No. 9 UConn vs St. John’s: Time, TV and what you need to know

Photo of Maggie Vanoni
UConn’s Nika Mühl, left, talks with coach Geno Auriemma during Friday’s game against Seton Hall. The Huskies face St. John’s on Sunday afternoon.

UConn’s Nika Mühl, left, talks with coach Geno Auriemma during Friday’s game against Seton Hall. The Huskies face St. John’s on Sunday afternoon.

Jessica Hill / Associated Press


When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

Where: Carnesecca Arena (Queens, N.Y.)

Records: UConn (10-4, 5-0 Big East), St. John’s (5-11, 1-5)


Radio: UConn Sports Network


Outside struggle: After hitting a season-high 11 3-pointers against Butler, the Huskies’ outside shooting performance has deflated. UConn went 3 of 18 from the arc on Monday at Oregon and 6 of 30 Friday against Seton Hall.

Against the Ducks, UConn’s three available guards (Nika Mühl, Evina Westbrook and Caroline Ducharme) each made one 3-pointer and went a combined 3 of 17 from the 3-point line.

Mühl was responsible for half of UConn’s 3s against the Pirates. The rest were made by Westbrook (who went 1 of 8 on 3-point attempts) followed by Ducharme (1 of 7) and Olivia Nelson-Ododa (1 of 5). Aaliyah Edwards and Dorka Juhász missed all their attempts (three total) from the outside.

“It’s not a long-term strategy that we can play well, shoot the ball poorly and keep winning games. That’s not gonna happen. So, at some point you have to make shots,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “To me, the St. John’s game, it’s gonna be the same way and next Thursday’s game (South Carolina) is gonna be the same way. You have to make shots. And the better teams you play against, the better offensive teams you play against, the more imperative it is that you make them because you’re not going to be able to stop them every time.”

Mühl UConn’s new vocal point guard: Since returning from her foot injury, the sophomore has played some of her best basketball. On Monday, Mühl played a career-high 40 minutes and on Friday she grabbed a career-high seven rebounds, recorded a season-high four steals and made a season-high three 3-pointers.

With Paige Bueckers not expected back until sometime next month, Mühl’s ability to step up and lead combined with a much more controlled aggression has helped UConn on both sides of the court.

“When Nika was out all that time, we lose a voice and we lose voice that everyone on the team listens to. Today you could hear her right from the opening tip and if we can keep her minutes where they need to be and she stays out of foul trouble, when she’s on the floor, she’s the voice of our team,” Auriemma said. “Nika is a guard that likes to run the show. She’s not afraid, that’s what is best about her.”

Last test before South Carolina rematch: UConn will meet top-ranked South Carolina four days after its matchup at St. John’s.

The Huskies look completely different than when they first met the Gamecocks back in November’s 73-57 loss. While they’ll for sure be without Bueckers, it’s unknown yet when Christyn Williams (COVID-19) or Azzi Fudd (foot) will return. Auriemma said last week that they’re aiming to get Williams back in time for the game but didn’t have a specific timeline for her or for Fudd (who started individual court workouts last week).

Playing well at St. John’s on Sunday will give UConn a chance to solve some of its issues (3-point shooting, limiting turnovers) and give the team a needed boost of momentum heading into its meeting in Columbia.



Player Pos. PPG

Caroline Ducharme G. 10.9

Evina Williams G. 9.4

Olivia Nelson-Ododa F. 10.6

Nika Muhl G. 2.7

Dorka Juhasz F. 6.5


Player Pos. PPG

Kadaja Bailey G. 14.9

Leilani Correa G. 20.4

Danielle Patterson G./F. 9.9

Rayven Peeples F. 10.2

Unique Drake G. 10.3