The Big East’s game between No. 5 UConn and DePaul on Sunday at the Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn., has been postponed because the Huskies don’t have enough healthy players to equip, a conference call said Friday.
The conference requires schools to recruit seven scholarship holders for each game, and injuries have left the Huskies with just six active players, the school said.
UConn was also expected to be without head coach Geno Auriemma, who announced on Thursday he was taking a leave of absence to recover from illness.
Junior Alia Edwards and freshman Ayanna Patterson were injured in UConn’s victory over Xavier on Thursday. They join sophomore Caroline DuCharme, sophomore Azzie Fudd, junior Paige Beukers and freshman Ice Brady on the inactive list.
Edwards suffered what was alternately described as an injury to his right foot or ankle in the first half of the Huskies’ 73–37 victory when he jumped over some seats in the yard looking for a lost ball. It was not immediately clear when and how Patterson was injured.
The school said they would not release any details Friday night.
“At the University of Connecticut, the health and well-being of our student athletes will always be our top priority,” said the school’s athletic director, David Benedict. “Unfortunately, our women’s basketball program has been affected by an unprecedented number of injuries this season. It’s unfortunate that we have to postpone Sunday’s game, but it’s a valid call to protect the safety of our student athletes. We will be working with Big East and DePaul on options for rescheduling the game.”
The Bukers and Brady are both out of action this season with knee injuries.
Fudd, the Huskies’ top scorer, is expected to return soon due to a knee injury that has left her on the bench since she was injured in a collision with Edwards during a loss to Notre Dame on Dec. 4. » 4 December. She participated in the warm-up during the last three games as part of her rehabilitation.
Defender Caroline DuCharme has missed two games while on concussion protocol due to a training injury.
Huskies currently available to play are defensemen Nika Muehl, Lou Lopez Seneschal, Ines Bettencourt and forwards Aubrey Griffin, Dorca Juhas and Amari DeBerry.
Auriemma has missed four games this season due to illness and it’s unclear when he’ll be back.
“This has been an extremely difficult month for me, feeling unwell and exhausted,” Auriemma said in a statement Thursday. “I thought I was ready to come back, but I need a little more time. I’m going to take a step back to focus on my health and will be back when I feel ready.”
Despite the injuries, the Huskies have won six consecutive victories.
The school says that those who have tickets for Sunday’s game will be able to use them when the game is rescheduled.
UConn will next play at St. John’s on Wednesday, and DePaul is due to host Villanova this evening.
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