Elmont, NY — Sophomore Aji Fad After missing the last eight games with a right knee injury, he returned to world No. 4 UConn against St. John’s on Wednesday night.
Fudd scored 14 points and grabbed three rebounds in the first game of the month as the Huskies won in an 82–52 loss at UBS Arena. She shot 6 of 11 and hit 2 of 4 beyond the arc.
Fudd played 20 minutes and said he wanted to make sure his knee was completely healthy before playing, unlike last year when he had a quick return from a leg injury.
“My knee feels a lot more serious than my leg last year,” Fudd said. [last year]I wanted to make sure I was ready.”
Fudd was expected to have three to six weeks to recover from the injury in the first quarter against Notre Dame on December 4. UConn went 7-1 in her absence, losing to Maryland and Ireland when she failed to play in the second half.
The 5.11-inch guard led the team in scoring at the start of the season, averaging 20.6 points on a 53.3% shooting percentage (3 to 42.6%) and was an early contender for National Player of the Year.
Fudd, who was cleared to play again about two weeks ago, checked into Wednesday’s game midway through the first quarter and made an immediate impact as the Huskies built a 17-11 lead by the end of the period. gave. They blew the game out in the second, outscoring Redstorm 24-9 and going up 21 at the half.
“It was progress,” said UConn associate head coach Chris Daley, who stood in for Geno Auriemma in the post-match media session. Become”
Injuries have taken a toll on the Huskies since preseason, when they were named 2020-21 National Player of the Year. Paige Bookers and freshman ice brady In the 2022-23 campaign, they were excluded due to ACL rupture and patellar luxation, respectively.
All but two on the roster missed the game through injury, illness or travel issues.
Junior Aaliyah Edwards Ankle Injuries and Freshmen Ayanna Patterson He suffered a concussion last week against Xavier, which left the Huskies without the seven players they needed to face DePaul on Sunday, forcing the Big East to postpone the game.
Sophomores while UConn returns to Edwards on Wednesday caroline ducharm and Patterson remain on the concussion protocol.
Auriemma also returned to the bench on Wednesday after missing the Huskies’ last two games with ill health. He also missed two games in December due to illness. The 68-year-old Hall of Famer is also mourning the death of his mother, who died at the age of 91 in early December.
“He said he was coming on a trip. That’s when I found out,” Daly said. He assured me that
“Obviously it’s always a difficult game when you’re playing against a team of this nature,” said St. John’s coach Joe Turtamera. There have been some stretches where I have played with far more energy than I have played all year.
It was the first women’s basketball game to be played at UBS Arena, home of the NHL’s New York Islanders. There was a men’s basketball game between Notre Dame and Saint Bonaventure in November.
UConn was scheduled to play Seton Hall on January 19th, but with the new date of the DePaul game on January 23rd, the Huskies moved up two games at the Pirates. Otherwise, UConn would have played five straight games in ten days. The Huskies will host Georgetown on Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.