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Loaded UConn women push for program's 12th national title

UConn opens the season on Nov. 14 in Hartford against Arkansas, the program that handed the Huskies their only regular-season loss a year ago.
Credit: AP
Connecticut women's coach Geno Auriemma, left, assistant coach Morgan Valley, center, and associate head coach Chris Dailey, right, watch First Night events for the UConn men's and women's NCAA college basketball teams Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

MANSFIELD, Conn. — UConn comes into this season ranked No. 2,  having added the nation’s top recruit, guard Azzi Fudd, to a team that returns last year’s collegiate national player of the year, Paige Bueckers, and every other starter from a squad that went to it’s 13th straight Final Four. 

The Huskies have 14 players on their roster, with at least 11 of them expected to see playing time this season. UConn opens the season on Nov. 14 in Hartford against Arkansas, the program that handed the Huskies their only regular-season loss a year ago.

Last week, UConn basketball was honored at the Big East Media Day at Madison Square Garden.

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RELATED: UConn goes Big: Men's and Women's programs ranked among conference's best in preseason

The women's basketball team is expected to maintain its top spot in the Big East.

The Huskies finished undefeated in league play last year, and in turn, they were voted the unanimous preseason favorite.

Three Huskies were named to the all-conference team:

  • Senior guard Christyn Williams
  • Senior forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa
  • Sophomore forward Aaliyah Edwards

Sophomore guard Paige Bueckers was named the Big East’s Preseason Player Of The Year. But, even with the all the preseason hype, the sophomore guard, who won four national awards along with the conference player of the year award, has one goal in mind.

“National championship, for sure, that's on the back of my mind,” Bueckers said. We didn't get it last year, so that's definitely what I'm aiming for this year.”

With UConn’s storied history, it’s not lost on head coach Geno Auriemma that the Huskies are often the hunted year in and year out, so gameday motivation is always in full supply.

“You go into every game knowing we need our A-game today,” Auriemma said. “Because [playing UConn] is everyone's Super Bowl. This is everyone's NCAA championship game.”

RELATED: South Carolina, UConn, Stanford women top preseason Top 25

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