STORRS, Conn. - Gabby Williams could laugh at the irony.
On the sideline between the benches and in front of the scorer's table at Baylor University's Ferrell Center it reads "2005 National Champions 2012" to recognize the Lady Bears' two titles. What does the same space at Gampel Pavilion, the on-campus home of the 11-time national champion University of Connecticut women's basketball team, have?
An advertisement for Advil.
"You look around Gampel and we have a million and one things," Williams said Friday. "I was thinking of that the other day when we go to other gyms how much we have around here. We don't need that. We need Advil. That's what we need right now,"
Between Williams (hip), Katie Lou Samuelson (left ankle), and point guard Crystal Dangerfield (left leg shin splints), plus the other aches of a season that is approaching February, the Huskies could use some relief.
"Advil is a sponsor between my headaches and everyone else's aches and pains," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said with a smile. "It's perfect. We should put a logo on our uniforms."
There are many teams that have it much worse than the top-ranked Huskies, who entertain Tulane for an American Athletic Conference game here Saturday (on SNY at noon). For example, Memphis dressed only six players for its home game with UConn Wednesday. Fifth-ranked Notre Dame has gone with seven scholarship players for almost a month now.
But with 19 games down and, they hope, 19 to go, the injuries make it tough for the Huskies to stay as sharp as they need to be with three starters being limited at practice.
"With Gabby and Lou, it's as tolerated," Auriemma said. "As long as they can tolerate the discomfort we let them stay out there and do a couple of things. We keep an eye on them. With Crystal it's been almost no practice whatsoever. She gets some shooting in, walks through some stuff. But she hasn't had a chance to practice.
"There's a lot more that we need to get to. There's only 10 regular season games left so there's not a whole lot of time, Between people getting beat up and some of the injuries, we just haven't had enough time on the court practice wise. Because of that we're a little bit behind where I would like to see us be. In February we're home a lot and that will give us a chance to catch up."
During the latter portion of Friday's workout, Dangerfield and Samuelson went through drills with the guards and were on the floor as UConn went through the scouting report on Tulane.
Williams was riding a bike as the post players did drills but took the floor, with a slight limp, as the team worked on what it expects from the Green Wave Saturday.
"I practiced," Williams said. "I took a wrong step and heard a pop and had to be honest with myself. I take it day by day and we'll see how it feels tomorrow."
Since UConn's win over Texas on Jan. 15 when Auriemma used just six players - guards Dangerfield and Kia Nurse played 40 minutes apiece, Samuelson and Williams played 37 minutes each, and All-American Napheesa Collier (26) and reserve Azura Stevens (20) split the remaining 46 minutes - the Hall of Fame coach has tried to limit the minutes of his limping wounded.
Samuelson returned to action Wednesday after missing last Sunday's game at Temple and played 25 minutes. Williams has played an average of 22.0 minutes per game over the last three and was held to 16 minutes on Wednesday. Dangerfield has averaged 20.0 minutes the past three games after averaging 32.1 minutes through 16 games.
The Murfreesboro, Tennessee, native described dealing with shin splints as "like when you make initial contact with the floor, something's cutting at your leg." It hasn't caught up with her yet. Against Memphis with a number of family friends in the crowd, she had 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting with five assists and no turnovers.
"I think it will catch up at some point," Auriemma said. "We have to get her healthy enough so she can actually get out on the court. Otherwise, it will be hard for her to stay sharp enough to be good in games. I'm hoping with less activity and more rest, she gets a lot better and it quiets down and we can at least use her more than we are now."
UConn (19-0 overall, 8-0 AAC) makes a quick stop at home before another trip takes it to No. 9 South Carolina Thursday and to Central Florida on Feb. 7. The Huskies lead the AAC race by 2½ games over UCF, South Florida, and Cincinnati.
Tulane (11-9, 3-4) has not fared well at Gampel Pavilion. The Green Wave's 100-56 loss here on Jan. 22, 2017, was right on their average margin of defeat for their first two appearances. But four weeks later, Tulane nearly ended UConn's winning streak at 100 as it rallied from a 17-point third-quarter deficit. Kayla Manuirirangi's 40-foot shot to tie at the buzzer, though, was off the mark and the Huskies held on for a 63-60 victory at Devlin Fieldhouse in New Orleans.
It's the only AAC game out of 90 - regular season and tournament - that UConn has won by single figures.
The Green Wave are led by senior guard Kolby Morgan, one of the AAC's best.
"Last year's team was different than this year's team is," Nurse said. "But you take from it, 'What do they do well? What are their strengths? What worked well for them that game and how do we take that away?' We have to make sure our intensity and our game plan are ready to go."
UConn leads the all-time series 7-0.