After making history and breaking their own NCAA record with their 91st straight win over SMU on Saturday, Katie Lou Samuelson made sure the win streak would live on with a career performance on the road against Tulsa.
Fresh off a 28-point performance in the win against the Mustangs, Samuelson was even better against the Golden Hurricane, scoring a career-high 34 points in just 29 minutes to lead the Huskies (17-0, 5-0 the American) to a 98-58 victory. Samuelson’s 34 points were the most by a UConn player this season, one more than Kia Nurse scored in UConn’s 91-46 win over DePaul.
Samuelson was hot from the start, scoring 12 first quarter points to help the Huskies get out to a 14-0 lead. Tulsa (5-13, 1-4 the American) wouldn’t get on the board until more than halfway through the first when Shug Dickson hit a 3-pointer to make it 14-3. Samuelson would stay hot in the second quarter, adding 11 more points as the Huskies would take a 55-33 lead into halftime after finishing the first half with a season-low two turnovers.
Much like Samuelson, the Golden Hurricane were hot from the 3-point line, shooting over 38 percent from beyond the arc on 13-34 shooting. The 13 3-pointers made were the most an opponent has made against the Huskies this season. Dickson led the way for Tulsa, tying her career-high with 21 points, scoring five 3-pointers in the process. Liesl Spoerl and Tatyana Perez were the only other Golden Hurricane in double-figures with 11 points.
Samuelson would tack on another 11 points in the third quarter as UConn continued to pull away and lead 84-46 after three quarters. The sophomore guard would not appear in the fourth quarter, but finished her night shooting 72 percent from the field on 13-18 shooting and 7-12 from the 3-point line.
Gabby Williams and Napheesa Collier joined Samuelson on the bench in the fourth quarter. Collier posted her fifth double-double of the season with 21 points and 13 rebounds in only 24 minutes, and Williams once again came close to a triple-double with 13 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and no turnovers. Saniya Chong joined Williams, Collier and Samuelson in double-figures with 10 points and seven assists.
With standout freshman Crystal Dangerfield out due to a foot injury, classmate Molly Bent saw an increase in playing time against Tulsa with a career-high 21 minutes. Bent missed her only two shots of the night, but added three rebounds and three assists as head coach Geno Auriemma looked to get her more minutes.
As Samuelson, Collier and Williams looked on, the bench primarily played the fourth quarter and outscored the Golden Hurricane 14-12. A layup from Natalie Butler with just seconds left in the game made the margin an even 40 points to seal the Huskies’ third 40-point win in a row and sixth of the season.
UConn is back in action Sunday against Tulane in the Huskies’ first game at Gampel Pavilion in over a month.