UConn women's basketball team remains at No. 5 in latest AP Top 25 Poll

The UConn women’s basketball team stayed put at No. 5 in Monday’s AP Top 25 Poll after winning against DePaul , at Tennessee and against then-No. 21 Villanova last week.

This is UConn's third-straight week at No. 5 and sets up a Top-5 matchup on Sunday against No. 1 South Carolina and the Huskies in Hartford (noon/FOX) for a rematch of the 2022 National Championship game.

The Huskies (20-2) will be led by junior power forward Aaliyah Edwards and point guard Nika Mühl this week as they take on Providence in Rhode Island on Wednesday (7 p.m./SNY) and the Gamecocks (21-0) four days later.

Edwards was named the Big East Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 20.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and a 56.4 field goal percentage in UConn’s three wins last week. This is her second time being named the conference’s player of the week this season.

On Monday, Mühl was named to the 2023 Nancy Lieberman Award watch list.

The Croatian is one of 10 candidates for the annual award that honors the nation's best point guard as she leads the country with 8.8 assists per game and has had nine double-digit assist games this season (according to UConn, no other Husky has more than three in one season). The award's five finalists will be announced in March. Five different Huskies have previously won the award: Sue Bird (2000, '01, '02), Diana Taurasi (2003, '04), Renee Montgomery (2009), Moriah Jefferson (2015, '16) and Paige Bueckers (2021).

Other than South Carolina at the top, this week's top five teams are No. 2 Stanford (21-2), No. 3 LSU (20-0), No. 4 (Indiana 20-1) and then UConn at No. 5.

Indiana jumped from No. 6 to No. 4 this week after three wins last week. Ohio State (19-3) previously held the No. 2 spot last week but fell to No. 10 after losing its first game of the year and going 0-3 last week.

Outside of UConn, the Big East was also represented in the Poll by Villanova which jumped up two spots to No. 19

The Huskies played all three of their games last week with eight available players as they wait on the returns of Azzi Fudd (right knee) and Caroline Ducharme (concussion).

On Sunday, coach Geno Auriemma said Ducharme is getting closer to coming back and has had "four or five" days of complete workouts over the past week. The sophomore guard was seen on the sideline on all three of UConn games last week while dressed in sweats.

"In those situations that you have, with that type of thing, it does come down to when do you feel ready? And how do you know you're ready?" Auriemma said. "… We're getting close, but I don't want to jinx it. But we're getting close."

Maggie.Vanoni@hearstmediact.com   @maggie_vanoni