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NCAA Tournament: UConn Women’s Basketball Puts a Historic Beatdown on Saint Francis, 140-52

The Huskies had one of the greatest first halves in the history of women’s college basketball.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball is certainly accustomed to winning, and pretty familiar with blowouts, but the Huskies’ first-round win over Saint Francis in the NCAA Tournament was unlike any beatdown before. After one quarter, UConn had 55 points. At the half, the Huskies led 94-31.

In the end, UConn broke both a program and NCAA Tournament record for points with a 140-52 victory.

UConn’s defense started off rusty, struggling to rotate and letting up a few easy buckets early on. However, the offense more than made up for it by coming out blazing by making its first eight shots.

UConn Huskies postgame press conference

Napheesa Collier led the way, scoring eight points in the first two minutes. She finished with 25 on 11-of-13 shooting with nine assists and five rebounds.

Saint Francis tried to pick up the pace to generate more points and scoring chances. It went very poorly.

The Huskies responded by taking the speed of the game to a level that Saint Francis could not keep up with and caused an avalanche of scoring. Saint Francis, meanwhile, ended the game with 57 three-point attempts, hitting just 10.

UConn exploded with a 19-0 run and scored at will on nearly every possession, hitting 21-of-27 first-quarter shots. After the first quarter, UConn had an NCAA record 55 points.

The record-breaking continued into the second quarter. With 6:25 remaining in the first half, UConn broke the NCAA Tournament record for points in a half with 68 and set the overall NCAA record with 94 points going into the break — more than the Huskies scored in all but 13 games this season.

The Huskies’ frenetic scoring pace slowed as they took their foot off the gas while the reserves made their way into the game. Even so, UConn had 116 points after three quarters, the same total they had in the first round last year against Albany. The Huskies’ reserves played the entirety of the final quarter with the game well in hand as UConn advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the 25th year in a row.

UConn’s Kia Nurse, Gabby Williams, Napheesa Collier, Katie Lou Samuelson, Azura Stevens and Megan Walker postgame

UConn finished with six players in double-figures while three players earned double-doubles. Azura Stevens led all scorers with 26 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. Gabby Williams finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, and six assists while Kia Nurse contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Next, UConn will face the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Monday night at Gampel Pavilion. The game will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. EST.