UConn Women’s Basketball ended its exhibition slate on a very high note, taking the win over Pace University, 95-32.
It was exactly the kind of performance one would expect from an exhibition game against a Division II team. The Huskies opened the game with a 31-0 run and did not allow Pace to score until 8:54 into the game.
Gabby Williams led all scorers with 24 points, adding 10 rebounds and two steals. Kia Nurse led the team in assists with five, contributing 11 points and three steals as well. Napheesa Collier led in rebounds with 11, including four offensive boards. She scored 11 points as well for the double-double.
UConn played suffocating defense, opting to use a full-court press for much of the first quarter that the Setters had trouble breaking. The Huskies forced 17 turnovers, 11 in the first quarter.
The Huskies were also clogging up the passing lanes, getting hands in front of Pace passes all afternoon and using that to score easy points in transition. They had 11 fast break points at the half and 25 off of turnovers.
The great defense led to more than steals. UConn forced three shot-clock violations in the first half, playing strong defense for the entire 30-second shot clock, forcing Pace to throw up multiple prayers as time wound down. The Setters shot 2-for-26 (7.7 percent) from the field and 0-for-12 from three-point range in the opening half while UConn shot 24-for-39 (61.5 percent).
The Huskies had 35 points after the first quarter, with Gabby Williams scoring 17 of them. She finished the half with 20 points in addition to four rebounds.
With the commanding 59-9 lead at the half, UConn sagged off the defensive pressure in the third and fourth and gave its depth some run. Pace was finally able to put some points up, tying UConn 13-13 in the third quarter.
UConn gets the season going for real on November 14 when the Huskies travel to Tallahassee, Florida to play the Florida State Seminoles as part of the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon. The game will begin at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN 2.