Geno Auriemma praises ‘amazing’ and ‘infuriating’ UConn squad

Aaliyah Edwards missed the second half of Thursday's win against Xavier with an ankle injury. (Matt Krohn/USA TODAY Sports)

No. 8 UConn women’s basketball showed out Wednesday in a 72-47 win against No. 21 Creighton, even with just seven players available.

For coach Geno Auriemma, the dominant victory showed what makes the Huskies special — but also, at times, frustrating to watch.

Or not watch. Auriemma, who missed two games before the holiday break due to illness, could not bear to watch the team in his absence.

“I don’t watch the games when I’m not here — until I know what the score is afterwards,” he said.

The team’s turnover totals in particular are cause for concern. The Huskies are averaging 17.3 per game, and they had 19 and 23 in the two games without Auriemma on the bench.

Against Creighton, they had 15. But they also outrebounded the Bluejays 59-27 and shot 44.4% from the field in what Auriemma called a “pretty amazing” performance.

“It feels good to be around this group,” he said. “They have so much energy that they play with all the time. They’re infuriating sometimes with some of the things they do, but they never stop. They just keep playing, so it’s really neat to be around it.”

Aaliyah Edwards became the first UConn player since Maya Moore in 2010 to record at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game since Maya Moore in 2010, per ESPN. She scored 23 points and added 20 rebounds.

Edwards is averaging 17.9 points per game, second only to the injured Azzi Fudd. She has stepped up in the absence of injured players, scoring at least 23 points in each of the last four games.

Fudd remains out with a knee injury, and Paige Bueckers is sidelined for the entire season while she recovers from an ACL tear. Aubrey Griffin missed Wednesday’s game after testing positive for COVID-19, and Amari DeBerry missed the game due to travel issues.

Plus, UConn’s two available bench players Wednesday both had bumps and bruises: Ayanna Patterson injured her finger during practice that morning and wore a bandage on her left hand, and Ines Bettencourt had stitches on her nose after she took an elbow to the face in a recent practice.

Dorka Juhász, who just returned from broken thumb on Dec. 18, contributed 22 points and 18 rebounds against Creighton.

“I want it all,” Juhász said. “I want to win a national championship before I leave here, so that’s my goal and whatever I can [do to] help the team, I’m going to do that every night.”