No. 3 UConn women’s basketball vs. Duke: Time, TV and what you need to know

Photo of Maggie Vanoni
Connecticut's Nika Muhl (10) celebrates with Aubrey Griffin (44) during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against North Carolina State, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Hartford, Conn. 

Connecticut's Nika Muhl (10) celebrates with Aubrey Griffin (44) during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against North Carolina State, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Hartford, Conn. 

Jessica Hill/Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Huskies’ first road trip of the season has taken them across the country to  Oregon, the birthplace of all things Nike.

UConn women’s basketball will spend Thanksgiving weekend competing in the Phil Knight Legacy tournament — an event held annually since 2017 to honor Nike’s co-founder, Knight, and what the brand has done for basketball.

No. 3-ranked UConn is one of four women’s basketball teams to compete in the Phil Knight Legacy tournament along with Duke, Oregon State and No. 9 Iowa. Also happening simultaneously this weekend in Portland is the Phil Knight Invitational tournament (which the UConn men are playing in) which features a women’s bracket of No. 8 North Carolina, No. 5 Iowa State, No. 18 Oregon and Michigan State.

The Huskies enter the tournament after moving up two spots in the latest AP Top 25 Poll following their wins over then-No. 3 Texas and then No. 10 NC State last week. While they’ll remain without Dorka Juhász for at least the next two games, the Huskies have proven they still have what it takes to dismantle offenses and score at will (Azzi Fudd was named the Big East Player of the Week on Monday after scoring 32 points in back-to-back games last week).

Here's what to look for from the first game of the tournament:

UConn frontcourt 

With Juhász out (broken thumb), Aubrey Griffin started for the first time since Jan. 31, 2021. It was the redshirt junior’s sixth career start and she rose up to the occasion, finishing Sunday with a career-high six steals on top of 16 points.

Despite never having started together before Sunday, Griffin and Aaliyah Edwards became a dangerous duo in the post for UConn (Edwards finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds) on both ends of the court.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma said he expects his forwards to set the tone every game since he knows there will be times when the ball simply isn’t going in for his shooters (Lou Lopez Sénéchal was 0 of 4 in the first half before finishing Sunday’s game with 20 points).

"Our post players are going to decide the fate of our season because right now we’re not whole yet," he said. "We don’t have everybody there and I know it’s gonna happen, I know how people are going to struggle shooting the ball because they always do … so we’re gonna go as far as our post players take us. So they’re gonna have to be great every night."

No bench, no problem?

Four Huskies played 30 minutes or more on Sunday. Fudd played the whole 40-minute game, while both Nika Mühl and Edwards played 36-plus minutes. While UConn’s starters are all more than capable to play full games, it doesn’t leave much room for breathing.

Caroline Ducharme continues to work her way back after sitting out the first game and exhibition with neck stiffness. But her 11 minutes on Sunday, showed she’s still not quite at 100 percent. Ducharme was UConn’s only player off the bench to attempt a shot (she went 0 of 2).

Ayanna Patterson was third on the team with five rebounds, but the freshman is still learning how to control her physicality to avoid fouls. While UConn won’t need every single player to score like Fudd each game, a little more production off the bench wouldn’t hurt when its starters need rest.


Duke is coached by former WNBA and Olympic champion Kara Lawson. This is Lawson’s third season leading the Blue Devils. She most recently helped led Team USA to a gold medal in the 2022 FIBA World Cup and coached the country’s first 3x3 women’s basketball team to gold in the sport’s Olympic debut at the 2020 Summer Games. Lawson, a former ESPN analyst, was also the first female coach hired by the Boston Celtics in franchise history when she as an assistant during the 2020 season.

During her 13-year WNBA career, Lawson played for the Connecticut Sun from 2010-2013. She is one of three women in Olympic history to win a gold medal both as a coach and as a player. Lawson made her mark in the collegiate world as a two-time All-America selection when she played at Tennessee from 1999-2003.

Duke is 5-0 to start the season and travels to Portland after beating Toledo (58-41) in Ohio on Sunday. Celeste Taylor leads the team with 12.0 points per game and Kennedy Brown leads with 5.2 rebounds.

UConn is 12-3 all-time against the Blue Devils, including nine straight wins dating back to 2007. Duke’s last win over the Huskies came on March 28, 2006, winning 63-61 in overtime in the Elite Eight at Bridgeport.

No. 3 UConn vs Duke

When: Friday, 6 p.m. ET

Where: Chiles Center, University of Portland

What: First round of Phil Knight Legacy tournament

Records: UConn (3-0, Big East), Duke (5-0, ACC)


Radio: UConn Sports Network, WAVZ-New Haven (1300 AM), WGCH- Greenwich (1490 AM), WATR-Waterbury (1320 AM), WICH-Norwich (1310 AM, 94.5 FM), WILI-Wilimantic (1400 AM, 95.3 FM), 97.9 FM-ESPN Hartford, SiriusXM-983, SXM App 973



Player Pos. PPG.

Azzi Fudd G. 30.0

Aubrey Griffin F. 14.3

Aaliyah Edwards F. 15.0

Nika Mühl G. 4.0

Lou Lopez Sénéchal G./F. 16.3


Celeste Taylor G. 12.0

Kennedy Brown C 10.8

Jordyn Oliver G. 5.2

Lee Volker G. 5.0

Shayeann Day-Wilson G. 6.4  @maggie_vanoni