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Final: UConn Women’s Basketball Tramples Over Over Temple, 90-45

UConn women’s basketball clinches the AAC regular season title, again.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

In its final game at the XL Center this season, the UConn women’s hoops team clinched the American Athletic Conference regular season crown for the fourth-consecutive season with a commanding 90-45 victory over the Temple Owls.

After dealing with foul trouble which forced her out for long stretches in a close win over Tulane, Napheesa Collier bounced back in a big way. The sophomore finished with a career-high 31 points shooting a flaming hot 13-of-14 from the field.

“You'd be hard pressed to find anybody that’s had a better 27 games than Napheesa Collier,” said head coach Geno Auriemma. “It’s just amazing the consistency that she plays at.”

UConn got off to a quick start, jumping out to a 6-0 lead and making an 11-0 run later in the quarter. While the Owls didn’t appear overmatched, they struggled to find the hoop, going 4:54 without scoring in the first quarter.

The second quarter was a defensive battle. Both teams struggled with dry spells, with UConn going 2:56 and 3:24 without scoring while Temple had droughts spanning 5:25 and 3:40. Still, the Huskies still went into the half with a sizable lead at 41-19.

The Owls never stood a chance as the third quarter began. Already facing a deficit of 22, they had no answer for UConn on either side of the court. The Huskies shot 70.0% in the second half and seemed to catch more passes from Temple than the Owls themselves.

The Huskies had the paint on lockdown all night, where they outscored the Owls 42-4. UConn’s low-post duo of Napheesa Collier and Gabby Williams combined for 46 points on 20-of-21 shooting.

After a close call against Tulane, order was restored Wednesday night as UConn cruised to its 102nd victory in a row. The last time the Huskies had consecutive games end with a single-digit margin of victory was in 2006.

Gabby Williams spent much of the first half on the bench with foul trouble but still scored 15 as she recorded her 1,000th career point. She joins Kia Nurse as the second player to do so this season and is the 43rd player in program history to reach the scoring milestone.

While she still finished with 19 points, Katie Lou Samuelson continues to struggle shooting the ball. The sophomore went 6-of-14 from the field, 3-of-9 from three. Those aren’t particularly troubling numbers but given the caliber of player she is, something appears to be off.

Next up, UConn wraps up the regular season home schedule against Memphis at Gampel Pavilion. Tip-off is at 4:30 p.m. but the action will start early to honor Saniya Chong and Tierney Lawlor for Senior Day festivities.

Photo Gallery:

Geno Auriemma Postgame:

Crystal Dangerfield, Napheesa Collier, Gabby Williams, Saniya Chong Postgame:

Photo gallery credits: Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog