Women's Basketball: Houston not a problem for No. 1 Huskies

Connecticut center Natalie Butler (51) grabs a rebound from Houston forward Tyler Gilbert (33) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Houston. (Bob Levey/AP)

The No. 1 UConn Huskies (13-0) overcame a slow start to defeat Houston (4-11) 76-37 in an American Athletic Conference showdown.

The Huskies had five players reach double figures in scoring; Moriah Jefferson, Kia Nurse, Breanna Stewart and Gabby Williams each scored 13 points. Katie Lou Samuelson scored 12 points off the bench for UConn.

Houston’s Tyler Gilbert led all scorers with 16 points.

Although they are winless this season in the American, Houston certainly came out ready to play. Houston clung to a 10-6 lead after the first five minutes thanks to a hot start from Gilbert, who sank her first three field goal attempts. Houston was able to push the lead up to as much as 15-8 in the first quarter before the Huskies countered.

UConn scored the last six points of the quarter but they still trailed 15-14 after the first quarter. This was the first time this season that the Huskies found themselves trailing after the first quarter.

The Huskies quickly corrected that in the second quarter when Williams hit a floater on the opening possession to give UConn a 16-15 lead. Meanwhile, Houston struggled to scored in the second quarter as they forced the game into an extremely slow pace.

It took over six minutes for Houston to score in the second quarter as the Huskies continued to build a lead. UConn carried a 31-20 lead into the break, taking advantage of Houston shooting just 29 percent from the field as a team in the first half.

In the third quarter the Huskies were able to open the game by forcing turnovers. Houston turned the ball over six times in the quarter and UConn was able to get out and capitalize on the fast break. UConn ended the quarter on a 19-2 run and carried a 54-30 lead into the fourth quarter.

The UConn dominance continued in the fourth quarter as they continued to heat up offensively. The Huskies finished the game shooting 48 percent from the field while holding Houston to just 26 percent shooting. The Huskies also took advantage of Houston’s 19 turnovers as they scored 30 points of turnovers in the game.

The Huskies were without starting forward Morgan Tuck who sat out with right knee soreness.

With the victory UConn extended their winning streak to 50 games and they are still undefeated all-time in the American. UConn improved to 4-0 all-time against Houston.


Spencer Mayfield is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at spencer.mayfield@uconn.edu.