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UConn women’s basketball Huskies cruise past Purdue

November 25, 2018

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — Now that’s more like it.

One night after receiving a scare against St. John’s, the UConn women made things look easy. The second-ranked Huskies closed out their stay at the Paradise Jam on Saturday with a laugher, an 86-40 victory over Purdue at the University of Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center.

It was over by the end of the first quarter — if not earlier. The Huskies (5-0) roared out to a thunderous start behind Katie Lou Samuelson. The All-American poured in 13 of her 22 points in the first quarter, vaulting the Huskies in front, 28-8 after 10 minutes.

Napheesa Collier, the tournament MVP, contributed 19 points and 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season, while freshman Christyn Williams finished with a career-high 17 points.

This was nothing like Friday, which came with a slice of unexpected drama thanks to an inspired effort by St. John’s. This was like most other UConn victories, over before the crowd was even in its seats.

The Huskies improved to 9-0 all-time at the Paradise Jam spanning three different trips (2007 and 2012). They won all three games this year by an average of 32 points.

Despite playing their third game in three days, the Huskies displayed no signs of fatigue. They ran out in front early and didn’t stop, using a commanding 21-5 run to push their lead to 34 points. At halftime it was 47-18, and it only got worse from there for the Boilermakers.

With how the Huskies were shooting, Purdue stood no chance. They went 11-of-15 from the floor in the first quarter and finished shooting 61 percent, including 10-of-16 from 3.

Dominique Oden and Kayana Traylor finished with 12 points apiece to lead Purdue.

With another lopsided win in the books, the Huskies will shift their focus to next week — and it’s likely to be a challenging one. The Huskies will host No. 16 DePaul on Wednesday in Hartford, then visit No. 1 Notre Dame next Sunday in a rematch of last year’s Final Four.

dbonjour@ctpost.com

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