In their sole game of the PK80 Tournament in Oregon, the UConn Huskies crushed Michigan State decisively, 96-62.
The Huskies jumped out to a 16-2 run out of the gate, with eight of those points coming from Kia Nurse. The senior finished with 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting on the night. UConn cooled down a bit, hitting just 1-of-10 shots and going two minutes without a bucket to close the opening quarter.
Without Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn struggled from behind the arc, making just one three-pointer in the first half and shooting just 29% for the game. Instead of trying to shoot their way out of the slump, the Huskies focused on scoring down low. It worked.
Azura Stevens and Napheesa Collier took control, combining for 23 points and 17 rebounds in the first half while helping the Huskies score 32 of their 46 first-half points in the paint.
Coming out of the break, UConn pushed the lead to 40 thanks to a 31-point quarter spearheaded by Collier, Stevens, and Nurse. The trio shouldered the offense all game, combining for 59 of the Huskies’ 96 points while nearly outscoring Michigan State on their own.
Stevens was particularly impressive, notching a double-double with 25 points and 16 rebounds, both game-highs. Collier earned a double-double as well with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The fourth quarter was a mere formality with the reserves getting most of the action. Freshman Andra-Espinoza Hunter looks to be coming around as she scored eight points, hitting 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.
UConn’s offense was efficient all night, assisting on their 30 of their 41 baskets with only 11 turnovers, most of which came after the starters exited. Crystal Dangerfield commanded the offense well, dishing out a career-high 10 assists to go with 10 points and make her the third Husky with a double-double in the game.
With the win, UConn improves to 5-0 on the season. Next up, they travel to Reno, Nevada where they will face the Nevada Wolf Pack for senior Gabby Williams’ homecoming game. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 28.