 3-pointers on her way to a career-high 26 points in just 24 minutes of play in the Wolfpack’s win over Charlotte. Junior guard Saniya Rivers chipped in 11 points, four boards and four assists. Freshman Zoe Brooks added 12 points, six boards and three assists in her debut.
Aziaha James dropped 19 of her career-high 26 points in the 1st quarter alone!— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 8, 2023
And just like that, history was made with the most points EVER scored in a single quarter for NC State women's basketball! @PackWomensBball | #ACCWBB pic.twitter.com/0Kk53p9hDp
Because UConn rarely beats themselves, NC State will have to be on point throughout the afternoon to take down the Huskies, combining unwavering discipline on defense and precise execution on offense—along with a bit of luck—to pull off the upset.
No. 2 UConn Huskies (1-0) vs. NC State Wolfpack (1-0)
When: Sunday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m.
Where: Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, NC
How to watch: ABC