Jalen Adams left UConn as the tenth all-time scorer in program history. Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier helped bring a title to Storrs and transformed into perennial All-Americans. Now, the two programs look to a pair of rising seniors to step into new roles: Christian Vital and Crystal Dangerfield.
“We said that in the locker room,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said. “It's not apparent sometimes while you're teammates with Lou and Napheesa, it's not apparent until after they're gone, how much they did for you, how much they contributed to your success, how much you're going to miss their presence every single day, on the court, off the court, doesn't matter.”
“We had made a decision, we weren't going to (double team),” Geno Auriemma said. “We said we are not going to double. We are going to let Asia (Durr) get what she gets and just make her work as hard as possible to get those (shots). We just decided we cannot live with 11 made 3s like we did last time.”
Despite the Bulls losing key scorers to season-ending injuries earlier in the season, the Huskies struggled to put up points in the first half. The offensive struggles may have been due to senior Katie Lou Samuelson sitting out the matchup as she was suffering from back spasms resulting from an injury she sustained on Saturday afternoon when the Huskies took on Houston.
“All of a sudden now the points pile up. I think things are moving a little bit smoother,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said. “Although, I don’t know that the first quarter was as smooth as I’d like it to be. But we’re getting good shots, the ball is moving well, people are being unselfish, like they usually are.”
“It’s so fun when the students are there and they have the big ‘LOOOOUUU’ thing and the fatheads and they just bring so much more energy to it,” senior Napheesa Collier said. “We love when the students are there and it was a really great turnout. Like I always say, our fans are the best in the nation. So the support we get here is amazing and they make every game here really fun.”
Seven months and 12 days after suffering a buzzer beating loss to Mississippi State in the Final Four, the UConn Huskies women’s basketball team was back in action Sunday afternoon to open the 2017-18 season. The Huskies didn’t seem to miss a beat, as they came out on top of the Stanford Cardinal by a score of 78-53 in a game at neutral site Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.