UConn women’s basketball had no post-Notre Dame hangover, taking care of the Saint Louis Billikens 98-42. In her homecoming game, Napheesa Collier earned a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds, both team highs.
Before the game, the team ruled Megan Walker out with a fever. In her place, Kyla Irwin earned her first career start and finished with 10 rebounds. Auriemma often praises the junior as one of the hardest working players on the team and likely rewarded that effort with a start.
Fittingly, Collier scored the first points of the game. Not long after, UConn pulled off a 13-0 run to take a 15-2 lead. Despite the Huskies taking control, Saint Louis didn’t back down and traded baskets with the visitors through the end of the first quarter.
However, UConn was simply too much for the Billikens. The Huskies went on runs of 11 and eight points, respectively, as their lead ballooned to over 30 points. Saint Louis continued to put up a fight and scored five-straight to close the half.
After the break, a pair of UConn runs continued to put space on the scoreboard. By the end of the third quarter, the Huskies lead was 44 points. With such a big lead, the bench played most of the fourth quarter, along with Collier.
Auriemma gave his top reserves plenty of run before garbage time as well. Irwin and Olivia Nelson-Ododa both played double-digit minutes in the first half while Mikayla Coombs played eight.
Overall, it was a positive performance from the bench. They didn’t score much when the starters were in but they finished with 19 points. While turnovers are often an issue with the second team, they finished with just two turnovers. They also made a handful of nice plays and looked more comfortable on the court. Nelson-Ododa finished with a double-double in just 23 minutes with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Crystal Dangerfield earned her second career double-double with 18 points and 10 assists, while not turning the ball over once. Katie Lou Samuelson dropped 20 points to go with eight assists and 6 rebounds. Christyn Williams followed up her 28-point performance with 17 points while making 3-of-4 3-pointers.