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No. 1 UConn Women’s Basketball Tosses No. 20 Cal, 82-47

The Huskies’ victory in their home opener comes at a cost.

The UConn Huskies take on the California Golden Bears in a women's college basketball game at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT on November 17, 2017.
The UConn Huskies take on the California Golden Bears in a women's college basketball game at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT on November 17, 2017.
Ian Bethune

The UConn Huskies women’s basketball team opened their home slate with a convincing 82-47 victory over the No. 20 California Golden Bears.

The Huskies set the tone defensively, forcing 29 turnovers and converting them into 35 points. The Golden Bears were limited to just 38 percent shooting, including 2-10 from three.

But even with the stout defense, UConn was dealt a major blow when Katie Lou Samuelson went down awkwardly on a rebound in the second quarter. She went into the locker room and was diagnosed with a foot injury, which forced her out for the remainder of the game. Her status going forward remains unclear.

It didn’t take long for UConn to pull away. After Cal took a 4-3 lead on their second possession, the Huskies ripped off a 23-2 run and blew the doors off the game.

But the frenetic pace came crashing down in the second quarter as UConn struggled to find the hoop. They went without a bucket for over two minutes and only scored 15 points—half their total from the previous quarter.

Despite a stalling Huskies offense, Cal could only whittle the deficit 16.

With Samuelson out, Crystal Dangerfield picked up the slack from three, draining four-of-five from beyond the arc while finishing with 14 points on the night.

Out of the half, UConn’s defense shut down the Bears, allowing just three points the entire quarter. They stretched the lead out to 40, making the final period a mere formality.

Offensively, the Huskies got the majority of their production from their six studs. Dangerfield, Kia Nurse and Napheesa Collier paced all scorers with 14 points while Samuelson and Azura Stevens chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively. Gabby Williams dished out five assists while snagging eight boards to go with 13 points.

Next, UConn gears up for their battle with No. 15 Maryland on Sunday at the XL Center. Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m. and will be followed by UConn men’s basketball action against Boston University at 6 p.m.


Geno Auriemma postgame:

Crystal Dangerfield, Kia Nurse, Gabby Williams, Azura Stevens postgame: