By William Richardson
Sophomore Katie Lou Samuelson’s 28 points, from seven three pointers, both career highs, led the UConn Huskies to a 76-53 win over LSU Sunday night. In case you were wondering, this year’s team will be juuust fine.
Though Samuelson led the way, it was a complete team effort, which is what this team will need each night out. Kia Nurse regained her form , adding a season-high 15 points while freshman extraordinaire Crystal Dangerfield contributed 10 points off the bench. Gabby Williams scored 8 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to get the Huskies off to a 3-0 start.
This UConn team looked more comfortable and more willing to play their brand of basketball. Maybe the fact that this was their first unranked opponent of the season helped alleviate some of the pressure to perform.
It also helped that Katie Lou was on fire Sunday, going 7-of-11 from the three-point line. The restof the team went 7-for-15 from three and shot 47% from the field to cruise to the easy win.
The underrated factor of this game was UConn having multiple players not being in foul trouble as they built a 21-point lead after the first half. Though Napheesa Collier did foul out, key players were able to stay in the game and everybody made a contribution to the win.
Three of the five starters played at least 28 minutes, head coach Geno Auriemma was able to use his entire lineup, and UConn even had its first Tierney Lawlor sighting of the season. Freshmen Molly Bent and Kyla Irwin got the first points of their UConn careers and oh by the way UConn’s winning streak is now at 78 games in a row.
LSU was able to keep the first quarter of the game close, trailing 18-14. But outside of Raigyne Moncrief (15 points) and Alexis Hyder (11 points), nobody else was able to generate any offense for the Tigers. They shot 35% from the field and just looked overmatched by a more talented team, with no answer for the Huskies’ potent offense.
This was the perfect tune-up for the Huskies before they face off against another tough non-conference opponent. Their next outing will be against Dayton, a school that gave UConn a close contest in the 2015 Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament and in the 2015-2016 season on the road. This year’s game will be at home in Gampel Pavilion on Tuesday, tip-off is at 7:00 pm.