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Women’s basketball gameday: No. 2 UConn at No. 3 Louisville

January 30, 2019

No. 2 UCONN at No. 3 LOUISVILLEWhen: Thursday, 7 p.m.Where: KFC Yum Center, Louisville, Ky.Records: UConn (18-1, 7-0 AAC); Louisville (19-1, 7-1 ACC)TV: ESPNRadio: UConn/IMG Sports Network — 97.9 ESPN-Hartford, WINE 940 AM-Brookfield, WGCH 1490 AM-Greenwich, WICC 600 AM-Bridgeport, WAVZ 1300 AM-New Haven, WXLM 980 AM-New London, WATR 1320 AM-Waterbury, WILI 1400 AM-WillimanticKEEP AN EYE ONThe road back: It took Asia Durr a few months, if not longer, to digest losing in last year’s Final Four.“I don’t think I’m still over it, but I’ve gotten to the point where I can cope with it,” Durr, a senior, said at ESPN Women’s Basketball Media Day in October. “I don’t think I’ll ever get over it, but I’ve got to learn how to move on and live in the moment.”Like UConn, Louisville suffered heartbreak in overtime of the national semifinals last March. Mississippi State topped the Cardinals 73-63.Durr, an All-American, said she didn’t feel any pressure to lead the Cardinals back. She’s continued to play at an elite level this season, averaging 21.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists.“People always talk to me about it, like, ‘Do you have pressure?’ No,” Durr said. “What are you talking about? … I don’t have pressure. I’m here to hoop. I love to win, and that’s pretty much it.”During last season’s meeting, a 69-58 UConn win in Storrs, the Huskies managed to keep Durr in check (20 points on 7-of-19 shooting). They know doing so again will be no small task.“Generally speaking, a kid who scores a lot of points is hard to play against, no matter what position they play,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Tuesday. “She happens to play a position where she has the ball in her hands a lot. So, what makes it hard is she doesn’t necessarily need somebody to get her the ball. She already has it.“You’ve got to guard her right from the start of the possession.”Durr sat out Sunday’s 70-42 win over Pittsburgh with a sore knee, though coach Jeff Walz told reporters it was merely precautionary.Finding her role: Megan Walker is enjoying her most productive stretch at UConn. The sophomore forward has averaged 16.1 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting 53 percent over the last seven games.“I think she really has stepped up for us consistently,” guard Katie Lou Samuelson said. “That’s the big thing. We don’t want peaks every once in a while. We want that consistent contribution.”Walker, who was recruited by Louisville coming out of high school, is looking forward to taking on the Cardinals.“I know they’re going to have a packed stadium,” she said. “They love big games. I’m just trying to go down there, stay focused and come out with a win.”Notable feat for Phee: Napheesa Collier is on the brink of a milestone, as she’s only two rebounds away from 1,000 for her career. The senior would be the eighth Husky to reach the century mark, joining Tina Charles, Maya Moore, Rebecca Lobo, Breanna Stewart, Stefanie Dolson, Jamelle Elliott and Gabby Williams.Collier, who is averaging 18.6 points and a team-high 10.0 rebounds, is also 37 points shy of 2,000.PROBABLE STARTERSUCONNPlayerPos.PPGCrystal DangerfieldG12.9Christyn WilliamsG11.1Katie Lou SamuelsonG18.8Megan WalkerF12.9Napheesa CollierF18.6LOUISVILLEPlayerPos.PPGAsia DurrG21.1Arica CarterG9.7Jazmine JonesG6.9Sam FuehringF10.2Bionca DurhamF7.8— Doug Bonjour

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