The UConn women’s basketball team defeated the Ashland University Eagles on Sunday 119-56 in their last exhibition game before the regular season begins Nov. 12.
Before the game, juniors Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier were celebrated for reaching the 1,000 point mark. They were the 44th and 45th players to reach the milestone respectively.
In addition, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma was presented with the national coach of the year award for the 2016-17 season.
As soon as the ball was tipped into sophomore guard Crystal Dangerfield’s hands to start the game the Huskies were off to the races. They went on a 10-0 run in the first minute and a half causing Ashland to take an early time out.
From there, the Huskies just kept going leading 45-11 by the end of the first quarter.
Despite the hot start and the quantity of points scored, Auriemma said he doesn’t know how good of an estimator exhibition games are for the regular season.
“I don’t know any more what exhibition games really say about your team,” Auriemma said. “I mean obviously we scored a lot of points so if you go by that yeah it was great…”
It was evident that the Huskies have been working on their defense in the offseason as they gained 33 points off of turnovers. UConn showed off quick hands and took advantage of some less thought out passes.
The second quarter brought more of the same for UConn. By the end of the half, senior guard Kia Nurse stood out with 19 points. She was 6-6 from the field.
The Huskies ended the first half with a 79-21 lead.
In the third quarter, the UConn starters went back to work before wholesale substitutions were brought in. For the next fifteen minutes, fans got a look at the newer Huskies including top recruit Megan Walker and transfer Azurá Stevens. Stevens finished with a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Walker finished with an impressive 14 points and five rebounds.
After the game, Walker said she was happy with how the team played.
“I thought it was an awesome start,” Walker said. “We got a big game coming up next Sunday…and I think we played well together tonight.”
Senior Kia Nurse talked about how she thinks the new members of the team are doing with adjusting to the program.
“I think they’re doing a good job,” Nurse said. “It’s a transition so everyone has their own pace of the transition. Everyone goes through it. There are ups and downs that are different but they’re doing a good job. They’re asking questions, they’re eager to learn and they’re getting better every day.
Nurse led all scorers with 21 points.
The Huskies open up their season next Sunday against Stanford in Columbus, Ohio.
Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.