As former Knick great Walt “Clyde” Frazier would say, Dangerfield was “dishin’ and swishin.” The junior point guard, who was coming off a subpar game against Tulane, was able to do a little bit of everything for the Huskies. Her signature play of the game came in the fourth quarter with UConn up 70-52, when she dribbled into the lane taking on a double-team before slicing the defense on a no-look pass to Megan Walker for the easy layup to put them up 20.
UConn beat New Hampshire 4-1 in its last game, after an offensive outburst in the third period. The Huskies were led by 39 saves from goaltender Morgan Fisher, two goals from forward Natalie Snodgrass, and a goal each from Morgan Wabick and Briana Colangelo. The three-goal third period earned them the win after going down 1-0 in the first period and Snodgrass tied it up in the second.
"I think since we got back from Christmas, Megan has had a different approach to the game," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said in an article posted to the team’s website. "Her effort is different. Her intensity level is different. Just her whole mannerisms are different. It's obviously showed up in the way she's played in games. These are the kind of games where you just need one person to step up because everyone else is struggling to make any kind of shot. Today, it was her."
UConn (7-14-1) fell behind early, surrendering a goal to Chase Zieky during the fifth minute of the game. Zieky is one of three transfers recently added to this RPI team, and made them a much different team than the one UConn saw earlier in the season. After trading penalties in the 13th and 14th minutes, UConn and RPI (7-15) failed to capitalize, and the first period ended 1-0.
“(Samuelson) came here with a reputation as a shooter and we were determined to try and make her into a well-rounded basketball player,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said Sunday. “So I’m not surprised that she has scored 2,000 points because she’s always had the ability to make shots. She is making them from a lot more different places now than she did early in her career.”
This season, UConn is playing without much depth and it isn’t unheard of for its starters to play a full forty minutes in tight games. In Sunday’s game however, the bench was thrust into the spotlight when Auriemma made wholesale substitutions, taking the five starters out and putting the bench in to play just halfway into the first quarter.
“The guys showed the type of grit you like to see,” head coach Dan Hurley told the media after the game. "Especially in the first year of what we’re trying to build here. That unwillingness to give in, and to stay in the game against the best team in the league, the bully in the conference. Obviously, the result was devastating, but you feel unbelievably respectful of that team.”
“Yeah that's a big deal right. Sometimes it just doesn't look right, and it didn't look right,” Auriemma said of his team’s lethargic start. “So, like I was saying earlier, its gotten to a point where coaching, you just make suggestions, now you can't tell people what you want them to do. You just make a suggestion, if they wanna do it, they do it, if they don't, they don't. So, I suggested that they sit down.”
“We found a way to win, if we look back at it we weren’t too sharp in the first two periods. Morgan Fisher had a lot to do with keeping us in the game. We weren’t connecting, and we weren’t really in sync. That’s a credit to UNH, they’re a hard-working team and they really play good hockey,” coach Chris Mackenzie said after Saturday’s tilt.
Winners of two of their last three games, the Huskies are looking to change their fortune against the Warriors. Previously losers of seven straight, UConn closed out 2018 with a victory over No. 15 Yale before a 6-3 over St. Lawrence at the Ice Vegas Invitational last weekend. Alexander Payusov notched his team-best 11th goal in the win while freshman Kale Howarth made the Ice Vegas All-Tournament team.