No. 2 UConn at Seton Hall: Time, TV and what you need to know

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No. 2 UConn at Seton Hall

What: Big East conference opener

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Walsh Gymnasium, South Orange N.J.

Records: UConn (3-1), Seton Hall (3-2)

TV: SNY

Radio: UConn Sports Network

KEEP AN EYE ON

Replacing Fudd: Azzi Fudd, the preseason Big East Freshman of the Year, will be out for at least two weeks due to an ongoing foot injury. UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Fudd will be reevaluated after the two weeks, but also said she’s been dealing with the injury all summer and it hasn’t improved.

Fudd has been UConn’s first player of the bench this season. Auriemma has two options to choose from to replace Fudd as the first guard off the bench — sophomore Nika Mühl or freshman Caroline Ducharme. While Mühl has experience as a starter last year, Ducharme has shown in practice that she’s capable of stepping up.

It will be interesting to see how either respond to the added responsibility and how Auriemma divides up the role.

“Sometimes added pressure is not good, but that certainly means more playing time for them,” Auriemma said. “We’re asking more of them. And they both can do it, obviously, they’re both capable. Nika showed us last year and Caroline has shown us pretty much every day in practice. But that has transferred over yet to games, but it will.”

Fourth quarter mentality: Auriemma and his players said the week of practice after the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament has more intense than previous months, with an emphasis on mental toughness to fight fatigue. Whether it was tired bench after playing three games in three days or a lack of mental strength after the Gamecocks fought back to take over the pace, UConn fell apart in the fourth quarter. The Huskies scored just three points in the final 10 minutes.

“What goes first — are you mentally tired then your body gives out a little bit or physically, do you get tired and then your mind wanders?” Auriemma said. “I always think it’s mental first. I think we got to get mentally tougher. These last five, six, seven days, I think that’s been a big point of emphasis for us.”

To combat the fatigue, the team ended Wednesday’s practice with a “down-by-one with eight seconds left” simulation to help stimulate the end-of-game mentality. In the play, the Huskies were able to move the ball around their practice players and get it to Paige Bueckers for the driving layup and the “win.”

PROBABLE STARTERS

UConn

Player Pos. PPG

Paige Bueckers G. 20.5

Christyn Williams G. 17.3

Olivia Nelson-Ododa F. 6.5

Evina Westbrook G. 12.3

Aaliyah Edwards F. 5.8

Seton Hall

Player Pos. PPG

Lauren Park-Lane G. 19.0

Andra Espinoza-Hunter G./F. 18.2

Mya Jackson G. 11.6

Katie Armstrong G./F. 5.2

Sidney Cooks C./F. 15.3

maggie.vanoni@hearstmediact.com