Women’s Basketball: Recapping the Huskies' trip to Italy

UConn Huskies Women's Basketball coach Geno Auriemma cheers on his team during a game on March 20th, 2017. (File Photo/The Daily Campus)

This summer, the UConn Women’s Basketball Team enjoyed a ten-day trip to Italy, where they played against several European international teams and took in some sights as well.

After arriving in Rome, Italy the team went straight to the Colosseum for some exploring.

The next day, the Huskies defeated the Dutch national team 68-52 in an exhibition game. The starting lineup for UConn shifted from last season as senior Gabby Williams, sophomore Molly Bent, junior Katie Lou Samuelson, sophomore Crystal Dangerfield and senior Azurá Stevens were the starting five for the Huskies.

Senior Kia Nurse was absent as she was competing with the Canadian National Team at the FIBA Americas Championship.

Yes Phees did just post this picture 😊

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Junior Napheesa Collier led UConn with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists in the game. Williams added another 15 points while Stevens had 11 points and seven rebounds.

The game was not a runaway however, as the Huskies struggled first leading by only three points at halftime. They committed 12 turnovers in the first half. By the second half, UConn had regrouped and began to take a more considerable lead and commit less turnovers to seal the win.

On Tuesday, August 15, the Huskies final day in Rome, the team defeated the Dutch national team in a much more decisive victory.

Nurse arrived in Italy early on Tuesday and was able to join the team for the game scoring 18 points including five three pointers. Samuelson led the team with 23 points. By halftime the Huskies were up 50-26, allowing them to cruise to another victory.

While the team was in Florence on Aug. 17, head coach Geno Auriemma was honored with the Premio ASI Italiani Nel Mondo award. The award is given to a native Italian who has emigrated from his or her native country and gone on to achieve success in the world of sports.

On Friday August 18 the Huskies left Florence for Vicenza to take on the Italian All-Stars. Samuelson once again led the team with 23 points, including 15 in the first quarter. At the break the Huskies led 29-12. Nurse added 17 points and sophomore Kyla Irwin added 15 points including three three-pointers. The final score was 103-45 in the Huskies’ favor.

For their final game in Italy, UConn played Celje, the recent winners of the Slovenian and Adriatic League Championship. At the end of the first quarter UConn held a 22-17 lead that dwindled to just one point by the second half. In the third quarter, Celje outscored the Huskies 25-10. UConn ended up losing the game 79-59. Samuelson led the way for the Huskies with 17 points, while freshman Megan Walker added 13 points and ten rebounds. Collier did not play in the game because of an ankle sprain.

The Huskies returned to Connecticut on Wednesday, August 23 ahead of the new school year after more sightseeing in Italy, including a stop in Venice.


Mariana Dominguez is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.