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Champions! UConn defeats Villanova to win Big East Tournament

UConn Huskies forward Lou Lopez Senechal (11) and forward Dorka Juhasz (14) hoist the trophy next to UConn Huskies forward Aaliyah Edwards (3) after winning the Women's Big East Tournament title game overVillanova Wildcats on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Ayannah Brown
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Connecticut Public
UConn’s Lou Lopez Sénéchal (center) and Dorka Juhasz (right) hoist the trophy next to teammate Aaliyah Edwards (left) after the Huskies won the Big East Tournament title game against the Villanova Wildcats on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team took home the 2023 Big East championship by defeating Villanova University 67-56 on Monday. The victory marked UConn’s third straight conference title since returning to the Big East.

By the end of the first half, UConn had gone on a 13-2 run, and the Huskies led 34-24 heading into second half.

UConn Huskies guard Paige Bueckers (5) dribbles around UConn Huskies forward Dorka Juhasz (14) during the Women's Big East Tournament title game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2022, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. (Joe Amon/Connecticut Public)
Joe Amon
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Connecticut Public
UConn's Paige Bueckers dribbles around teammate Dorka Juhasz before the Big East Tournament title game against Villanova on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

UConn finished the game scoring 38 points in the paint and making 49% of its field goals.

Aaliyah Edwards, named the Big East’s Most Improved Player, continued her tournament dominance. She had 12 points in the first half, making baskets in the paint and from down the court. Edwards, who finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds, was awarded Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

UConn and Villanova on the court during the singing of the National Anthem prior to the start of the Women's Big East Tournament game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2022, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Joe Amon
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Connecticut Public
UConn and Villanova take the court for the singing of the national anthem prior to the start of their Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

UConn displayed its dominance from the start, with the offense on the attack. During the postgame news conference, Juhasz spoke about the team’s defensive energy and how the Huskies had to “switch their mindset to be more physical.”

Lou Lopez Sénéchal played hard, tallying seven points in the first seven minutes. She was among the team's leading scorers, totaling 14 points.

“Right from the beginning we had a great chemistry. It was really special,” Sénéchal said about her experience playing in the title game.

The UConn Huskies get pumped up prior to the Women's Big East Tournament game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2022, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Joe Amon
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Connecticut Public
The UConn Huskies get pumped up prior to the Big East Tournament championship game against the Villanova Wildcats on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Azzi Fudd continued to improve since returning from a January knee injury, dominating with 11 points.

Juhasz reflected on Fudd’s performance.

“She came out really strong in the second half. It was great to see her smile after the second 3-pointer,” Juhasz said.

The Huskies will move on to the March Madness NCAA Tournament later this month to compete for the national title.

Villanova Wildcats head coach Denise Dillon coaches her team during a time out in the first half of the Women's Big East Tournament game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2022, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Joe Amon
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Connecticut Public
Villanova head coach Denise Dillon talks to her team during a timeout in the first half of the Big East Tournament championship game against UConn on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
UConn Huskies forward Aaliyah Edwards (3) fights for the ball with Villanova Wildcats forward Maddy Siegrist (20) and Villanova Wildcats forward Christina Dalce (10) during the Women's Big East Tournament game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2022, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Joe Amon
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Connecticut Public
UConn forward Aaliyah Edwards (center), who finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds, fights for the ball with Villanova forward Maddy Siegrist (20) and Christina Dalce during their Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
UConn Huskies forward Lou Lopez Senechal (11) defends against Villanova Wildcats guard Bella Runyan (32) during the Women's Big East Tournament game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2022, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Joe Amon
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Connecticut Public
UConn forward Lou Lopez Sénéchal (left) defends against Villanova guard Bella Runyan during their Big East Tournament championship game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Sénéchal finished with 14 points and four rebounds,
Villanova Wildcats guard Lucy Olsen (3) goes up for a shot against UConn Huskies forward Dorka Juhasz (14) during the second half of the Women's Big East Tournament title game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Ayannah Brown
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Connecticut Public
Villanova's Lucy Olsen goes up for a shot against UConn's Dorka Juhasz during the second half of the Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Villanova Wildcats forward Christina Dalce (10) loses the ball under pressure from UConn Huskies guard Azzi Fudd (35) and forward Aaliyah Edwards (3) during the second half of the Women's Big East Tournament title game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Ayannah Brown
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Connecticut Public
Villanova's Christina Dalce (center) loses the ball under pressure from UConn's Azzi Fudd (right) and Aaliyah Edwards (behind Dalce) during the second half of their Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
UConn Huskies guard Azzi Fudd (35) defends Villanova Wildcats guard Kaitlyn Orihel (4) during the Women's Big East Tournament title game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Ayannah Brown
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Connecticut Public
UConn's Azzi Fudd (35), who finished with 11 points and two steals, defends against Villanova's Kaitlyn Orihel during their Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Villanova Wildcats forward Maddy Siegrist (20) tries to move past UConn Huskies forward Aaliyah Edwards (3) during the second half of the Women's Big East Tournament title game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Ayannah Brown
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Connecticut Public
Villanova's Maddy Siegrist (left) tries to move past UConn's Aaliyah Edwards (3) during the second half of their Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Villanova Wildcats guard Lucy Olsen (3) gets stopped by UConn Huskies forward Dorka Juhasz (14) and guard Nika Muhl (10) during the first half of the Women's Big East Tournament title game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Ayannah Brown
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Connecticut Public
Villanova's Lucy Olsen gets stopped by UConn's Dorka Juhasz (14) and Nika Muhl (10) during the first half of their Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
UConn Huskies guard Azzi Fudd (35) defends against Villanova Wildcats guard Bella Runyan (32) during the second half of theWomen's Big East Tournament title game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Ayannah Brown
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Connecticut Public
Huskies guard Azzi Fudd (35) defends against Villanova guard Bella Runyan (right) during the second half of their Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
UConn Huskies guard Nika Muhl (10) leads the team up the court at the close of the first half during the Women's Big East Tournament game between Villanova Wildcats and UConn Huskies on March 6, 2022, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Joe Amon
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Connecticut Public
UConn's Nika Muhl (second from left) leads the team up the court at the close of the first half of their Big East Tournament title game against Villanova on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
UConn's Nika Muhl (10) gets hit by Villanova's Christina Dalce (center) during the second half of their Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Joe Amon
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Connecticut Public
UConn's Nika Muhl (10) gets hit by Villanova's Christina Dalce (center) during the second half of their Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma and associate head coach Chris Daily, during the second half of the Big East Tournament title game against Villanova on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Joe Amon
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Connecticut Public
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma and associate head coach Chris Daily, during the second half of the Big East Tournament title game against Villanova on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
UConn's Nika Muhl drives to the basket and scores after a fast break against Villanova's Bella Runyan (right) during their Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Joe Amon
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Connecticut Public
UConn's Nika Muhl drives to the basket and scores after a fast break against Villanova's Bella Runyan (right) during their Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
UConn's Azzi Fudd (35) smiles as she backs up on the court after scoring her second 3-pointer during the Big East Tournament title game against Villanova on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. (Joe Amon/Connecticut Public)
Joe Amon
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Connecticut Public
UConn's Azzi Fudd smiles as she backs up on the court after scoring her second 3-pointer during the Big East Tournament title game against Villanova on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
UConn Huskies forward Aaliyah Edwards (3) is named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament and is celebrated by her teammates (L-R) UConn Huskies forward Lou Lopez Senechal (11), UConn Huskies guard Paige Bueckers (5) and UConn Huskies guard Nika Muhl (10) after winning the Women's Big East Tournament title game over Villanova Wildcats on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Ayannah Brown
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Connecticut Public
UConn's Aaliyah Edwards (second from left) is named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament and is celebrated by teammates (from left) Lou Lopez Sénéchal, Paige Bueckers and Nika Muhl after winning the Big East Tournament title game over Villanova on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
UConn Huskies women’s basketball team hoists the championship trophy after UConn’s win over Villanova 67-46 in the Women's Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2022, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Joe Amon
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Connecticut Public
The UConn Huskies hoist the championship trophy after their 67-56 win over Villanova in the Big East Tournament title game on March 6, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Joe Amon is a Visuals Editor with Connecticut Public’s Visuals department. As a photojournalist he has covered breaking news, sports and long form storytelling across the United States.