After a lackluster start for the No. 1 UConn women’s basketball team in their win over Houston, the Huskies trounced Temple on the road with yet another fast start in a wire-to-wire victory to extend their NCAA record win streak to 96 games and set a women’s basketball record with their 35th-straight road win.
Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson once again led the way for UConn, scoring 25 and 24 points respectively in a 97-69 win at the Liacouras Center. The 28-point victory was the first win by less than 40 points since an 84-48 win over UCF on Jan. 1.
UConn shot 83 percent in the opening quarter, with Gabby Williams scoring eight first quarter points and Samuelson and Collier adding six apiece. Temple struggled after taking a lead on the opening basket, hitting just two more shots in the first quarter and going five minutes without scoring before trailing the Huskies 23-8 after the initial 10 minutes.
Freshman Crystal Dangerfield returned to action after missing five games due to a stress reaction in her left foot. Dangerfield wasted no time getting in on the action, making her first appearance with 1:26 left in the first and scoring her first basket two minutes into the second quarter to give UConn a 31-11 lead. Dangerfield finished the night with six points in 18 minutes, and will continue to play limited minutes to ease her return back to the court.
Collier and Samuelson paced the Huskies in the second quarter, with Samuelson scoring nine points for a total of 16 in the first half. Collier would put the Huskies up 30 with 4:08 left in the half after an over-the-top pass from Natalie Butler led to an easy layup and a 43-13 lead, UConn then ending the half with a fast break layup just before the buzzer to make it 54-18. The huskies finished the first half shooting a season-high 77 percent from the floor on 20-26 shooting.
Temple guards Alliya Butts and Feyonda Fitzgerald were kept at bay for most of the night by a stingy UConn defense that forced 19 turnovers. Butts scored only six points in the first half and Fitzgerald was held scoreless, but the duo helped the Owls outscore the Huskies 51-48 in the second half. Butts finished the night with 13 points and Fitzgerald added seven, while Connecticut native Tanya Atkinson led Temple with 20 points on 8-19 shooting.
The Huskies would stretch the lead to 39 in the third quarter after layup from Samuelson, but Temple quickly countered and finished the final four minutes of the third quarter with a 16-4 run.
Samuelson finished the day shooting 9-14 from the floor and 2-4 from beyond the arc, and Collier shot 85.7 percent (12-14) and hauled in 10 rebounds for her eighth career double-double. Gabby Williams (14) and Saniya Chong (12) were the only other Huskies in double figures.