After collecting three losses before the start of conference play this season, no doubt many college basketball fans questioned the state of the UConn dynasty.
But Aaliyah Edwards has been playing high-quality basketball of late, helping the Huskies to prove the doubters wrong.
“When (Aaliyah) plays the way she’s played these last four, five games, she’s an All-American player,” head coach Geno Auriemma said to CT Insider’s Maggie Vanoni after UConn’s match against Toronto Metropolitan — a homecoming game scheduled specifically for Edwards in her home country.
Edwards relished her Canadian welcome. She mouthed along to “O Canada,” and is proud of the show that she put on north of the border.
“I hope it leaves a big impact on just women’s basketball in Canada,” Edwards told CT Insider. “I know a lot of people were there to support either myself or of UConn, but I would just encourage anybody just to go watch their local team, just women’s basketball in general…”
The sold-out crowd at Mattamy Athletic Centre exploded into applause for Edwards when her name was called in UConn’s lineup before the match. Her recent play deserves this level of fanfare.
The Huskies’ last five games have been wins for the team. And in those games, Edwards is averaging almost 19 points per game. Against Toronto Metropolitan, UNC, Ball State and Butler, the senior forward put up double-doubles.
The senior and her high-scoring teammate, Paige Bueckers, have hit their stride for UConn and it’s reflected in the team’s success. The energy is palpable for Auriemma as well. He told Vanoni that he likes the positive energy his team is feeling into the holiday break.
“I like where we are right now,” he said.