Huskies rout Temple 106-45, win 77th straight at home
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Juniors Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier have played 101 games for UConn and have won 100 of them.
Samuelson scored 27 points as the Huskies continued to roll through their American Athletic Conference schedule Sunday with a 106-45 rout of Temple.
Kia Nurse added 16 points for UConn (26-0, 13-0), which put six players in double figures. Collier finished with 12 points and Azura Stevens added 11. Gabby Williams and Megan Walker each had 10.
“That’s pretty amazing to be a part of that (100 wins),” Samuelson said. “But we still have things we want to accomplish as a class, specifically this year. So, rather than focusing on the past, we want to see what else we can do.”
Next up would be a 24th regular-season conference title.
UConn has never lost an AAC regular-season or tournament game (95-0) and holds a two-game lead over South Florida (11-2) with three games to play this season.
Freshman Emani Mayo had 17 points for Temple (10-16, 2-11), which has lost four in a row and 11 of 12, while often starting four freshmen.
“They’re playing harder; they’re understanding; they’re more comfortable and that’s probably the biggest thing,” said Temple coach Tonya Cardoza. “We haven’t won a lot of games but hopefully it’s going to help in the future, the experience that they’ve gained.”
Gabby Williams hit a layup on the Huskies’ first possession and UConn never trailed. Williams had eight of her 10 points in the first five minutes, capped by another layup that made it 15-3 and forced a Temple timeout.
Samuelson had 11 points in the first 10 minutes, and UConn led 32-13 after one quarter. She finished 9 of 11 from the field and hit four of her five shots from 3-point range.
A layup and free throw by Azura Stevens gave Connecticut a 29-point lead late in the second period, and the Huskies led 55-26 at the half.
UConn shot 61 percent from the floor while holding Temple to 15 baskets on 63 shots (24 percent).
“Our offense, a lot of times, gets its start from the defensive end,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “It’s harder and harder to get kids to concentrate (on defense) for that long. But I’m kind of happy with where we are. We don’t play much zone and even that looked good.”
Temple: Tanaya Atkinson came into the game averaging 22 points and nine rebounds. She was held to five points and two boards, after scoring 15 points against UConn last month in a 113-57 loss in Philadelphia.
UConn: The 100 wins in 101 games for the junior class ties an NCAA record for the fewest games it has taken any class to reach 100 wins — a record shared with three other UConn classes, including the current senior class of Gabby Williams and Kia Nurse.
The win was UConn’s 77th straight at home. The Huskies are 167-13 at XL Center and have won 91 of their last 94 games in their off-campus arena, including all six games this season.
With the win over Cardoza, Auriemma improved to 36-0 against former players or assistant coaches. Cardoza spent 14 seasons on the bench next to Auriemma, but said she’s not sure any of his proteges know what it will take to beat their mentor.
“It’s going to take a lot,” she said. “Maybe the flu, if everyone (on UConn) gets sick maybe that might do it. I really don’t know.”
Temple: The Owls return home to host Cincinnati.
UConn: The Huskies leave on their final trip of the regular season, with games at Tulane on Wednesday and SMU next Saturday.