The UConn Huskies were expecting to be challenged by the much improved Houston Cougars, but UConn’s defensive pressure was too much as the Huskies had 21 steals on their way to a 95-35 win at H&PE Arena on the campus of Texas Southern University in Houston, TX.
The No. 1 Huskies improve to 15-0, 4-0 in the American Athletic Conference while Houston drops to 14-5, 3-2 in the conference, and falls out of a second-place tie with USF and UCF.
Just how good was UConn’s defense?
They held Houston to single-digits in three of the four quarters (4 in the first, 9 in the second and 8 in the third) against a team that came into the contest averaging 77 points per game.
UConn posted a season-high in steals and forced 28 turnovers which they converted into 38 points. Additionally, Napheesa Collier and Azura Stevens combined for seven blocked shots with four and three respectively.
UConn held Houston’s leading scorer Jasmyne Harris, who was averaging 20.3 points per game, to 15 points on 5-21 shooting.
“We worked hard on our defense the last couple of days. It was good against Central Florida and it was even better today.” Geno Auriemma told SNY’s Justine Ward after the game.
Katie Lou Samuelson led UConn with 20 points and also had a team-high five assists. Stevens added a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Kia Nurse and Crystal Dangerfield rounded out the Huskies in double figures with 17 points and 11 points respectively.
Next up, UConn heads to Austin for a MLK Day matchup with the No. 7 Texas Longhorns. The two teams last faced each other in the 2016-17 season when the Huskies beat them 72-54.