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Paige Bueckers scores 28 and hits halftime buzzer-beater as No. 8 UConn rips Marquette, 85-59

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Paige Bueckers scored 28 points and beat the halftime buzzer with a 3-point shot from about 40 feet away as No. 8 UConn topped Marquette 85-59 on Tuesday for its 13th consecutive victory.

UConn (17-3, 9-0 Big East) endured a scare just over three minutes into the game when Bueckers clutched her surgically repaired left knee after taking a charge. Bueckers missed 19 games in 2021-22 and sat out all of last season due to two separate injuries to that knee.

The 2021 AP national player of the year walked off the floor and was holding her left knee on the bench, but she missed less than 2½ minutes of game action before returning.

Bueckers proceeded to shoot 11 of 18 overall and 4 of 5 from 3-point range. She closed the first half by taking a step or two beyond halfcourt and swishing a buzzer-beater that gave UConn a 49-38 lead at the break.

Aaliyah Edwards had 10 points and 12 rebounds for UConn. Ashlynn Shade had 15 points, while Nika Muhl and KK Arnold added 13 each.

Liza Karlen scored 21, Mackenzie Hare 19 and Jordan King 10 for Marquette (15-4, 4-4).

UConn was visiting Marquette for the first time since falling 59-52 to the Golden Eagles last season, which gave the Huskies their first two-game losing streak since 1993. The game occurred three nights after the Huskies had lost to South Carolina.

The Huskies had gained revenge Dec. 31 by thrashing Marquette 95-64 at Hartford to hand the Golden Eagles their first loss of the season.

The first half of Tuesday’s game featured 10 lead changes and five ties, but UConn went on an 18-4 run late in the second quarter to grab a 46-33 advantage. Marquette scored five straight points to get back within single digits before Bueckers fired away from about the “U” in the “MU” logo at midcourt.

Bueckers watched her shot connect, then stared toward the UConn bench before celebrating with Edwards.

UConn stayed in control the rest of the way and led by as many as 28.

BIG PICTURE

UConn: The Huskies were breathing a collective sigh of relief that Bueckers wasn’t seriously injured. Earlier in the day, Caroline Ducharme announced her ongoing head and neck issues would prevent her from playing again this season. Ducharme, who had last played on Nov. 19, became the fifth UConn player lost for the season due to health issues.

Marquette: Since winning their first 12 games of the season, the Golden Eagles have gone 3-4 with the two blowouts against UConn plus a one-point loss at St. John’s and a three-point defeat at Villanova.

UP NEXT

UConn: Hosts No. 15 Notre Dame on Saturday.

Marquette: Hosts Butler on Saturday.

Reporting by The Associated Press.


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