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UConn Women’s Basketball Defeats UCF in AAC Tournament Championship Game

The game was not very close for very long, as UConn finished six seasons of conference play undefeated.

UConn’s Napheesa Collier drives to the basket in the first quarter of the AAC Women’s Basketball Championship game.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball claimed its sixth AAC Tournament championship to match the regular season crown as they defeated the UCF Knights, 66-45, at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

The Huskies were without Katie Lou Samuelson for the entire tournament, but cruised to another AAC title after defeating East Carolina and USF in the quarterfinals and semifinals.

Napheesa Collier got going early and often on her way to 25 points, 14 rebounds and three assists while hitting all seven of her free throws. The senior effortlessly created buckets and made plays up and down the floor as UConn made multiple runs to build up a lead Monday night.

By the end of the first quarter, Collier had eight points as the Huskies led 17-9 after 10 minutes despite struggling a bit towards the end. She kept it up and UConn opened up a big lead after a dominant second quarter which saw added contributions from Megan Walker and Crystal Dangerfield. The Huskies took a 39-15 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Dangerfield finished with 12 points and six assists, though she didn’t have her best shooting night, hitting just 25 percent (4-16) of her shots. Walker finished with nine points, four rebounds, and three assists but also only hit a quarter of her shots, going 3-12 from the field.

That buffer stayed through the third quarter and though UCF fought a bit in the fourth quarter it was smooth sailing from there to another Husky win, their 120th overall in AAC play.

Collier finished with 85 points across the AAC Tournament, earning the tournament Most Outstanding Player award unanimously as Dangerfield, Walker, and Christyn Williams earned All-Tournament team honors. The freshman posted 16 points, six rebounds, and four assists while her classmate Olivia Nelson-Ododa, who has emerged nicely as of late, finished with seven points and 11 rebounds.

Next up for the Huskies is the NCAA Tournament! UConn is expected to be a top seed in the Albany region. The brackets will be announced at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 18.