Geno Auriemma’s UConn Huskies started their season by thrashing No. 10 Stanford, 78-53, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. UConn dominated from start to finish, sending a message to the country that this team is not to be trifled with.
Sophomore Crystal Dangerfield led all scorers with 24 points, going 9-of-16 from the field including six out of seven three-pointers. She had a game like this last year against Baylor but never really repeated that level of performance. There's no doubt she's leap and bounds better than she was last year; she should be able to find more consistency. If she’s shooting like she did today, this is an impossible team to defend. Dangerfield also notched six rebounds, four steals, and three assists.
Katie Lou Samuelson bolstered the attack with 21 points. She’s been working hard to shed the one-dimensional label and it showed. The junior finished with three rebounds, a steal, a block, and also drew a charge.
As usual, senior Gabby Williams did a little bit of everything, finishing with 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals.
The only problem is that there’s just one basketball and this UConn team is stacked. Napheesa Collier had a relatively quiet eight points while Azura Stevens added eight of her own off the bench. Kia Nurse struggled a bit, going 1-of-8 from the field on her way to four points. But any of those three could lead the team in scoring in a game over the course of this season.
The only thing UConn didn’t do really well was free throw shooting. The Huskies went 11-of-18 from the charity stripe. It didn’t affect them much in this game, but it’s always nice to get the free points when they’re there.
Next up, UConn has its home opener against Cal at Gampel Pavilion. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on SNY.