Just two days removed from a statement win over No. 2 Baylor, the UConn women’s basketball team survived a slow start before defeating the Louisiana State University Lady Tigers 76-53 on the road thanks to a breakout second quarter and a career-best performance from Katie Lou Samuelson.
UConn put together its best offensive performance of the season against the Lady Tigers, shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from the 3-point line, both season-highs. Samuelson led all scorers with a career-high 28 points and shot 7-11 from deep and added a career-high eight rebounds, scoring her only basket from the field inside the 3-point line with a floater in the fourth quarter. As a whole, the Huskies made more 3-pointers (14) than two-point field goals (eight), with Kia Nurse, Saniya Chong and Crystal Dangerfield helping UConn strike from long range.
LSU hung tight with the Huskies for the opening period thanks to four points each from Chloe Jackson and Raigyne Moncrief. As UConn struggled to hit shots in the beginning, the Lady Tigers hung around and trailed the Huskies 18-14 at the end of the first.
From there on out, UConn took over.
The Huskies opened the second quarter on 10-2 run as they began to heat up from deep, shooting 5-7 from beyond the arc in the period. Samuelson paved the way for UConn’s outburst, scoring nine points in the quarter, including a four-point play after she was fouled making a 3-pointer that put the Huskies up 40-23. The Huskies outscored LSU 28-11 in the second quarter.
After a shaky start to the season, Nurse put together a solid performance against LSU with a breakout third quarter, where the junior guard scored seven of her 15 points in the third quarter to help Huskies stay well ahead of the Lady Tigers. After scoring just 12 points total on the season on 17.6 percent shooting from the floor looked more like her usual self against LSU, shooting 50 percent from the floor on 4-8 shooting and adding eight assists.
LSU couldn’t muster much offense in the final quarter, never trailing by less than 19 points in the fourth quarter. Moncrief finished the day with a team-high 15 points, six rebounds and four steals and was joined by Alexis Hyder (11 points) in double-figures.
Dangerfield continued to be a high-energy spark off the bench for the Huskies, scoring all 10 of her points in the first-half, including a pair of 3-pointers, to help UConn get out ahead of LSU early. Despite the energy she brought to the game, Dangerfield played sparingly in the second half, playing just nine minutes after racking up five first-half turnovers. She finished the day with six total turnovers and one assist.
The Huskies return home to Gampel Pavilion Tuesday against Dayton. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.