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UConn Women’s Basketball Dispatches USF, 63-46

The Huskies struggled early, and it wasn’t their best effort overall, but they still came away with the win.

UConn’s Katie Lou Samuelson scores the 2000th point of her career on a layup in the third quarter vs USF.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

The UConn women’s basketball team came away with a 63-46 victory over the USF Bulls in a game far more interesting than the scoreline.

USF was coming into the contest with a number of key injuries and only dressed eight players. UConn’s starters appeared to take its opponent lightly at the beginning, trailing 6-4 early in the first quarter.

Geno Auriemma pulled his five starters and put five reserves into the game: Molly Bent, Batouly Camara, Mikayla Coombs, Kyla Irwin and Olivia Nelson-Ododa.

“Sometimes it just doesn’t look right and it didn’t look right,” Auriemma said after the game.

Camara hit a jumper that tied the game at 6 apiece before USF went on a 8-0 run. However, the bench stayed calm and thanks to back-to-back threes from Bent and Irwin, the Huskies trailed by just two after the first quarter.

At the start of the second period, the starters went back in but it took them a few minutes to find a rhythm. Auriemma replaced a struggling Christyn Williams with Molly Bent, who had the best game of her college career. Bent played with confidence as she finished with six points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals along with no turnovers.

The teams traded baskets before a 10-0 run put the Huskies up 26-18 and they would take a 26-20 lead into the intermission.

UConn took control of the game quickly in the second half. The Huskies opened up with an 8-0 run followed up soon after by a 6-0 run. USF made just one basket before the media timeout.

With 2:13 left in the third quarter, Williams broke up the court on a fast break and found Katie Lou Samuelson, who laid it in to become the 10th player in program history with 2,000 career points. Samuelson finished with a game-high 19 points, five assists and two rebounds.

The Huskies couldn’t put the scrappy Bulls away for good, though. USF began the final quarter with six straight points to cut UConn’s lead to just 10 points. But that was as close as it got as a 10-0 run from the Huskies put the game away for good.

In the final minutes, Crystal Dangerfield went down behind the play and stayed on the court. She eventually got up and walked off on her own power and appeared to be getting her side looked at on the bench.

Irwin and Bent hit four threes combined. The rest of the team hit just two. The Huskies were out-rebounded 42-26, including 17-8 on the offensive glass. Megan Walker scored 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting.

Next, UConn heads out on a two-game road trip beginning on Wednesday at Tulane.