X

Paige Bueckers, UConn Rout Creighton to Win 20th Big East Regular-Season Title

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2021

Connecticut guard Paige Bueckers (5) dribbles downcourt against Creighton in the first quarter during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/John Peterson)
John Peterson/Associated Press

Connecticut coasted past Creighton 81-49 to improve to 19-1 and clinch its 20th Big East regular-season women's basketball title Thursday at D.J. Sokol Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.

BIG EAST WBB @BIGEASTWBB

With a win tonight, @UConnWBB is the outright #BIGEASTwbb Regular Season Champion! It's the 20th such 🏆 for the Huskies and first since 2011. https://t.co/xTI2pvSqLH

Huskies star Paige Bueckers narrowly missed out on a double-double as she filled up the stat sheet. The freshman guard finished with 13 points, nine assists, six rebounds, four steals and one block.

Bueckers was 4-of-7 from the field for nine points at the time, but UConn head coach Geno Auriemma sounded a bit frustrated with her shot selection during his halftime interview:

UConn Videos @SNYUConn

"Paige is on strike, so she's not gonna shoot it today. So, I gotta see what her union rep has to say about when she's allowed to shoot again" 🤣🤣🤣 Geno Auriemma reflects on the first half vs. Creighton https://t.co/kZm9OSsHPh

Bueckers did a little bit of everything to help the Huskies maintain their No. 1 ranking.

UConn Videos @SNYUConn

Paige Bueckers gets the Huskies on the board with her first triple of the game https://t.co/aCbxwILEYw

BIG EAST WBB @BIGEASTWBB

Paige Bueckers with the interception and the finish! 😎 #BIGEASTwbb | @UConnWBB https://t.co/6LpHyztAQV

UConn Videos @SNYUConn

Paige Bueckers with the beautiful pass ahead to Aaliyah Edwards https://t.co/yoYDje0dw3

She was just one of four UConn players to score in double figures, too. Nika Muhl had a season-high 19 points, while Christyn Williams chipped in with 16. Olivia Nelson-Ododa posted her fifth double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds).

As a team, Connecticut struggled from long range, going 7-of-21 on three-pointers. The Huskies compensated by outscoring Creighton 38-26 in the paint and forcing 17 turnovers they parlayed into 24 points at the other end of the court.

Auriemma's squad also did a good job of making Bluejays star Temi Carda shoulder an unsustainable offensive burden. Carda led all scorers (24 points) and accounted for nearly half of her team's overall output. Emma Ronsiek and Chloe Dworak (six points apiece) were Creighton's second-leading scorers.

Beyond allowing the school to return to its roots, a move back to the Big East seemed to be good for the UConn women's basketball team because it would raise the difficulty level a bit compared to the AAC. The Huskies didn't lose a single AAC game in the regular season or conference tournament in seven years.

Connecticut has remained just as dominant in the Big East. With Thursday's victory, the team is 16-0 with two games left on the schedule.