College Hoops

Paige Bueckers and UConn to host JuJu Watkins and USC in December on FOX

Women's College Basketball

USC and UConn gave women’s basketball fans an early holiday gift Monday, as the two programs and FOX Sports announced a two-game series that will start with a game in Connecticut just before Christmas next season.

The game, which will be played on Dec. 21, will feature two of the college game’s biggest stars in USC’s JuJu Watkins and UConn’s Paige Bueckers. The game will be featured on FOX and have an NFL game as its lead-in, the network said Monday.

It also will be a rematch of a regional final in March that saw the Huskies beat the Trojans, 80-73, to advance to the program’s 15th Final Four in the past 16 years.

Watkins, the top overall women’s basketball recruit in the class of 2023, lived up to the hype in her freshman season by averaging 27.1 points per game and leading the Trojans to their best season in 30 years. 

Bueckers, a former top overall recruit herself, announced her return for her final year of eligibility at the end of UConn’s regular season after leading the Huskies back to the Final Four. Bueckers has dealt with major injuries during her college career but has proven herself as one of the sport’s best players when healthy, averaging 21.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game last year.

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The schools did not say where in Connecticut the game would be played. UConn plays about half of its home games at Gampel Pavilion on campus and the other half at the XL Center in Hartford. The Huskies also have hosted teams at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

UConn has agreed to face the Trojans in Los Angeles during the 2025-26 season.

The Huskies have won all three of the previous games between the two programs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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