No. 2 UConn basketball was upset by an unranked NC State team on Saturday evening, 92-81. The last time the Wolfpack beat the Huskies came in the 1998 Elite Eight.
NC State junior Saniya Rivers stood out as the player of the match, draining 33 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for her squad. Rivers also drew fouls throughout the game, and she shot 10-14 from the free-throw line.
UConn head coach Gino Auriemma told his NC State counterpart Wes Moore that the Wolfpack team is “10 times better than last year,” as CT Insider’s Maggie Vanoni reported after the game.
“Everything they did was better than ours. … They were just on top of their game more than I remember. We got our asses beat plain and simple,” Auriemma said.
The Huskies made a palpable offensive effort, with two of their starters bagging over 20 points — Paige Bueckers dropped 27, while Aaliyah Edwards contributed 21. Bueckers was playing in her second game since her return from an ACL injury.
However, UConn struggled on the defensive end of the court. Four out of five Husky starters were in foul trouble by the end of the game, racking up at least four fouls, with Nika Mühl fouling out.
“We weren’t mature enough to handle it,” Auriemma said of his team.
UConn grabbed 11 fewer rebounds than NC State, with 29 to the Wolfpack’s 41. NC State cashed in on 12 points off rebounds and 12 second-chance points.
“We’ve got a sh— attitude towards rebounding … and that’s got to change,” Auriemma said.
With UConn’s loss to NC State and No. 1 LSU’s season-opening loss to Colorado, the top two teams in the preseason AP Top 25 have lost before the second AP poll for the first time in at least 25 years, according to ESPN.
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