Women’s Basketball: Geno wins No. 999 as Huskies blowout DePaul


Connecticut forward Batouly Camara (32) shoots between DePaul's Rachel McLimore, left, and Chante Stonewall during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Chicago. Connecticut won 103-69. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Connecticut forward Batouly Camara (32) shoots between DePaul’s Rachel McLimore, left, and Chante Stonewall during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Chicago. Connecticut won 103-69. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma won his 999th game Friday night as Crystal Dangerfield shined in a 103-69 win over the DePaul Blue Demons at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois.

A game of several huge runs from UConn (8-0) made sure this one was put to bed relatively early, as the Huskies had six players finish with double-digit scoring. The team ultimately finished with triple-digits on the way to another dominating win over DePaul (6-3).

Dangerfield, UConn’s sophomore point guard and floor general, went on a tear. She shot just seven times, all from 3-point range, and made six of those shots, finishing with 18 points. Dangerfield has been lighting it up from beyond the arc all season, too, shooting an incredible 53.5 percent from three.

Dangerfield was just as impressive as a facilitator as she was a shooter, dishing out nine assists compared to just two turnovers in 31 minutes of play. The sophomore dictated the game like the composer of an orchestra, running the Auriemma offense with the utmost efficiency.

Junior guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson, who tweaked her ankle in the Huskies’ last game against Notre Dame, did not miss a beat as she was back in the starting lineup and finished with a game-high 20 points on 8-16 shooting. The UConn star added five rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes on the court.

Forwards Napheesa Collier and Gabby Williams were both remarkable against the Blue Demons. Both of them finished with double-doubles in points and rebounds, and almost finished with triple-doubles in under 25 minutes. Collier and Williams were five and three assists shy of the mark, respectively.

Kia Nurse rounded out the starting five with 13 points, but struggled to find her shooting stroke, draining just 2-7 from 3-point range. Azurá Stevens was the sixth Husky to finish in double-digits, coming off the bench and scoring 16 points on 7-9 shooting.

The Blue Demons, ranked just outside the top-25 in national polls, kept it close with the No. 1 Huskies for about five minutes into the first quarter before UConn rattled off a 17-4 run in four minutes to extend their lead to 25-12.

The Huskies went on another big run just before the end of the first half, outscoring DePaul 15-3 in about three minutes. Dangerfield hit back-to-back threes, before Samuelson dropped five points in a row to make it 58-31 UConn with 1:12 remaining in the second quarter.

The Huskies allowed just nine points in the third quarter, as the core rotation continued to pile it on. Eventually, the UConn bench made it onto the court in the fourth quarter, in which the Blue Deacons made a run and outscored the Huskies 22-21. Freshmen Lexi Gordon and Mikayla Coombs did not make the trip to Chicago, since they were not expected to play and were told to study for finals.

Kentucky transfer Batouly Camara made her first ever appearance in a UConn uniform, earning four minutes at the end of the game as she had finally recovered from a string of injuries that included a bad MCL sprain. The redshirt sophomore forward missed her lone shot of the night, but grabbed three rebounds in just four minutes of play. Camara could play a bigger role as she continues to rehab to full strength.

The Huskies won’t have another game until after finals week, when they take on the Oklahoma Sooners in the Hall of Fame Holiday showcase at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The game, scheduled for Dec. 19 at 7 p.m., will be Geno Auriemma’s first chance to win career victory No. 1000.

Chris Hanna is the associate sports editor for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball and football. He can be reached via email at christopher.hanna@uconn.edu. He tweets @realchrishanna.

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