UConn women turn in dominant performance in rout of UCF

January 28, 2019

HARTFORD — If it was up to UCF, Sunday’s matchup with UConn would’ve resembled an anything-goes pickup game — a grind-it-out, knockdown slog that would’ve been low on style points but high on drama.

Turns out, it was anything but that.

The third-ranked Huskies managed to play at their pace, making a difficult challenge for UCF borderline impossible. The Knights had no chance to run with the Huskies, and it showed.

UConn authored a dominant performance against UCF, routing the Knights 93-57 at the XL Center before a packed crowd of 12,139.

The Huskies ran — literally and figuratively — out to a fast start. They were remarkably efficient on offense, hitting 21 of their first 26 shots, and aggressive on defense. UCF committed 19 turnovers, including 15 in the first half.

UCF, which began the day as one of the last two remaining unbeatens in AAC play, trailed 61-36 at halftime. During that stretch, the Huskies (18-1, 7-0) shot 71 percent, hitting 22 shots on 14 assists.

The Huskies were balanced on offense, as four starters scored in double-figures. Forward Napheesa Collier posted 23 points and nine rebounds, while Megan Walker had 21 points and a career-best 11 rebounds. Crystal Dangerfield and Katie Lou Samuelson finished with 17 and 15 points, respectively.

It was a dominant performance, one that the Huskies hope to carry into Thursday’s tilt at No. 4 Louisville. The Huskies could jump in the Associated Press poll Monday, as No. 1 Notre Dame lost to North Carolina 78-73 on Sunday.

Kayla Thigpen led the Knights (17-3, 6-1) with 14 points, while Nyala Shuler added 13 points.

The Huskies finished shooting 51.6 percent from the floor, including 7-of-24 from 3.

dbonjour@ctpost.com; @DougBonjour

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