Women’s Basketball: UConn opens conference play with blowout win over UCF


UConn's Kia Nurse holds the ball in the Huskies' 72-61 win over Baylor on Nov. 17, 2016 at Gampel Pavilion (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

UConn’s Kia Nurse holds the ball in the Huskies’ 72-61 win over Baylor on Nov. 17, 2016 at Gampel Pavilion (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

A new year yielded the same result for the No.1 ranked UConn Huskies, who blew out UCF  by a score of 84-48 in Orlando despite 21 turnovers. With the win, the Huskies have now won 88 straight games and remain unbeaten in American Athletic Conference games.

Shooting 63.3 percent from the field and a shade under 44 percent from behind the arc, UConn (13-0, 1-0 the American) got production from a multitude of players, including sophomore Napheesa Collier who scored 22 points on 10-11 shooting. Collier was also able to add five rebounds and five assists, and is now averaging 19.2 points and 7.6 rebounds for the season.

The Huskies were able to end this game early as they held the Knights (10-4, 0-1 the American) to 16 first half points, including a lonely six points in the first quarter.  After leading 8-4, the Huskies were able to string together a 13-0 run behind two three pointers and five different players making field goals. They were able to possess a double-digit lead within the first five minutes of the game as the Huskies were the superior team from start to finish.

In the second quarter, UConn led by as much as 32 points as C they shot 73 percent from the field and 56 percent from 3-point range in the first half. UCF was held to eight total baskets in the first 20 minutes, shooting just 30 percent from the field.

Follow the theme of 2016, the UConn starters were able to carry the load for the team as junior Gabby Williams and sophomore Katie Lou Samuelson, weredominant on both sides of the ball. Samuelson, after being sick in the previous game, was able to score 17 points on 6-12 shooting from the field, as well as adding a team-high seven rebounds and four steals. Per usual, Williams was her consistent self as she scored 15 points on 6-7 shooting, including 13 in the first half, and added six rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks.

As a team, the Knights shot a 36.7 percent from the field and was only able to hit one three pointer out of 11 attempts. The lone double digit scorers for UCF were Aliyah Gregory with 18 points and Zykira Lewis, who added 15.

The Huskies will now be able to return home to Connecticut where they will have a few days off before hosting East Carolina on Wednesday at the XL Center in Hartford. 

Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at matthew.kren@uconn.edu.

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