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Final Score: UConn Women Cruise Past Dayton, 98-65

The Huskies cruised to victory with a comprehensive team effort.

Katie Lou Samuelson shoots one of her four made three-pointers on the night.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

In their final game before Thanksgiving break, the UConn women soared past the Dayton Flyers with a 98-65 win. Katie Lou Samuelson led the Huskies with a career-high 29 points, even though she struggled to get going early on.

“I think once she touched the ball and scored that got her off and running because sometimes you need just one touch and one bucket to get going,” said head coach Geno Auriemma. “I thought it was the most aggressive I’ve seen her.”

Samuelson surpassed her previous career-high set on Sunday against LSU in a different way than she had set it before, scoring most of her points in the lane as opposed to behind the arc.

“I just wanted to come out this game and play as hard as I could and do different things,” Samuelson explained. “I got a lot of threes against LSU and I’m not going to get that every game so I try and do more than just stand on the three-point line.”

The Flyers started strong but weren’t able to keep up their high-paced style of play through the first quarter. They lead 10-8 at the first media timeout until Samuelson took over, scoring seven straight points during a 15-0 run that put the Huskies ahead for good.

The lead only grew from there, as Dayton struggled to get back on defense and defend in transition. UConn scored 15 transition points along with 20 points off turnovers.

The second half saw more of the same as the Huskies continued to pull away as the game wore on. With a sizable lead entering the fourth quarter, Auriemma gave his younger players some extended playing time. Molly Bent hit a three while Natalie Butler crashed the boards for nine rebounds along with two blocks.

Crystal Dangerfield played 25 minutes off the bench and continued her make her case to start. The freshman point guard totaled nine assists on the day while showing total command of the offense.

“You could coach some guards until they’re 25 and they still wouldn’t be able to see the things she sees,” Auriemma said. “That’s not from coaching, that’s from an innate ability that she has.”

Gabby Williams finished with a double-double but more importantly finished with zero fouls. Foul trouble has been an issue with her for much of the season and has kept her off the court. Without the fouls, Williams flourished, dropping 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds while also dishing out five assists and two steals. Napheesa Collier also had a big game down low, scoring 22 points with seven boards, two blocks, and two steals.

After finishing up a tough stretch of games paired with a fair amount of travel, the Huskies finally get to rest over the holiday break. They have one final tune-up against Chattanooga next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the XL Center before entering the gauntlet of their schedule that sees them play six ranked teams before the New Year.