With the WNBA season coming to a close, two recent graduates of the UConn Women’s basketball team, Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier, are finishing their rookie seasons.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Huskies seemed poised to defeat last year’s national champion Notre Dame and return to the championship game after missing it for two straight seasons. UConn was up by nine with 7:52 left in the game after senior Napheesa Collier made a two-point field goal. The Husky fans at a sold out Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay began to taste victory.
“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.”
UConn seniors Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier were named to the 10-player WBCA Coaches All-America Team. The team was rounded out with Kalani Brown from Baylor, Asia Durr from Louisville, Megan Gustafson from Iowa, Sabrina Ionescu from Orgeon, Bridget Carleton from Iowa State, Teaira McCowan from Mississippi State, Arike Ogunbowale from Notre Dame and Alanna Smith from Stanford.
The American Player of the Week Award winner led the UConn softball team to a series win over Wichita State in the second iteration of conference play. After hitting a grand slam earlier in the week, Marcelino brought her hot streak into the weekend with another three home runs and eight RBI in three games. Of the 14 total runs scored this weekend, Marcelino was responsible for 57 percent of those runs.
“I didn’t think that they ever would retire our jerseys because there wouldn’t be very many left,” Lobo, who scored 2,133 points at UConn, said before the ceremony. “Because of all the accomplishments of so many people … I know it’s going to be fun over the next 10 to 15 years to watch all of the other numbers that are going to get retired as well.”
“(Samuelson) came here with a reputation as a shooter and we were determined to try and make her into a well-rounded basketball player,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said Sunday. “So I’m not surprised that she has scored 2,000 points because she’s always had the ability to make shots. She is making them from a lot more different places now than she did early in her career.”
“Yeah that's a big deal right. Sometimes it just doesn't look right, and it didn't look right,” Auriemma said of his team’s lethargic start. “So, like I was saying earlier, its gotten to a point where coaching, you just make suggestions, now you can't tell people what you want them to do. You just make a suggestion, if they wanna do it, they do it, if they don't, they don't. So, I suggested that they sit down.”