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UConn Women’s Basketball Rebounds to Dominate Purdue, 86-40

Napheesa Collier earns Paradise Jam MVP.

Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson propel UConn to another win
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball capped off its Paradise Jam run with a dominant performance and 86-40 win over Purdue.

Seniors Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier scored 22 and 19 points, respectively. Collier also collected 10 boards for her third double-double of the season. Both were named to the all-tournament team following the game, with Collier being named the MVP.

After last night’s scare against St. John’s, the Huskies came out firing and pulled away to a quick ten-point lead behind 11 straight points from Samuelson. By the end of the first quarter, UConn extended its lead to 20 points.

UConn’s seniors dominated early on, combining for 30 of the Huskies’ 47 first-half points. Heading into the break, Samuelson shot 75 percent from three while Collier collected 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Contrary to last night where the Huskies struggled to score early on, the Huskies shot 62 percent from the floor in the first half with seven players on the board. UConn also out-rebounded Purdue 23-16 en route to their 29 point halftime lead.

In the second half, head coach Geno Auriemma sent his seniors to the bench to force production from his other three starters and the bench. The freshman Christyn Williams stepped up big for the Huskies. She shot 5-6 from beyond the arc, to total 17 points for the night.

Production from the bench continues to be an issue, with only UConn adding only 16 bench points in 65 combined minutes. Olivia Nelson-Ododa was the most effective adding 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and a block in her 17 minutes. Kyla Irwin also added 5 points, and Batouly Camara scored 4.

Next, the Huskies head home from the Virgin Islands to face DePaul on Wednesday. The No. 16 ranked Blue Demons will be UConn’s first ranked opponent of the year. The game tips at 7 p.m. from the XL Center, and will be aired on SNY.