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UConn women’s basketball opponent previews: The remaining schedule

The remaining Big East opponents and a couple of non-conference matchups round out the last tier of the Huskies' schedule.

Ian Bethune

Beyond the top tier non-conference matchups, and NCAA Tournament caliber teams, UConn’s schedule also features some contests that won’t be as challenging. Most of these games come in Big East play, but non-conference matchups for the season opener and homecoming games also fall into this tier.

Dayton (November 8)

Dayton is coached by former UConn Husky Tamika Williams-Jeter. While the Flyers, who finished last season with just six wins, shouldn’t give the Huskies much of a challenge on the court, they’re a good opponent for opening day. This contest should give everyone, including the freshmen, a chance to see the court and get the nerves out in the first game of the season.

Ball State (December 16)

While Nika Muhl got a chance to play with the Huskies at home in Croatia on the team’s European trip over the summer, she’ll also get her own type of homecoming game during the season when her sister, Hana, and Ball State come to Storrs. The Cardinals finished last season in third place in the MAC, with a final record of 25-9, and return three of five starters from last year’s team.

Butler (December 18)

The Huskies lucked out in the Big East draw with the pair of teams they’ll face just once this season falling in the bottom portion of the conference standings. Butler won just six Big East games last season, but did string together a nice stretch of four straight wins at the end of the conference regular season. The Huskies defeated the Bulldogs by an average margin of 36.5 points in their two meetings last season.

Toronto Metropolitan (December 20)

This contest, which serves as Aaliyah Edwards’ homecoming game, won’t count towards UConn’s resume as far as March Madness goes since Toronto Metropolitan is not an NCAA school. The TMU Bold went 15-9 last season in their Canadian U-Sport league. This game should provide a chance for UConn to have some fun on the court in a midseason exhibition right before the holiday break.

Georgetown (January 7, February 16)

While the physicality of Georgetown’s defense gave UConn some trouble last season, the Huskies were always able to come out on top — and did so easily in the conference tournament. The Hoyas picked up just six regular season conference wins last season, and were picked to finish second to last in the Big East.

Providence (January 10, March 2)

Providence showed promise at times last season, including a win over Creighton and one point loss to Marquette during conference play. However, the Friars really struggled down the stretch of year. They return with a new head coach and retain four of five starters from last last. While Providence could out-perform its ninth-place pick in the Big East Preseason Poll, it’s unlikely to challenge the Huskies.

St. John’s (January 13, February 4)

St. John’s is likely the most interesting matchup among this list with the best chance of anyone here to land in the NCAA Tournament. That said, this is not the same Red Storm team that shocked the Huskies at home last season or nearly upset North Carolina in March. Without leading scorers Jayla Everett and Kadaja Bailey from last year’s team, St. John’s will need others to step up this season.

Seton Hall (January 17, February 7)

With Lauren Park-Lane opting to spend her final year of eligibility playing for Mississippi State, she’ll no longer take the floor with the Pirates to terrorize UConn’s backcourt with her speed. Seton Hall finished 11-11 in the conference last year with Park-Lane and Sidney Cooks, who graduated last spring. Replacing Park-Lane and Cooks’ production is not going to be an easy feat in South Orange this season.

DePaul (January 20, February 25)

Aneesah Morrow may have been the headline departure, but DePaul doesn’t return any of its top three scorers from last year’s team. Even with the All-American on last season’s roster, the Blue Demons finished the year below .500. They’ll look to Anaya Peoples (who transferred from Notre Dame last season) to lead this year’s team, but it’s likely to be a rebuilding year in Chicago.

Xavier (February 14)

The Huskies will only meet Xavier — which was picked to finish last in the conference’s preseason coaches poll — once this season. Despite a shockingly close final score in Storrs at the end of last regular season, the Musketeers won just seven games last season, none of which came in the Big East.

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