No. 3 UConn falls to unranked Georgia Tech without Paige Bueckers: 'We're in a bad way right now'

·Writer
·2 min read

The Paige Bueckers-less UConn Huskies may be in trouble.

No. 3 UConn fell to Georgia Tech 57-44 on Thursday night in their first game without Bueckers, who suffered a tibial plateau fracture and is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks.

That loss snapped a number of records and streaks for UConn.

Georgia Tech is now the first team to hold UConn to less than 45 points in a single game since 2006, and the Yellow Jackets are the first unranked team to beat the Huskies since 2012 — which snapped a 240-game streak.

UConn actually entered the fourth quarter in Atlanta tied with Georgia Tech on Thursday, but a brutal final period doomed the Huskies. UConn didn’t make a field goal until the 1:18 mark of the final quarter, and played the entire 10-minute span on the wrong side of an 18-5 run.

“The last 10 minutes of the game, the game could’ve been won by either team and the better team won,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said, via SNY. “We’re in a bad way right now as a team, and that’s that.”

As a team, UConn shot just 2-of-15 from the 3-point line. Christyn Williams led the Huskies with 13 points while shooting 6-of-19 from the field, and Olivia Nelson-Ododa added 12 points. UConn only had eight available players for the game, as sophomore Piath Gabriel didn’t make the trip due to a “mandatory academic obligation,” and Aubrey Griffin, Azzi Fudd and Nika Muhl were all out due to injuries.

Lotta-Maj Jahtinen led Georgia Tech with 15 points on the night, and Nerea Hermosa finished with 13 points and six rebounds. The win marked Georgia Tech’s second straight over a ranked opponent, following Sunday’s 55-54 win over No. 20 Georgia. The Yellow Jackets are now 7-2 on the season.

With Bueckers out until mid-to-late January at best, the Huskies will have to figure out how to replace the sophomore fast. They play UCLA on Saturday before games against No. 7 Louisville later this month and then Oregon and No. 1 South Carolina next month.

But by the way Auriemma sounded after the loss, they have a long way to go.

“We’re disorganized as a group right now, from the coaching on down,” he said, via The Athletic’s Charlotte Carroll.

Georgia Tech celebrates after beating UConn
Georgia Tech is the first unranked team to beat UConn since 2012. (AP/John Bazemore)