Women’s Basketball: Huskies gear up for season opener

 Napeesha Collier takes it to the rack during their exhibition game against Vanguard on November 4. (Charlotte Lao/ The Daily Campus)

Napeesha Collier takes it to the rack during their exhibition game against Vanguard on November 4. (Charlotte Lao/ The Daily Campus)

The UConn women’s basketball team will open up regular season play this weekend against Ohio State.

Last weekend, the Huskies defeated Vanguard 96-30 in their first exhibition game. After the game UConn’s head coach Geno Auriemma talked about how the blow out score isn’t a great indicator of how the season might look.

“Every exhibition game is the same and we’re going to play a team (that) we’re going to beat by a lot,” Auriemma said. “So, you can’t go by the final score.”

The Huskies game against Ohio State on Sunday will be their first real test of the season. However, on Tuesday, the Buckeyes were blown out 71-47 by No. 22 USF.

UConn’s bench this season is not very deep with only three out of the five starters having serious playing time under their belt.

“We’ve got a big gap between a certain group that we play and then the next group,” Auriemma said. “It’s too early in the season to make any assumptions but that second group, anybody coming off the bench, has to feel like they can contribute something because we’re going to need them at some point.”

The last time the Huskies faced the Buckeyes was in the 2016-17 season when UConn defeated Ohio State 82-63.

A player to watch on Ohio States’ squad is point guard Carmen Grande. Grande was one of 20 players named to the Nancy Lieberman Award Preseason Watch List. The award is given to the top point guard in Division I NCAA Women’s College Basketball. The Madrid, Spain native is a graduate student who completed her undergrad at Ball State. In the 2017-18 season Grande was second in the country with 9.2 assists per game and 294 total assists on the season.

The Buckeyes are coached by Kevin McGuff who was named head coach in April of 2013. Prior to his time at Ohio State, McGuff spent nine years as head coach of Xavier University and two years as head coach at the University of Washington.

After last Sunday’s game against Vanguard, senior Napheesa Collier said what she’s looking for from her team for the game against Ohio State.

“I’m looking for us to play at this same intensity and play as well as we did today against Ohio State,” Collier said. “I think we came out really strong today and hopefully it transfers over for next week.”

Sunday’s home opener for the Huskies tips off at 12 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion.


Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.

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