No. 7 UConn women’s basketball vs. St. John’s: Time, TV and what you need to know

Photo of Maggie Vanoni

ST. JOHN’S at No. 7 UCONN

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: XL Center

Records: UConn (20-5, 14-1 Big East), St. John’s (11-16, 7-10)

TV: SNY

Radio: UConn Sports Network

KEEP AN EYE ON

Bueckers is back: Paige Bueckers has been cleared to play, 10 weeks after having surgery to repair a tibial plateau fracture and meniscus tear. Bueckers injured her left leg Dec. 5 against Notre Dame and has surgery eight days later.

After practicing last week, Bueckers was in uniform and participated in warm-ups before Wednesday’s win over Marquette. She consulted with the team doctor Thursday and was given clearance.

How many minutes she plays remains to be seen. UConn coach Geno Auriemma will likely ease her back over the final two games of the regular season as UConn prepares for the postseason.

Rotation: Senior Olivia Nelson-Ododa returned to the starting lineup Wednesday in place of Dorka Juhász. It was the second time the lineup of Nelson-Ododa, Azzi Fudd, Christyn Williams, Nika Mühl and Aaliyah Edwards was used.

Evina Westbrook was the first player off the bench and scored a season-high 17 points. She was followed by Caroline Ducharme and Juhász in the final two minutes of the first quarter. With Bueckers possibly playing over the next two games, it will be interesting to see how Auriemma adds her back into the fold.

Juhász played 16 minutes (two points, four rebounds, two assists and one block) before going down in the fourth quarter when she was hit in the face. She left the game and had stitches inside her lip.

Scouting St. John’s: The Huskies defeated St. John’s on Jan. 23 in New York, 75-57, with just eight available players. Ducharme led with a career-high 28 points in 40 minutes, followed by Juhasz (16) and Westbrook (11). Nelson-Ododa contributed career-highs in rebounds (18) and assists (10).

The Red Storm have gone 6-4 since, most recently beating Providence 68-62 in overtime on Feb. 20. St. John’s is led by junior guard Leilani Correa with averages of 17.8 points and 1.3 steals per game. Senior forward Rayven Peeples leads with 9.6 rebounds and 23 total blocks.

PROBABLE STARTERS

UConn

Player Pos. PPG.

Azzi Fudd G. 12.7

Christyn Williams G. 15.0

Olivia Nelson-Ododa F. 9.8

Nika Muhl G. 4.5

Aaliyah Edwards F. 7.2

St. John’s

Player Pos. PPG

Camree Clegg G. 6.7

Leilani Correa G. 17.8

Kadaja Bailey G. 13.8

Danielle Cosgrove F. 7.9

Rayven Peeples F. 9.1

maggie.vanoni@hearstmediact.com