Women's Basketball: UConn vs Houston preview capsule

Natalie Butler prefers to shoot a basket during women's victory over 100-56 Tulane at Gampel Pavilion on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2016. (Jackson Haigis/The Daily Campus) 

Time and Place: 12 p.m. Saturday at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut

Where to Watch: SNY, channel 64 on Storrs TV listings

Last Meeting: UConn won both meetings last year, 85-26 at home and 76-37 at Houston in January of 2016. The Huskies are 4-0 all-time against the Cougars.

UConn’s Last Time Out: 91-44 victory at East Carolina on Jan. 24, 2017

Houstons’s Last Time Out: 66-65 loss on the road to Memphis on Jan. 25, 2017

Projected Starting Lineups: UConn (19-0, 7-0 The American) vs. Houston Cougars (8-12, 1-6 the American)

G: Saniya Chong vs. Angela Harris

Although the numbers are not there, Chong is having a good final season for the Huskies, as she led the team in scoring against No. 20 USF and is averaging four assists for every turnover, which is the best margin on the team. Harris, a freshman, is second on the team averaging 9.4 points per game and first on the team in made three pointers, despite shooting 29.8 percent from behind the arc.

G: Kia Nurse vs. Chyanne Butler

Nurse was able to score her 1000th point in her UConn career midway through the quarter against ECU, as she became the 42nd player to do so in Huskies history. She is third on the team this season in scoring, averaging 13.2 points per game. In the last game against Memphis, Butler had a three pointer to go up by two but was unable to connect. She is averaging 9.3 points per game as she is the team’s leading play maker with 3.4 assists per game.

W: Katie Lou Samuelson vs. Serithia Hawkins

Samuelson against ECU notched another 20-point performance, her 10th of the season. She leads the Huskies in scoring with 21.8 points per game, as she is on pace to finish third in UConn history in scoring average for a single season. In the contest against Memphis, Hawkins finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, as the sophomore is now up to 406 points and eight double-doubles for her career.

G: Gabby Williams vs. Jasmyne Harris

Williams with her 16 point, 16 rebound and 10 assist performance on the road was able to record the fifth triple double in UConn history, and the first since Kiah Stokes in the 2014-2015 season. She currently leads the team in both rebounds (164) and assists (102). Starting in her first game of the season, the freshman led the Cougars with a team-high 19 points, she is the team leader in scoring for the season with 11 per game.

F: Napheesa Collier vs. Brianne Coffman

Shooting an incredible 66.5 percent from the field, Collier is having a superb season for the Huskies, averaging a second best 19.2 points per game and 8.1 rebounds. Against ECU, she was 8-11 from the field, scoring 16 points. The 6-foot-3 forward is relatively new to the starting lineup as she has appeared in 18 games and started in four, as she is averaging 3.4 points and is third with 4.6 rebounds per game.  

Talking Points

PX80 Invitational: The Huskies announced on the Jan. 25 that they will participate in the PK80 women’s basketball invitational at Matthew Knight Arena on Nov. 25, 2017 in celebration of Phil Knight’s 80th birthday. Taking place in Portland, the Huskies will be joined by Oregon, Michigan State and Oklahoma in a one-day doubleheader.

Carnival Day: From 10:30 until tip off at noon, fans are invited to partake in carnival games in the XL Center atrium off of Trumbull Street. Games will include Spin to Win Wheel, Guessing Jar, Ring Toss, Hammer Striker, Crazy Driver and Tip-a-Jug.  Additionally, the first 300 kids ages 12 and under to visit the Carnival Area will be given a UConn Stuffed Animal Husky.

Road Warriors: With the dominating performance against ECU, UConn matched their record of 34 consecutive road victories, a mark the four-time defending national champions first set from 2000-04. Their overall NCAA-record win streak is now up to 94 games.


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