Geno Auriemma's UConn Huskies are 8-0 after dismantling Florida State at Mohegan Sun on December 11. They will take the court for the first time after finals at the XL Center tonight against Louisiana State.
The Tigers currently hold a 6-5 record and have yet to face a ranked team this season. They are on a two-game road trip which started in New Jersey on Saturday with a 69-57 loss to Rutgers. Their leading scorer, Jenna Deemer with 11.5 ppg, also serves as the team's top outside shooting threat, hitting 41.4% of her three-pointers and 24 out of the team's 30 made threes this season.
She'll probably need to hit about 24 threes tonight for LSU to have a chance against UConn.
The Huskies are beating opponents by an average of over 30 points per game and show no signs of slowing down. Auriemma has made one adjustment to the lineup, inserting freshman Napheesa Collier into a starting role in place of Gabby Williams. Williams will be expected to bring the same energy off the bench which she was known for last season.
Senior superstar Breanna Stewart, the Huskies' leading scorer with 22.9 points per game, needs just 13 points to pass Diana Taurasi for sixth all-time in the UConn record books. Classmate Morgan Tuck has been a force in the interior, averaging 15.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, putting on some of her best performances against the Huskies' top competition from Notre Dame and Florida State.
Sophomore guard Kia Nurse, who had a chance to watch her brother play in the NHL this past week, has played more of a supporting role after starring for Team Canada in the summer. Still, averaging 10 points per game on a loaded Huskies team bodes well for her future prospects. With Moriah Jefferson, Stewart and Tuck graduating after this season, Nurse should ably fill a starring role next year.
UConn is 6-1 all-time against LSU, with the lone loss coming in the 2007 Final Four, and has a 13-game winning streak going against SEC opponents. There should be no issue getting that streak to 14 tonight, and an opportunity to get to 15 as the Huskies will be visiting No. 2 South Carolina on February 8.
The Huskies' next game after tonight will be one week from today at Madison Square Garden in a matchup against No. 6 aryland as part of the Maggie Dixon Classic.
From the UConn Athletic Department:
The Huskies are also asking that fans please bring a new, unwrapped toy with them on Monday to donate to the United States Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program. USMC and UConn representatives will be collecting donations at the XL Center main entrance, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The XL Center main entrance is located on Trumbull Street in downtown Hartford.
UPDATE (6:55 p.m.) - Breanna Stewart will not be playing due to an ankle sprain. Freshman Katie Lou Samuelson will be starting in her place alongside fellow freshman Napheesa Collier.