Women’s Basketball: Samuelson returns, Huskies win big

UConn defeats Memphis 93-36 in their matchup on Jan. 24, 2018. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

Katie Lou Samuelson returned to the court Wednesday afternoon as the UConn women’s basketball team took on Memphis. The Huskies continued their dominance of the American Athletic Conference with a 93-36 victory over the Tigers.  

UConn (19-0, 8-0 the American) found itself down 10-8 halfway through the first quarter of the rare midweek matinee in Memphis. An 18-0 run over the remaining five minutes gave the Huskies a 26-10 lead by the end of the quarter.

After Memphis’ initial 10 points in the first five minutes, the UConn defense held the Tigers (7-13, 2-5 the American).  to just 12 points over the game’s next 25 minutes. Included in that stretch was a 27-5 performance in the third quarter in which Azurá Stevens scored 12 points.

Stevens and Napheesa Collier each recorded double-doubles in Wednesday’s win. Stevens scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Collier scored a game-high 19 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Stevens and Collier are tied for third on the team in scoring this season, both averaging 14.9 points per game.

Samuelson reclaimed her spot in the starting lineup after missing one game with an ankle injury. The junior forward scored 17 points in 25 minutes in her return, shooting 7-12 from the floor and 1-5 from the 3-point line. Samuelson leads UConn in scoring for the season, averaging 16.9 points per game.

Gabby Williams is also banged up for the Huskies, playing just 16 minutes in the win to rest her sore hip.

Last time out, freshman Megan Walker stepped up for the Huskies without Samuelson, scoring a career-high 22 points over 32 minutes in a win over Temple. Walker played nine less minutes Wednesday but scored 10 points and added six rebounds. The freshman was 2-2 from the 3-point line but just 3-9 overall.

UConn’s starters did not play in the fourth quarter, resulting in the game’s most tightly-contested quarter. The Huskies outscored the Tigers 18-14 in the fourth while winning the other three quarters by a minimum of 15 points each. Fortunately for the bench unit, Walker carried the offense by scoring all 10 of her points in the final frame.

Memphis shot just 30 percent from the field against the Huskies in their third consecutive loss. The Tigers were led by Brea Elmore, who scored 13 points on 5-18 shooting including all seven of Memphis’ points in the second quarter.

The Huskies will host Tulane Saturday at Gampel Pavilion before hitting the road to take on defending national champion South Carolina.


Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.