In their second consecutive matchup against the Big Ten, the UConn women’s hoops team came away with an easy victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 84-41. The Husky defense was dominant, allowing UConn’s lowest point total of the season while they grabbing as many steals as Nebraska had field goals (16) in the game. The Cornhuskers didn’t have a single double-digit scorer.
UConn started quick, shooting 4-of-5 from the field while holding Nebraska scoreless early on. The Cornhuskers struggled to connect passes, turning the ball over 24 times leading to 31 UConn points. Even when they did manage to get the ball into the paint, Nebraska couldn’t find the basket, shooting just 31% on the night.
Crystal Dangerfield started at point guard despite Saniya Chong's return from concussion-like symptoms. But she picked up her third foul in the second quarter and was banished to the bench for the rest of the game, opening the door for Chong and freshman Molly Bent.
Chong had a solid night, finishing with eight points, five rebounds, and four assists. Bent ran the point for much of the fourth quarter with the game well in hand and had a productive night with four rebounds and three assists.
Nebraska put together a 6-0 run to close the gap towards the end of the half but UConn responded with a 6-0 run of its own. Katie Lou Samuelson provided the spark, scoring 19 points in the first half on 6-of-11 shooting.
The Huskies kept their feet on the gas into the second half and came out with a 15-0 run that pushed the lead to 41. Geno Auriemma was able to give his starters some well-deserved rest after injuries shortened the bench over the last two games.
Napheesa Collier hit 5-of-12 shots and put up 14 points, one of four Huskies in double-figures. While she didn’t carry the brunt of the scoring load, she dominated the glass with a team-high 15 rebounds, including eight offensive boards.
With Collier struggling at times, Kia Nurse picked up the slack to the tune of 23 points to go along with four assists. Together, Nurse and Samuelson outscored Nebraska 43-41.
UConn is off for the next eight days before finishing its non-conference schedule with a battle at No. 4 Maryland. The Terrapins representing the toughest test for the Huskies on their way to breaking the record of 90 consecutive wins. After tonight, the streak is at 86.
Geno Auriemma believes “we’re going to get our asses beat by somebody,” according to his press conference after the win versus Ohio State. But I’m not sure anybody would have predicted UConn would be undefeated at the end of non-conference play—he has another extraordinary team this year. I still think that it will lose a game at some point, but not before setting the record.