UConn women coast past Houston in AAC opener

January 6, 2019

HOUSTON — All is back to normal for UConn.

The top-ranked Huskies took care of Houston Sunday, easing past the Cougars 81-61 at the newly renovated Fertitta Center to begin American Athletic Conference play.

This was a return to normalcy for the 11-time national champions, who three days earlier saw their 126-game regular season winning streak end in a 68-57 loss to No. 8 Baylor.

With the win, the Huskies (12-1) improved to 102-0 all-time in AAC play since 2013-14. Remarkably 101 of those wins have come by double-digits.

The Huskies used a strong, balanced effort to topple the Cougars. All five starters scored in double-figures, led by Katie Lou Samuelson with 19 points and nine rebounds and Napheesa Collier with 18 points.

UConn took control after a tightly contested first quarter, outscoring Houston 27-9 in the second to extend a three-point lead to 51-30 at halftime. The Huskies hit 9-of-12 shots in the second.

Forward Octavia Barnes scored 15 points to lead Houston, which dropped to 6-8 on the season.

It was not the cleanest effort by the Huskies, though their edge in talent was apparent. The Huskies led for all but one minute and 43 seconds despite committing a whopping 18 turnovers.

The Huskies led by as many as 29 points (77-48).

dbonjour@ctpost.com; @DougBonjour

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