No. 3 UConn defeats UCLA without Paige Bueckers

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UConn is back to their winning ways, defeating UCLA 71-61 on Saturday, two days after the program’s historic 57-44 loss to Georgia Tech.

The Huskies got off to a slow start, falling to a 28-17 deficit in the second quarter before going on an 11-2 run punctuated by a Caroline Ducharme three-pointer. UConn’s surge before halftime put them down by two, with the scoreboard at 30-28 coming out of the break.

Evina Westbrook led UConn with 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Dorka Juhász added 16 points, 16 rebounds and two steals.

Charisma Osborne knocked down seven threes for UCLA, including two to cut UConn’s lead to six with just under a minute on the clock during a run that sliced the Bruins’ 14-point deficit to four at the end of the game.

Despite Osborne’s success from deep, the Huskies were able to hold off UCLA, outshooting the Bruins 41 percent to 32.9 percent from the field.

After the game, UConn coach Geno Auriemma told Holly Rowe of ESPN that his goal was to get his team to slow down in the second half and that the squad started to look like it was playing with “some direction.”

Saturday’s victory saves UConn from incurring back-to-back losses, something that hasn’t happened since 1993.

Next up: No. 3 UConn will take on No. 7 Louisville on Dec. 19, airing on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. ET.