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UConn tunes up with rout

By JIM FULLER

New Haven Register

HARTFORD — Racing down the floor, the moment Katie Lou Samuelson saw teammate Crystal Dangerfield looking away from her she knew what was coming.

Dangerfield, who returned to the lineup after missing the last two games due to shin splints, delivered a behind the back pass to Samuelson for the two most stylish points in the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team’s 124-43 dismantling of Wichita State before a crowd of 11,343 fans at the XL Center on Saturday.

“I saw that there was only one person back so I was like, ‘why not’,” Dangerfield said. “I think something like that, it throws the other team off so they had to call that timeout.”

The layup by Samuelson was one of 52 points off turnovers by the Huskies is not only a season high, but the most dating back to the last 12 seasons. UConn recorded its second-highest point total in program history and second largest margin of victory against a team playing its 12th league game as a member of the American Athletic Conference.

Napheesa Collier had 26 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals and Katie Lou Samuelson finished with 22 points and nine assists as UConn improved to 94-0 including 82-0 in the regular season since the formation of the AAC as the Huskies had their final tune-up before Monday’s final non-conference game against Louisville.

The Huskies not only set season highs in points off turnovers but also with 70 points in the paint and 25 fast-break points.

“There wasn’t much of a drop off. We started a certain way and we sustained it pretty much the whole game which is not always easy to do when you have a big lead like that,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said.

“Once you get a big lead, it affects them, obviously, and I am sure everybody on the other team is hoping we start missing. We kept making them and players we were bringing off the bench added a lot so it kept intensifying.”

The AAC record for points in a conference game was set by Uconn earlier this season when the Huskies scored 113 in a win at Temple. South Florida holds the mark for games involving non-conference competition with 129 against St. Francis in 2016.

Gabby Williams had 17 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals, Kia Nurse added 14 points and Dangerfield had nine points and four assists.

Nurse moved by Moriah Jefferson and Cathy Bochain and into 21st on Uconn’s career scoring list.

UConn (24-0 overall, 12-0 in the AAC) made its first three shots from the field and went 17-of-21 from the field in the first quarter.

The Huskies tied a program record with 41 points in a quarter when they led the Shockers 41-12 after one.

Things didn’t get much better for the over-matched Shockers in the second quarter as Huskies headed into the locker room at halftime with a 67-23 lead. The 67 points was one shy of the Uconn record set against Providence on January 6, 1998 and against Pacific on November 15, 2012. That Providence game was also when the Huskies set the mark with 126 points in a game. The 117-20 win over Quinnipiac, also in 1998, still stands as the largest margin of victory in program history.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

 

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