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UConn Women’s Basketball Cruises Past SMU, 83-41

The Huskies grabbed their 99th straight win with ease at home.

Despite feeling under the weather, Katie Lou Samuelson led the Huskies with 22 points.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

In front of a nearly sold-out crowd at Gampel Pavilion Saturday afternoon, the UConn women's hoops team defeated SMU, 83-41.

SMU refused to go away early on, fighting back after an early Husky run to get within one. The Mustangs answered another UConn run to get within two, but then UConn went on an 8-0 spurt at the end of the first quarter which pushed the lead to 10.

After allowing 14 points in the first quarter, UConn’s defense locked down in the second, where they gave up just eight points and held the Mustangs scoreless over the final 2:43 of the opening half. The Huskies doubled up the visitors at the break, 44-22.

In the first half, Samuelson played all 20 minutes, scoring 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting despite sitting out yesterday’s practice and being described as “limited” by Geno. The sophomore only played the first five minutes of the second half, but still finished with 22 points, going 8-of-13 from the field.

Samuelson also hit 3-of-6 from behind the arc, a welcome sign after her struggles from three recently. While Samuelson has proved she can play well through illness, the Huskies will need her outside stroke on Monday night for their matchup against South Carolina.

UConn’s attack came fast and quick in the third quarter and the Mustangs were quickly down 30. With the deficit rising, SMU became unhinged on offense, struggling to find the basket while going 7:17 without a field goal.

Gabby Williams finished the night just short of a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing nine rebounds. She picked up her 200th rebound of the season, becoming the first player in Division I women’s basketball with 200 rebounds, 100 assists, 50 steals and 25 blocks this season.

Napheesa Collier finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds despite an uncharacteristic night shooting the ball. While she’s typically a very efficient player (93.9% inside the arc over the past three games), the sophomore hit just 4-of-13 shots today.

With win #99 out of the way, UConn turns its focus to their final heavyweight matchup of the season on Monday night against No. 6 South Carolina. Tip-off is at 9 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion as the Huskies go for win #100 in a row.

Head Coach Geno Auriemma Postgame:

Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Katie Lou Samuelson Postgame:

Photo gallery credits: © Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog