Women's Basketball: Huskies dominate Pirates in first conference road test

 Connecticut's Gabby Williams (15) high-fives the bench following a play against East Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Greenville, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Connecticut won 96-35. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Connecticut's Gabby Williams (15) high-fives the bench following a play against East Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Greenville, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Connecticut won 96-35. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

The UConn women’s basketball team faced its first road test in American Athletic Conference play Wednesday and responded with a convincing 96-35 victory over the East Carolina Pirates.

UConn (12-0, 2-0 the American) started relatively slow, as the Pirates hit a few shots early to trail just 6-5. However, the No. 1 Huskies went on a subsequent 21-6 run to take a 27-11 lead into the second quarter. 

Although the game was never truly in question, the Huskies went on a tear in the third quarter, sinking the Pirates by outscoring them 30-8.

Five Huskies scored in double figures in the game, led by 19 points from Katie Lou Samuelson. Usual suspects Gabby Williams and Napheesa Collier followed, with 18 and 14 points, respectively.

Azurá Stevens only scored eight points, but the junior transfer grabbed 16 rebounds in 20 minutes. Seven of those rebounds were on the offensive glass. Freshman Megan Walker contributed 10 points in 18 minutes off the bench.

Twelve Huskies saw action Wednesday afternoon, 10 of whom tallied points on the scoreboard. Freshman Alexis Gordon tied for the least playing time, but Gordon put up four shots and scored four points in her three minutes of action.

UConn recorded 31 assists in the game, nearly the amount of points ECU scored. Samuelson dished out nine assists herself, tying her career-high.

The Huskies also stuffed the stat sheet with nine steals and 13 blocks. UConn forced ECU into 20 turnovers, which they converted into 31 points.

The Pirates (8-7, 0-2 the American) were led by Alex Frazier and Destiny Campbell, who scored eight points each. East Carolina shot just 25 percent (16-64) from the field against the Huskies’ defense, including just 1-7 from the 3-point line.

The Huskies won their 85th consecutive game in the American, improving to 2-0 to begin the season. UConn also extended its Division I-best road winning streak to 42 games. 

Next time out will likely be much more of a challenge on the Huskies, as they head to Florida to take on the USF Bulls. USF is consistently one of UConn’s biggest threats in the American, and is just outside of the AP Top 25 Poll this week, receiving 67 votes while No. 25 Arizona State snuck in with 69 votes.


Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.