Tampa, FL — The No. 1 ranked UConn Huskies raced through another blowout victory with a mind-blowing 100-49 domination of the South Florida Bulls at the Sun Dome on Saturday night.
The Huskies (13-0, 3-0 American Athletic Conference) ran the show from the very start, scoring two three-pointers within the first 30 seconds of tip off. South Florida (12-4, 2-1 AAC) tried to make a comeback halfway through the first quarter, but the Huskies weren’t letting up. UConn went on a nine-point run to take a double-digit lead.
South Florida’s Laia Flores swished a nice three within the last 5 seconds of the first to regain some much-needed confidence for the Bulls, who trailed UConn 33-11 going into the second quarter.
The double-digit lead didn’t matter to the Huskies though. UConn came out with just as much momentum and continued to run the ball one step ahead of South Florida. There was no need to dribble the ball for Napheesa Collier, who was unstoppable with the ball, leading the Huskies with 12 points in the first half.
Collier was followed by Katie Samuelson and Azura Stevens, who both closed the half out with nine points. South Florida’s Laia Flores lead the Bulls with seven.
At the end of the half, South Florida head coach Jose Fernandez gave a reassuring, yet harsh review of his team’s performance.
“I think we have a pretty good basketball team,” Fernandez said. “But for us to be successful, the ball has to go in the basket, and we didn’t defend and go to the glass as we usually do. For us to have a chance, we can’t shoot like that.”
UConn went on a seven-point run to kick off the third, out-scoring the Bulls 26-12 in the quarter. But once again, the scoreboard didn’t matter to them. They continued to play with the same energy and give the same effort from start to end of the game.
UConn sophomore forward Kyla Irwin pulled down an offensive rebound with 25 seconds left which resulted in Molly Bent knocking down a triple with 12 seconds remaining in the game. Bent’s three-pointer brought UConn to triple digits as the final buzzer went off in favor of her team, 100-49.
Napheesa Collier led the Huskies with her fourth double-double on the season, scoring 25 points and 11 rebounds. Katie Lou Samuelson added 15 points despite playing most of the game in foul trouble, while Azura Stevens added 15 points off the bench. Alyssa Rader led the Bulls with eight points and six rebounds.
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma talked after the game about his team’s consistent work ethic, explaining that no matter what the scoring margin is, they’re going to play the same way.
“You know you say Kia diving on a loose ball when I think we were up 30 at the time,” Coach Auriemma said.
“That’s kind of just what we do. We don’t really play to the scoreboard.”
Undefeated UConn travels back home to host the University of Central Florida next Tuesday to take on the Knights and attempt to continue their winning streak. South Florida (12-4) matches up against Temple (8-5) next Wednesday.
Posted by Swish Appeal Staff on Saturday, January 6, 2018