Women's Basketball: UConn looks to continue to ride wave of success in return home

The UConn women's basketball team celebrates following the team's historic victory over USF on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2016. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus) 

Following two resounding 40-point victories on the road, the No. 1 ranked UConn Huskies (17-0, 5-0 the American) return to Connecticut to face the Tulane Green Wave (12-6, 3-2 the American) this Sunday at 1 p.m. The Huskies hold an all-time record of 5-0 against the Green Wave, including a pair of wins by a combined 98 points last season.

The Green Wave enters this matchup fifth in the AAC, as they are a superb 8-1 at home but a mediocre 3-4 on the road. Riding a two game winning streak, Tulane has outscored their last two opponents by a combined 38 points, including a 82-56 victory at home in their last game against Houston.

Leading the way for Tulane this season scoring is junior guard Kolby Morgan who has averaged 18.3 points per game and has hit a team high 40 threes this season. Joining Morgan is senior guard Leslie Vorpahl who is second on the team in scoring with 12.3 per game, first on the team in assists with 6.9 per game and second on the team in steals, trailing Morgan.

Tulane has only broken 80 points twice this season as the Huskies this year have been an extremely well balanced and efficient team as they are eighth in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 84.1 points per game and 18 in scoring defense, allowing 55.2 points per game. On the other side of the coin, Tulane ranks outside the top 50 in both categories as they have been allowing 61.8 points while only scoring 67.1 per game.

Another area where the Huskies excel is behind the arc, as they are the number one team in the country in three-point field goal percentage, shooting 41.9 percent while they are 14 in the nation in three point field goal defense, holding teams to a 26.4 percentage. Tulane once again ranks outside the top 50 in both categories as they only shoot 34.2 percent from distance while opposing teams have shot 31.5 percent.

A key reason for UConn’s success in both scoring offense and three-point field goal percentage has been sophomore Katie Lou Samuelson, who is shooting a blistering 46.3 percent from behind the arc and averaging 21.4 points per game. Samuelson is on pace to be third in UConn history in scoring average for a single season, as she is trailing first place Maya Moore by only 1.4 points per game.    

Perhaps playing her best basketball of the season is junior Gabby Williams, as she was just named the AAC player of the week for the second time in the last three weeks. In her last performance Williams had 13 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals as she is constantly puts up monster numbers in every category. On the season, she has averages 12 points per game, 2.9 steals, 5.1 assists and 8.4 rebounds for game, as she leads the team in the latter three.

The game will tip-off at 1p.m. at Gampel Pavilion and will be broadcasted on ESPN 2.


Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at matthew.kren@uconn.edu