Entering the game, the No. 16 DePaul Blue Demons were one of the fastest teams in the nation and put up more 3-pointers than most anyone else. But UConn women’s basketball both outran and outshot the Blue Demons off the court in a 99-63 victory at the XL Center.
The Huskies shot 53 percent from three compared to DePaul’s 27 percent. On the fastbreak, UConn racked up 23 points while the Blue Demons had just 4. It was a quality win for the Huskies over a unique opponent ahead of their showdown with No. 1 Notre Dame on Sunday.
DePaul kept it tight early with a few key 3-pointers to close the small gap. At the first media timeout, UConn led just 18-15. Then Napheesa Collier showed up.
After going scoreless for the first 6:08, Collier exploded for eight of the Huskies’ next 10 points as part of a 16-0 run from UConn to close out of the quarter. The lead increased from just three points to 14 and the Huskies never looked back.
They came out with eight-straight points to start the second period and allowed just three field goals the entire quarter. At the half, UConn limited DePaul to 8-36 (22 percent) from the floor, and just 5-27 (19 percent) from three. The Huskies, meanwhile, shot 20-33 (61 percent) along with a blistering 8-10 from three.
The Blue Demons came out hot in the second half, scoring eight of 10 to bring UConn’s lead below 20 points. The teams traded buckets for a few possessions before the Huskies ripped off a 10-run to put any ideas of a DePaul comeback to rest.
With the game well in-hand, UConn’s bench got plenty of run in the final quarter as the Huskies came away with the 99-63 victory.
Napheesa Collier was dominant, finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists — all of which lead the team. Fellow senior Katie Lou Samuelson wasn’t too far behind, dropping 23 points on top of eight rebounds and four assists.
As a whole, the starters had a strong day. Christyn Williams scored 17 points and chipped in with five boards. Megan Walker pitched in 13 points and five rebounds as well. Crystal Dangerfield totaled 13 points, sevenassists and four rebounds herself on the day.
Despite only entering the game late in the fourth quarter, Mikayla Coombs scored six points and grabbed four rebounds. It was a solid performance from the sophomore, who recovered from two early mistakes.
Next, UConn prepares for a battle with the No. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. on ESPN.
NOTE: The UConn Blog will be hosting a watch party for the game at The Press in Downtown Hartford from 3:30-6:30 p.m. following the men’s basketball game vs. Arizona at the XL Center. There will be happy hour specials and some big guests there as well. It’s free to attend but if you register, you’ll have a chance to win some prizes!