UConn's Azzi Fudd misses win over Maryland due to knee injury

STORRS, Conn. -- UConn women's basketball guard Azzi Fudd was sidelined for the No. 8 Huskies' 80-48 victory over No. 20 Maryland on Thursday after injuring her knee Tuesday during practice, head coach Geno Auriemma said.

More information will be provided "at a later date following testing," the program said in a release.

Auriemma said Fudd still had some swelling in her knee and so they might have to wait to conduct testing, but the program is holding out hope "this one might be minor."

He said Fudd felt something funny after shooting the ball and walked to the training room, and that there was no one near her when it happened -- "just random stuff," he added.

Fudd joined the Huskies as the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2021 but has had an injury-plagued career. She missed 10 games her freshman season with a foot injury and 22 as a sophomore with right knee injuries. Prior to arriving in Storrs, Fudd tore the ACL and MCL in her right knee.

In all, she has averaged 13.1 points in 42 games for UConn. While the severity of Fudd's ailment is unclear, the Huskies have been besieged by injuries over the previous two seasons. Aside from Fudd's aforementioned issues, 2021 national player of the year Paige Bueckers missed the entirety of last season due to an ACL tear, and was sidelined 19 games with a separate knee injury the year prior.

"We've always handled it really, really, really well," Auriemma said. "We've always been pretty resilient. For us to win 31 games last year, given what we went through, they respond, they don't pout. They really don't.

"So when I said, 'hey, we're just going to have to figure this one out -- for however long this is, whether it's today, tomorrow, at least through Saturday, and then we'll see what happens after that - it changes your rotation obviously, it changes maybe the way you want to play. It certainly changes your offense."

Added Bueckers: "Nobody's going to be Azzi, but we can all do stuff that contributes to filling her void and making sure that we're accounting for her and doing all the little things."

On Thursday, freshmen KK Arnold, Ashlynn Shade and Ice Brady in particular stepped up, helping the Huskies spur some runs in the second and fourth quarters to pull away from the Terps. But Bueckers also knew she had to be even more aggressive offensively, which she was, finishing with 24 points on 10 for 15 shooting.

With an early-season loss behind them to then-unranked NC State, UConn's nonconference slate only gets tougher from here on out, with four more ranked opponents- including No. 3 UCLA - on the schedule before the end of the calendar year. The Huskies are back in action Sunday when they take on Minnesota on the road.