In front of the program’s 200th all-time sellout, the UConn Huskies women’s basketball team blew through the Tulane Green Wave, 98-45.
UConn’s defense was active and aggressive early on, forcing six Tulane turnovers by the first media timeout.
Katie Lou Samuelson was the recipient of many of those turnovers, scoring 10 of the team’s first 16 points. She finished with a game-high 19 points on 7-11 shooting.
While the Huskies held an iron grip on the game from the start, they began to pull away after a 15-0 run extended their lead to 21. The gap would only continue to rise as UConn would rip off a 16-0 run in the second quarter.
Tulane simply had no answer for the Huskies, who shot 68 percent in the first half and led 53-19 going into the break.
UConn crushed any hope for Tulane out of the half, scoring six quick points to widen the gap to 40 points less than a minute in. The Huskies didn’t stop there, as they hit 13-14 shots in the third quarter, including their last 10-straight, with Kia Nurse ending the quarter off in dramatic fashion with an impressive leaping steal and layup in the closing seconds.
With Crystal Dangerfield (shin splints), Samuelson (ankle) and Gabby Williams (hip) all dealing with injuries, the lead gave them a chance to rest for much of the second half, while also giving the reserves extra playing time.
They cruised to finish line by a final score of 98-45.
The Huskies scoring load was well-balanced as six players finished in double-figures. They shot 72.2 percent on the night, just below the all-time program mark of 72.6 percent.
Williams had a strong game, totaling 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Both Napheesa Collier and Azura Stevens were perfect from the field, with Collier scoring 13 points on 6-6 shooting while the Duke transfer finished with 12 points on 5-5 shooting.
Next, UConn prepares for a clash at No. 9 South Carolina on Thursday Feb. 1. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN.