She doesn’t command the highlight, or the ground, like Paige Bueckers. She isn’t, like Azzi Fudd, a cornerstone of UConn’s future.
But when the Huskies win their twelfth nationwide championship on Sunday night time, Christyn Williams may have been an enormous purpose — partially as a result of she’s one of many greatest causes her workforce is taking part in in Minneapolis.
Throughout 135 minutes in UConn’s first 5 event video games, the senior guard from Little Rock, Ark., has averaged 14.2 factors and 4.2 rebounds. Though she struggled early in Friday’s sport towards Stanford, a 3-pointer later proved electrifying, and he or she gave the Huskies offense an early foothold in Monday’s sport towards top-seeded North Carolina State in a sport that in the end went to double time beyond regulation. And in a single second after one other, she has stood, poised and calm, to match a clutch shot from behind the arc, or a free throw when UConn very a lot wanted some extent or two.
She has additionally supplied a dose of one thing approaching seen-it-all management, although Sunday’s sport might be her first look in a nationwide title showdown.
“We’re simply going to return out and play like we’ve been taking part in all season and lead like we’ve been main all season and throw the primary punch and convey numerous power and depth to the sport,” Williams mentioned on Saturday of herself and the roster’s different lively senior, Evina Westbrook.
“It begins with the seniors,” she added, “so we’re going to deliver it.”
It has not been a picture-perfect path this season, Williams acknowledged, after Bueckers bought damage in December and he or she tried to behave as her stand-in.
“I really feel like I used to be referred to as to step up and play that position as a result of she was averaging 20 factors,” Williams, a sociology main who additionally spent a part of the season restricted due to coronavirus guidelines, mentioned this weekend. “I believe that type of backfired for me. I really feel like I used to be making an attempt too onerous and making an attempt to drive issues and it simply wasn’t going properly. So I simply needed to look in myself within the mirror and say ‘do what you do finest,’ and that’s get to the basket. I type of bought again to that and my photographs began falling after I began attending to the basket and choosing up on protection.”
Now, she is on the point of hand off this system to Bueckers and Fudd.
“They’re younger nonetheless, and so they simply have a lot confidence, so I’ve numerous confidence in them for the remainder of their years right here,” she mentioned earlier within the event. “I’m actually proud that I’ve gotten an opportunity to play with them this yr and final yr. However I’m very assured in them. They’ll deal with enterprise.”
However she has one final check first.
“I believe our workforce simply realized that we are able to conquer something,” she mentioned final week. “That double time beyond regulation sport was very onerous, however we stayed composed by means of all of it and we had been very poised. I simply really feel like the largest factor is we all know that we are able to grind it out when we have to.”