Okay, not quite an actual trillion, but it felt like at least a billion.
The real final score was 94-55 in a game where UConn (20-2) controlled the entire game with some of the best ball movement that I’ve ever seen.
As a team, the Huskies racked up a season-high 31 assists on their 38 made baskets. This was in large part due to the dynamic senior and freshman duo of Crystal Dangerfield and Anna Makurat.
Makurat was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time since game two of the season, and she was determined to put on a show for the fans at Gampel. She was setting her teammates up to score early and often, dishing out eight assists in the first 15 minutes of the game. With the school record set at 13, she was well on pace to shatter that mark as just a freshman.
“These last, I don’t know how many games, you can see that every minute of every day, she [Makurat] gets better at being a part of our team, being comfortable and playing to her instincts instead of worrying about everything,” Geno Auriemma said.
Makurat finished the game with 11 assists, as well as two points, three rebounds and four steals.
Dangerfield, who torched the Tigers earlier this season with 24 points, only needed to score seven this time around. But like Makurat, she was dropping dimes all night and ended the game with eight assists.
You may ask, ‘So, who were the beneficiaries of these assists?’
Christyn Williams had 20 points on an efficient 7-for-12 shooting, Megan Walker had 26 points on a slightly more efficient 11-for-17 and Olivia Nelson-Ododa had 19 on the most efficient 9-for-9 night.
“We [Auriemma and Williams] talked a little bit today. I said, ‘It’s not a coincidence that the games where you are the most engaged defensively, work really hard on the defensive end and run the floor are your best offensive games as well,’” Auriemma said. “Those two things carry over.”
Williams missed the last week of practice with the flu, but was still able to bring it tonight.
“It felt good to see the ball go in,” Williams said. “I’m just now getting back, but I’m still lowkey drained. This is my first time having the flu, and I had no idea how much it affected your energy.”
Williams scored 16 of her 20 in the first half, knocking down four 3-pointers. Walker also grabbed 11 rebounds, and Nelson-Ododa had seven rebounds and three blocks.
UConn got contributions all the way up and down the roster. Molly Bent came in and hit two threes on her way to 10 points, Aubrey Griffin grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked three shots and Evelyn Adebayo made the most of her five minutes by scoring four points and knocking down a 3-ball.
Dulcy Mendjiadeu Fankam, who gave the Huskies problems when these two teams met last month, was held to just nine points, shooting 4-for-12.
“As a team in our preparation, our last two practices we prepared differently,” Nelson-Ododa said.
Who did show up to hurt UConn was Memphis freshman Madison Griggs. She led the team in points with 15, scoring exclusively from beyond the arc. She knocked down five of her 11 attempts.
“That kid walks around like she’s half asleep and just buries threes from everywhere,” Auriemma said. “She’s good, man. She’s really good. She’s as good of a shooter as anyone I’ve seen in a long time. I like how she plays.”
Next for the Huskies is a trip to South Carolina to take on the No. 1 team in the country. We’ll see if UConn can ride the momentum from this blowout win. That game will take place Monday at 7 p.m.