For their last away game in the American Athletic Conference, the UConn women’s basketball team traveled down to Houston to spend their Saturday ending the game before it really even began.
Houston did lead at one point, hitting their first shot of the game – a three – to go up on UConn 3-2. The Huskies responded by going on a 25-0 run and winning the quarter 34-7. They were up 55-20 at the half and finished the game 92-40, moving to 15-0 in the American this season and remaining undefeated all-time.
“We had a game plan, we executed it exactly the way we wanted to and that’s all you can ask,” head coach Geno Auriemma told SNY following the game. “This is what we want to do, and we got it done.”
Megan Walker led the Huskies with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting including 3-of-6 from three while finishing one rebound short of double-double No. 10 on the season.
Olivia Nelson-Ododa had 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting, nine rebounds, five assists but also five turnovers in what was a very solid day for her. Crystal Dangerfield put up 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting and notched a team-high seven assists, and Christyn Williams put up 12 on 4-of-11 shooting, albeit still struggling from three, going 0-for-4.
In fact, all five starters scored double-digits, with Anna Makurat dropping 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting, 4-of-9 of it being from beyond the arc.
“My team really needs me to play like that,” Makurat told SNY. “Don’t be scared anymore and keep making plays on the court.”
Fellow freshman Aubrey Griffin played just nine minutes and picked up four fouls in that span, but managed to score six points, grab six boards and force two steals.
Those two steals contributed to what was an 18-steal game for UConn, their most as a team this season. Walker and Williams each contributed four, Makurat and Dangerfield had three apiece and Nelson-Ododa joined Griffin with two.
As a whole the UConn defense held Houston to just 23.8% shooting from the field and – I swear this is not a typo – 6.7% shooting from three, or 1-for-15.
UConn, on the other hand, shot 50% or better for the 12th time this season, and even though they went just 10-26 from three (which isn’t bad just nothing special), still managed to have their total field goal percentage slide into the No. 5 spot on the season.
One of the most impressive aspects of their game recently has been their ability to spread the ball around the court and get everyone involved.
“You work really, really hard to instill that in kids, that the better passer you are the better team we have,” Auriemma told SNY. “These last two games, we’ve really passed the ball well, we’ve made the extra pass and we have been incredibly unselfish these past two games, and the score reflects that. When the ball moves and everybody gets a chance to touch it, everybody feels good.”
They had 24 assists against Houston and 27 a few days prior versus Cincinnati, winning those games by an average 45.5 points. Not only that, but in both of those games four players reached double-digit points.
UConn will be back in action on Monday when they host USF at the XL Center for their final regular-season game of the year. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be watched on ESPN2.