GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (AP) — Paige Bueckers scored 22 points and Aubrey Griffin added 20 as No. 6 UConn beat Kansas 71-63 on Saturday at the Cayman Islands Classic.
Griffin grabbed a team-best eight rebounds and Nika Muhl had six assists for the Huskies (4-2).
A day after falling to No. 2 UCLA in their tournament opener, the Huskies allowed unranked Kansas to hang around until late in the game. The Jayhawks cut it to a four-point lead after S’Maya Nichols’ 3-pointer, but the Huskies responded by going on a 13-4 run and Griffin’s layup with 7:02 remaining gave UConn a 60-47 lead, their largest of the game.
The Jayhawks then cut it to 64-59 on Jackson’s layup with 1:44 remaining but Bueckers responded with a spinning layup to push the Huskies’ lead to six and that’s as close as Kansas would get.
Taiyanna Jackson led Kansas (2-3) with 16 points and 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Wyvette Mayberry and Nichols each scored 14.
Bueckers scored just two points on a pair of field goal attempts in the first half, but exploded for 20 after the halftime break.
Jayhawks’ leading scorer Holly Kersgieter was held to just five points on 0-for-3 shooting from the field.
Kansas: The Jayhawks came to the Cayman Islands to play a pair of teams ranked top 10 in the AP Poll in No. 9 Virginia Tech and No. 6 UConn, the first ranked opponents they’ve faced this season. The unranked Jayhawks lost to the Hokies by one point Friday night before falling to the Huskies by eight in their finale.
UConn: The Huskies were coming off a 78-67 loss to No. 2 UCLA on Friday night, their second loss of the season. They responded by shooting 26 for 57 (46%) from the floor.
Kansas plays Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday.
UConn plays No. 12 Texas on Dec. 3 in the Jimmy V Women’s Classic.