Carl Adamec

Nov 20, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Louisiana State Tigers guard Chloe Jackson (0) looks to pass the ball against Connecticut Huskies guard Tierney Lawlor (20) during the game at Maravich Assembly Center. Connecticut Huskies won 76-53. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Louisiana State Tigers guard Chloe Jackson (0) looks to pass the ball against Connecticut Huskies guard Tierney Lawlor (20) during the game at Maravich Assembly Center. Connecticut Huskies won 76-53. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

STORRS, Conn. -- Tierney Lawlor isn't hard to find on the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's bench.

She often finds herself in a crouch, much in the way coach Geno Auriemma did in his much younger days. She calls out the offense or defense in the blink of an eye after Auriemma does, though with 144 games on the Huskies' sideline she probably knows what the calls will be before the hall-of-fame coach makes them official.

When the Huskies huddle after the starting lineups are introduced, she -- the soft-spoken one -- is the one doing all the talking.

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 (Steven Branscombe)
(Steven Branscombe)

STORRS, Conn. -- Saniya Chong has picked up the pace and is making up for lost time as her time with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team begins to wind down.

The Huskies' guard enters Saturday's Senior Day game against Memphis at Gampel Pavilion (SNY, 4 p.m.) having played at least 30 minutes in 13 consecutive games, including all but 22 seconds of top-ranked UConn's 90-45 rout of No. 23 Temple Wednesday night at the XL Center. In her first 122 career games, Chong reached the 30-minute plateau seven times.

There may be no rest for the weary but she knows there's only, at most, about five weeks and 11 games remaining...

Tags: Saniya Chong, Tierney Lawlor, Carl Adamec
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Feb 22, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams (15) reacts after a basket by guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) against the Temple Owls in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Feb 22, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams (15) reacts after a basket by guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) against the Temple Owls in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

HARTFORD, Conn. - Gabby Williams couldn't recall whether she scored 1,000 points in her injury-shortened scholastic career at Reed High in Sparks, Nevada.

When the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's junior forward reached the plateau with 3:35 left in the third quarter of top-ranked UConn's 90-45 win over No. 23 Temple at the XL Center Wednesday night, she wasn't aware of the milestone even though teammate Napheesa Collier knew exactly what was going on.

"I had no idea," Williams said. "Pheesa was trying to tell me on the court and I had no idea what she was saying. They told me when I went and sat on the bench."

Williams finished with 15 points and her career total stands at 1,003. She is the 43rd member of the 1,000-point club.

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams (15) and guard Kia Nurse (11) and guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) and guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) sit on the bench during the second half against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Raymond Carlin III)
Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams (15) and guard Kia Nurse (11) and guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) and guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) sit on the bench during the second half against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Raymond Carlin III)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The tough part for women's basketball coaches in the American Athletic Conference for three years was dealing with Breanna Stewart. The easy part for them came in March when they voted the University of Connecticut star the league's Player of the Year.

Stewart has graduated to the professional ranks but the coaches she left behind face an even more difficult task than before when they cast their all-league ballots next week.

Dealing with the Huskies is still tough. Top-ranked UConn clinched its fourth straight league regular season title outright Wednesday night with a 90-45 rout of second place and No. 23 Temple before a lively crowd of 10,149 at the XL Center.

But who's the 2017 AAC Player of the Year? Is it the league's most competent scorer Katie Lou Samuelson? Is it the league's most consistent player Napheesa Collier? Is it the league's most complete player Gabby Williams?

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UConn-Temple Highlights 00:02:29
UConn routs No. 23 Temple at home, 90-45, for its 102nd straight win.

HARTFORD, Conn. -- If the University of Connecticut women's basketball team gave the rest of the American Athletic Conference hope with its narrow escape at Tulane Saturday night, it made a statement to the opposite on Wednesday night.

Sophomore Napheesa Collier had a career-high 31 points, shooting 13-for-14 from the floor, to go along with 13 rebounds and three blocked shots as the top-ranked Huskies clinched their fourth consecutive AAC regular season title with a 90-45 rout of No. 23 Temple before an enthusiastic crowd of 10,149 at the XL Center.

"We shouldn't have put ourselves in that position in the first place," said UConn junior Gabby Williams, who became the 43rd member of UConn's 1,000-point club. "But we did. We have to get back in that momentum swing where we're only going up. At this point of the season we can't afford to have any letdowns."

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Feb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma looks on against the Tulane Green Wave during the first half at Devlin Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)
Feb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma looks on against the Tulane Green Wave during the first half at Devlin Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Last season, the University of Connecticut women's basketball program arranged a homecoming game for Breanna Stewart at Colgate. Next season, homecoming games for junior guard Kia Nurse (versus Duquesne in Toronto) and sophomore guard Katie Lou Samuelson (at UCLA) are set.

But what about Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma, who was born in Montella, Italy, on March 23, 1954?

That's on the schedule, too. The Huskies will travel to Italy for 11 days in August. It will be their fifth visit to Europe since 1994.

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they takes on the Baylor Bears at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they takes on the Baylor Bears at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. - There are 11 national championship banners proudly on display in the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's practice facility.

But nowhere in the Werth Family Champions Center gymnasium where the Huskies work out is any mention of the 22 regular season league titles (19 Big East, three American Athletic Conference) that they have won since 1989. Don't think for a second, though, that winning a championship isn't important to them. 

Top-ranked UConn can wrap up its fourth consecutive AAC regular season title outright Wednesday night when it hosts No. 23 Temple at the XL Center in Hartford (SNY, 7 p.m.).

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Jan 28, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) drives the ball against Houston Cougars guard Chyanne Butler (1) in the first half at XL Center. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 28, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) drives the ball against Houston Cougars guard Chyanne Butler (1) in the first half at XL Center. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

STORRS, Conn. - Geno Auriemma says plenty to Napheesa Collier in his role as coach of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

But one thing he never has to tell her is to play harder. That's a lesson the sophomore forward took to heart from her parents, Sarah and Gamal, as a youngster whether she was involved in basketball, softball, baseball, soccer and track and field.

"That started really early," Collier said. "I started playing soccer when I was like four years old. My parents really drilled it into me early that it doesn't matter if you are good or not, you have to give maximum effort."

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 (AP)
(AP)

Carl Adamec, SNY.TV:

STORRS, Conn. -- There will never be a 100-game winning streak (or whatever number the streak ends at) banner in Gampel Pavilion as long as Geno Auriemma is the University of Connecticut women's basketball coach.

While there was a championship feel Monday night following the Huskies' 100th consecutive win, no title was on the line. With March two weeks away, 100 percent of their attention is on continuing their championship reigns.

That's how you put up a banner at Gampel Pavilion. 

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Saniya Chong, Carl Adamec
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 (David Butler II (USA Today))
(David Butler II (USA Today))

Crystal Dangerfield has shown that she can be a big-game player for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

What the Huskies need the freshman point guard to be as they approach March and the postseason is an every-game player.

With starting guard Kia Nurse struggling to move with a right ankle injury Monday night, coach Geno Auriemma turned to Dangerfield and she responded with 30 minutes of solid play. She finished with five points, seven assists, and a steal as No. 1 UConn made it 100 straight wins by beating sixth-ranked South Carolina 66-55 at sold-out Gampel Pavilion.

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. -- Breanna Stewart was sitting maybe 20 feet away from where she would have been standing a year ago.

So close, yet so far.

The three-time national Player of the Year was part of the first 75 games of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's record winning streak. Monday night she was a spectator at Gampel Pavilion for the first time since her senior year of high school and she watched the top-ranked Huskies make it 100 in a row with a 66-55 win over No. 6 South Carolina.

"It was very important to me to be here," Stewart said. "If I was in the country, I was coming to this game...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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GEICO SportsNite: 100 wins 00:01:12
The UConn women's basketball team defeated South Carolina, 66-55, for its 100th win in a row.

 

STORRS, Conn -- University of Connecticut women's basketball royalty -- from Sue Bird to Maya Moore to Bria Hartley to Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck -- was seated right behind its bench.

And on this extraordinary Monday night at sold-out Gampel Pavilion, Gabby Williams was the queen of the court.

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma (L) looks on from the sideline against the Southern Methodist Mustangs in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma (L) looks on from the sideline against the Southern Methodist Mustangs in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. -- Whether it's the Game of the Century remains to be seen.

But it's a Game for a Century for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

The excitement has been building for a month since the Huskies broke their own NCAA record for longest winning streak. And while a circus atmosphere swirls around Gampel Pavilion, let sophomore forward Napheesa Collier put their approach to Monday night in the simplest of terms.

"We're not focusing on 100. We're focusing on South Carolina as a team," she said.

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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier dribbles up court against the Temple Owls during the first half at The Liacouras Center. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier dribbles up court against the Temple Owls during the first half at The Liacouras Center. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. -- Napheesa Collier won't have to look far to see some familiar faces on the South Carolina sideline Monday night when the top-ranked University of Connecticut women's basketball team hosts the No. 6 Gamecocks at sold-out Gampel Pavilion.

The Huskies' sophomore forward was a teammate of South Carolina junior forward A'ja Wilson on USA Basketball's gold-medal winning teams at the 2014 FIBA U-18 Americas Championship and the 2015 FIBA U-19 world championships. Team USA was coached at both events by South Carolina's Dawn Staley.

"A'ja is a real good player," Collier said. "She's tall and physical but she can also go on the perimeter and play. It's going to be a challenge."

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UConn runs streak to 99 00:02:15
The Huskies steamrolled over SMU, 83-41, to record their 99th consecutive win.

STORRS, Conn. -- Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams have been part of 100 wins with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

The Huskies' junior class reached the century mark Saturday thanks to the top-ranked Huskies' 83-41 American Athletic Conference victory over SMU before 10,012 at Gampel Pavilion.

"I didn't even think about that," Williams said. "Sometimes we get caught up with everything that's going on that we don't even think about how special the things that we're doing here are. I just feel blessed that we're in this position."

Now UConn and its junior class get to go for 100 in a row.

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 (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. -- Gabby Williams never backs down from a tough defensive assignment.

Fortunately, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's junior forward is always well prepared, thanks, in part, to Huskies' newcomer Azura Stevens.

"Z is one of those people who if you can guard her, you can guard anyone in the country pretty much," Williams said. "She's a huge threat inside with her height and the way she can finish. It's hard to close out on her because she has a foot on you. She makes things more competitive. You really have to step your game up when she's at practice."

Stevens is sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules, but she is a force at practice, whether it's scrimmaging against All-American candidates Williams or Napheesa Collier or doing drills with associate head coach Chris Dailey and assistant Marisa Moseley. During games, she does her best to support and encourage her teammates.

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 (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
(Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. - Katie Lou Samuelson played through flu-like symptoms against Maryland on Dec. 29 and scored 23 points in the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's win at the Xfinity Center in College Park.

The Huskies' sophomore guard may take a back seat to similar symptoms Saturday when No. 1 UConn takes on SMU in an American Athletic Conference game at Gampel Pavilion (SNY, 2 p.m.). Samuelson did not practice Friday and coach Geno Auriemma said the decision to play her or not will be made close to game time.

"She's been kind of under the weather for at least the last week or so," Auriemma said. "It wasn't getting any better. So, I don't know about tomorrow. I don't know what her situation will be tomorrow. It's certainly not going to be like regular business. Either she's not going to play at all or she's going to play some minutes. That will be depending on how she feels at shootaround tomorrow.

"It's been a crazy winter as far as that stuff goes. There's a lot of stuff going around and it's been all over campus and everybody. She's been struggling with it for awhile. She's just run down."

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UConn blows by Cincinnati 00:02:23
The UConn women's basketball team notched its 98th straight win, crushing Cincinnati, 96-45.

Tamika Williams not only holds the single-season record for field-goal percentage with the University of Connecticut women's basketball program, the 2002 graduate and two-time national champion has the top four single-season marks.

But the former 2002 WNBA first-round draft pick by the Minnesota Lynx, now an assistant coach at Penn State, may seen her monopoly at the top come to an end courtesy of Napheesa Collier.

Collier hit all 10 of her shots from the floor Tuesday night and finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds, six assists to no turnovers, and five blocks before taking a seat for good with 11:11 to go. The top-ranked Huskies pushed their NCAA record overall winning streak to 98 and their NCAA record road winning streak to 36 with a 96-49 rout of Cincinnati in American Athletic Conference action before a crowd of 4,029 at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati.

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Connecticut Huskies guard Saniya Chong (12) dribbles against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Pinnacle Bank Arena. (Steven Branscombe)
Connecticut Huskies guard Saniya Chong (12) dribbles against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Pinnacle Bank Arena. (Steven Branscombe)

STORRS, Conn. -- Saniya Chong is getting a long look from her coaches due to the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's short bench. The Huskies' starting senior guard has had the opportunity to get plenty of fourth-quarter minutes with the game outcome decided.

Top-ranked UConn enters Tuesday night's American Athletic Conference road contest against Cincinnati at Fifth Third Arena (SNY, 7 p.m.) having trailed for 1:37 out of a possible 400 minutes in league play. It has an average margin of victory against AAC foes of 44.0 points.

But Chong knows she has to be as focused at the end as she is in the beginning. She wants to set a good example for her younger teammates and she knows that her coaches, particularly Geno Auriemma, are paying attention.

"Even when we're up a lot of points, the coaches and players will still get mad if we make a turnover or a mistake," Chong said. "We want to do in the game what we do in practice, make sure our offense runs smoothly and everything is smooth."

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 (David Butler II (USA Today))
(David Butler II (USA Today))

STORRS, Conn. -- Sometime next season, University of Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma should record his 1,000th career win. The top-ranked Huskies gave him No. 977 Sunday when they routed American Athletic Conference foe Tulsa, 96-50, at Gampel Pavilion.

Before his game, Auriemma reached out to fellow Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, who won his 1,000th game with the Syracuse men Saturday when the Orange defeated Virginia at the Carrier Dome (of note, 101 of Boeheim's wins have been vacated by the NCAA).

"I texted Jim and I said, 'That's a lot of wins.' And he goes, 'Yeah, you probably did that in 20 years.' I said, 'No, not quite, but almost,' " Auriemma said with a laugh...

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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UConn routs Tulsa, 96-50 00:02:35
Highlights from UConn's dominating performance over Tulsa.

STORRS, Conn. -- Napheesa Collier has not had three consecutive double-doubles in her still young career with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

She entered Sunday's American Athletic Conference game with Tulsa coming off back-to-back double-doubles against Houston and Temple. And at halftime against the Golden Hurricane she was two rebounds shy of a new personal record.

The sophomore forward didn't get there, though she was outstanding with 24 points, nine rebounds and three assists in the top-ranked Huskies' 96-50 rout of Tulsa before a crowd of 9,347 at Gampel Pavilion.

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STORRS, Conn. -- Breanna Stewart had 473 field-goal attempts during her senior season when she was national Player of the Year for the third time and led the University of Connecticut women's basketball team to its fourth straight national championship.

She remembers the one shot that was blocked.

Temple's Donnaizha Fountain earned some recognition a year ago when she came from behind Stewart and rejected her layup bid in the first half of a game in Philadelphia. Fountain then let everyone know about it with a version of Cam Newton's Superman celebration.
 
But when Fountain made a move into the lane during the second quarter of Wednesday night's game at the Liacouras Center, UConn sophomore Napheesa Collier was waiting. The American Athletic Conference's leader in blocked shots stuffed Fountain's bid back in her face, then raced down court and took an outlet pass from Natalie Butler for a layup that was part of her double-double effort of 25 points and 10 rebounds.

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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier and guard Saniya Chong celebrate a play against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier and guard Saniya Chong celebrate a play against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes/USA Today Sports Images)

STORRS, Conn. -- Only twice out of 38 games during her freshman year with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team did Napheesa Collier play at least 30 minutes.

As a sophomore, the only things that keep her off the floor are fouls and lopsided scores. The 29.5 minutes per game that the 6-foot-1 forward plays is third on the top-ranked Huskies behind Kia Nurse (32.6) and Katie Lou Samuelson (31.5).

If the St. Peters, Missouri native plays 33 minutes Sunday against American Athletic Conference foe Tulsa at Gampel Pavilion (SNY, 1 p.m.), she'll match her minutes total from a season ago in just 22 games.

Collier is not complaining. She still has plenty of gas in the tank.

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 (Scott Sewell)
(Scott Sewell)

There was one preseason poll in October that had the University of Connecticut women's basketball team on top. The American Athletic Conference coaches were unanimous in making the Huskies the favorite to win a fourth consecutive league regular season title.

There was hope among the coaches, though, that maybe the gap had closed between UConn -- which was 63-0 in AAC play at the start of the season -- and the best of the rest. South Florida and Temple were expected to give UConn its toughest challenges.

But in a two-week span, the top-ranked Huskies were up to those challenges -- at least the first time around. UConn buried the Bulls by 65 points at the XL Center in Hartford on Jan. 10. Then Wednesday night, the Huskies took a 34-point halftime lead and coasted to a 97-69 win over the Owls at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma coaches during the second half against the Temple Owls at The Liacouras Center. (Bill Streicher)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma coaches during the second half against the Temple Owls at The Liacouras Center. (Bill Streicher)

PHILADELPHIA -- They went their separate ways in 2014 when Louisville -- the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's rival in the Big East for eight years and American Athletic Conference for a season -- joined the Atlantic Coast Conference.

But after three years, the Huskies and Cardinals have found each other again and that is good news for the sport.

UConn and Louisville have agreed to a home-and-home series starting next season. When the contract is signed by the schools, the Cardinals will play in Connecticut in 2017-18 -- likely in January or February -- with the Huskies visiting the KFC Yum! Center in 2018-19.

"This was always kind of going to be in the works, and was always kind of going to happen," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Wednesday night after No. 1 UConn defeated Temple 97-69 in American Athletic Conference action at the Liacouras Center. "It took them a little bit longer to put together than we anticipated.

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UConn takes care of Temple 00:02:10
Full game highlights of the UConn women vs. Temple in a 97-69 victory.

PHILADELPHIA -- Geno Auriemma has always taken pride in the way his University of Connecticut women's basketball team plays on the road.

The hall of fame coach took pride in the way the Huskies played Wednesday night in setting a NCAA record for consecutive road wins.

Napheesa Collier had a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds and Katie Lou Samuelson added 24 points as No. 1 UConn rolled past Temple 97-69 in American Athletic Conference action before 4,371 at the Liacouras Center.

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GEICO SportsNite: Huskies roll 00:01:44
UConn women's basketball rolls over Houston, 91-42, to extend win their win streak to 95.

HARTFORD, Conn. -- It had not happened in six weeks.

When Chyanne Butler scored on a drive to give Houston a two-point lead with 3:43 gone off the clock Saturday, it marked the first time the University of Connecticut women's basketball team had trailed since Dec. 11 at Kansas State, a stretch of 439:42.

How did the Huskies respond?

UConn held Houston without a point for the next 9:30 while scoring 21 of its own. And the rout was on.

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Connecticut Huskies forward Morgan Tuck (3) speaks to the media after defeating the Syracuse Orange 82-51 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Brian Spurlock)
Connecticut Huskies forward Morgan Tuck (3) speaks to the media after defeating the Syracuse Orange 82-51 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Brian Spurlock)

Morgan Tuck can only watch now, but she could have been part of all the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's 94-game winning streak.

After earning her spot in the Huskies of Honor as a WBCA All-American and helping UConn to its fourth straight national championship last April, Tuck opted to leave with her original class of Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson and not use her final year of college eligibility. She was the third overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft by the Connecticut Sun.

If the Bolingbrook, Illinois native only knew then what she knows now.

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Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams drives the ball against Memphis Tigers forward Cheyenne Creighton in the first half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams drives the ball against Memphis Tigers forward Cheyenne Creighton in the first half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)

STORRS, Conn. -- Women's basketball fans from around the country are becoming familiar with the exploits of University of Connecticut junior forward Gabby Williams.

Forty-five minutes after the No. 1 UConn completed a 91-44 victory at East Carolina Tuesday night, the 1.56 million Twitter followers of ESPN analyst Jay Bilas learned a little more about Williams as well.

"UConn's Gabby Williams had 16 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals against ECU. Most complete player in college hoops," Bilas tweeted.

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Connecticut Huskies forward Gabby Williams (15) is greeted by teammates after coming out of the game during the second half against the East Carolina Pirates at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. (James Guillory)
Connecticut Huskies forward Gabby Williams (15) is greeted by teammates after coming out of the game during the second half against the East Carolina Pirates at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. (James Guillory)

When the University of Connecticut women's basketball team became a contender in the Big East in the late 1980s, coach Geno Auriemma had a theory on what it would take to get the Huskies over the top.

To win a title in the 16-game, round-robin format, UConn needed to win all of its home games and go .500 on the road.

Those days, like their time in the Big East, are gone. But one of the things that separates the Huskies from most others is their ability to thrive when they travel.

Top-ranked UConn tied its own NCAA record of 34 consecutive road wins Tuesday night, pounding host East Carolina 91-44 in American Athletic Conference action at Minges Coliseum.

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 (Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports)
(Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports)

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Kia Nurse knows only one way to play.

So after the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's junior guard sprinted to catch the lead pass that would lead to the layup that would give her 1,000 career points, she sprinted back on defense.

What else would anyone expect?

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Saniya Chong, Carl Adamec
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UConn defeats ECU, 91-44 00:02:31
UConn remains perfect on the season with a 91-44 road victory against conference-rival East Carolina on Tuesday night.

Kia Nurse became the 42nd member of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's 1,000-point club Tuesday night.

The top-ranked Huskies stretched their winning streak to 94 and tied their own NCAA record with their 34th consecutive road win with a 91-44 American Athletic Conference rout of East Carolina before 2,880 at Minges Coliseum.

But the night belonged to Gabby Williams. The junior forward recorded her elusive first career triple-double as she finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists in 34 minutes. She became the fifth UConn player to accomplish it when she threw the ball inside to Natalie Butler, who hit the short jumper with 4:32 left.

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Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse shoots against Tulane Green Wave guard Shakira Harding in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse shoots against Tulane Green Wave guard Shakira Harding in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Coming off her second national championship with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team and her appearance with Team Canada in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Kia Nurse was named the American Athletic Conference preseason Player of the Year in October.

As the league schedule nears the midway point, it seems unlikely that the junior guard will get the postseason honor. But if one of the Huskies does win it, Nurse will have had played a role in making that happen.


Watch UConn take on East Carolina on Tuesday night on SNY, with coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.!


"Kia has been really solid for us," said sophomore guard Katie Lou Samuelson, who may be the leading candidate for the award. "She has had games where she hits a bunch of shots and scores a bunch of points, and then she has games where she contributes in different ways. She's been really good for us."

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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier, guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and guard Gabby Williams cheer after a basket during the fourth quarter of the game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Donald Reynolds Center. (Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier, guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and guard Gabby Williams cheer after a basket during the fourth quarter of the game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Donald Reynolds Center. (Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. -- By the time the NCAA tournament rolls around in March, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team could have three members of the 1,000-point club in its starting lineup.

And while the Huskies have the top-two scorers in the American Athletic Conference in Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier and two more -- Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams -- in the top 25, what they have shown throughout the first two months of the season is that their best offense is good defense.

Top-ranked UConn forced Tulane into 26 turnovers Sunday and turned them into 31 points in its 100-56 rout of the Green Wave in AAC action at Gampel Pavilion.

"When we got out defensively, we put a lot of pressure on them, got a lot of steals, and translated that into offense," Nurse said. "That's an energy giver for everyone on the team. It's something we take a lot of pride in...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Molly Bent, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Jan 22, 2017; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) shoots against Tulane Green Wave guard Courtnie Latham (33) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports  (David Butler II)
Jan 22, 2017; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) shoots against Tulane Green Wave guard Courtnie Latham (33) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. -- Katie Lou Samuelson registered her second straight 30-point game Sunday, and all the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's sophomore guard wanted to talk about was her career high in steals.

Talk about expanding her game.

After missing her first five shots from the floor, a steal and layup got Samuelson on the board for the first time. She would score all 32 of her points and make six of her seven steals in a 17:22 span of the second and third quarters as No. 1 UConn blasted Tulane 100-56 in American Athletic Conference action before an announced crowd of 9,873 at Gampel Pavilion for its 93rd consecutive win.

"She had a slow quarter, but the great thing was that she didn't let it get to her," UConn forward Napheesa Collier said. "Lou kept shooting and she got hot. And she had seven steals, that's crazy. I didn't know she had that many. It's hustle."

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Jan 14, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) dribbles on SMU Mustangs guard Morgan Bolton (12) during the second half at Moody Coliseum. Connecticut won 88-48, for their 91st consecutive victory an NCAA record. (Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 14, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) dribbles on SMU Mustangs guard Morgan Bolton (12) during the second half at Moody Coliseum. Connecticut won 88-48, for their 91st consecutive victory an NCAA record. (Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports)

Katie Lou Samuelson sat on a bench in the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's locker room with her head down and eyes straight to the floor.

No one could know what she was thinking at halftime of the Huskies' season opener at Florida State on Nov. 14. Samuelson's first-half effort against the Seminoles was unacceptable to Geno Auriemma, and the hall-of-fame coach let her know it in no uncertain terms.

No one else could.

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 (Rafael Suanes)
(Rafael Suanes)

Geno Auriemma still gets a chuckle when he hears or reads that the only reason his University of Connecticut women's basketball team wins as much as it does is because he gets all the best players.

So when the Huskies' coach was asked after Tuesday's 98-58 victory over host Tulsa at the Reynolds Center about UConn Class of 2017 recruits Megan Walker (6-foot-1 wing, Chesterfield, Virginia) and Mikayla Coombs (5-8 guard, Buford Georgia) being chosen to play in the McDonald's All-American Game, he acted surprised.

"That means 22 of them aren't coming? I mean, we're used to getting 20 out of the 24," Auriemma said in full sarcasm. "This year we're only getting two. Maybe we should be like everyone else and bemoan the fact that we don't have good players and somebody else has got them all."

The two 12-team rosters for the McDonald's Game were announced on Sunday. Walker and Coombs will be teammates with the East squad at the United Center in Chicago on March 29.

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Saniya Chong, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams (15) dribbles against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Pinnacle Bank Arena. (Steven Branscombe)
Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams (15) dribbles against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Pinnacle Bank Arena. (Steven Branscombe)

TULSA, Okla. -- Like she is on the court for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team, Gabby Williams is everywhere among the American Athletic Conference statistical leaders.

The junior forward ranks in the top five in the AAC with career best numbers in rebounds (fourth at 8.4 per game), assists (fourth at 5.1 per game), and steals (third at 2.9 per game).

How many other players in the league are in the top five in those three categories? None.

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Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams and Tulsa Golden Hurricane forward Kendrian Elliott go after a rebound as guard Ebony Parker watches during the first quarter at Donald Reynolds Center. (Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams and Tulsa Golden Hurricane forward Kendrian Elliott go after a rebound as guard Ebony Parker watches during the first quarter at Donald Reynolds Center. (Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports)

TULSA, Okla. -- As the doors at the Reynolds Center opened around an hour before Tulsa hosted the University of Connecticut women's basketball team Tuesday, a dozen members of a junior high team rushed in to get the front-row seats right behind the Huskies' bench. But since those seats are reserved for UConn family members and the team's support staff, they couldn't keep them.

Brynlee Brown, Madalyn Parks and Trinity Creekmore, teammates on an Oologah (Oklahoma) fifth-grade travel basketball team, had a better plan. Thanks to Brynlee's father, Josh, their front-row seats were near center court opposite the benches and they got to witness the Huskies' record 92nd consecutive win.

Little did they know while they were on the court leading No. 1 UConn to a 98-58 American Athletic Conference victory, Katie Lou Samuelson and Gabby Williams picked up some new fans.

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UConn wins 92nd straight 00:02:22
UConn rolls over Tulsa, 98-58, running their win streak to 92 games.

TULSA, Okla. -- Katie Lou Samuelson's day Tuesday did not start well.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's sophomore guard had a rough morning shootaround that was totally unacceptable to her coach.

"I thought she was less than average at shootaround today," coach Geno Auriemma said. "She couldn't make any shots. I gave her a hard time about it, too, and not in a good way. Sometimes, shooters have to be careful in that, one, they think every shot is going to go in. That's a positive. But, two, they're appalled when it doesn't go in. That's fine, too. But when you miss three, four in a row, that's not the ball's fault and not the rim's fault. Stop pouting and make another kind of play.

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Connecticut Huskies guard Saniya Chong waves at the crowd following the game against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies guard Saniya Chong waves at the crowd following the game against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports Images)

TULSA, Okla. -- There are so many streaks, it seems, that the University of Connecticut women's basketball team is a part of that it's hard to keep track of them all.

But there's one coach Geno Auriemma takes more seriously than 91 consecutive wins, four straight national championships, nine NCAA Final Four appearances in a row or any other run the Huskies have going. In his 32 years with the Huskies, every athlete who has played four years and completed her eligibility at UConn has received her degree. That's 100 percent, even better than his all-time leading winning percentage.

When Saniya Chong chose to attend UConn early in her senior year at Ossining (New York) High, that statistic played into her decision. It's difficult enough to for any student to graduate college in four years, let alone a student-athlete playing a sport at its highest level. 

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UConn Women's Win Streak 00:03:44
Gary Apple and Kara Wolters discuss the Huskies' current 88 game win streak and if they can break the record of 90 games.

Kara Wolters is one of 10 women's basketball players in history to win a NCAA national championship, a WNBA title and gold medals from the Olympics and FIBA world championships.

And while Knoxville, Tennessee, isn't the former University of Connecticut center's favorite place, her basketball legacy could find a permanent home there.

Wolters is among 12 finalists for the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2017, it was announced Monday. The Hall's board of directors will vote next week and the six-member class will be announced next month, either on Feb. 12 or 13.

The Women's Hall is located in Knoxville, home to the University of Tennessee. The Class of 2017 will be inducted June 10.

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Connecticut Huskies forward Gabby Williams makes a layup as UCF Knights forward Tolulope Omokore defends at CFE Federal Credit Union Arena. (Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies forward Gabby Williams makes a layup as UCF Knights forward Tolulope Omokore defends at CFE Federal Credit Union Arena. (Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports)

TULSA, Okla. -- The University of Connecticut women's basketball team ranks fourth in the American Athletic Conference in rebound margin through 16 games heading into Tuesday night's contest with Tulsa at the Reynolds Center (SNY, 8 p.m.).

But before anyone panics that the top-ranked Huskies' undersized post players -- 6-foot-1 sophomore Napheesa Collier and 5-foot-11 junior Gabby Williams -- aren't getting the job done, take a closer look at the numbers.

UConn (plus-5.2) trails South Florida (plus-12.0), Central Florida (plus-9.8) and SMU (plus-6.5) in rebound margin. But in head-to-head matchups since New Year's Day, the Huskies outrebounded UCF by six, USF by 11 and SMU by seven. They also had the edge in second-chance points against the three league rivals.

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma leaves the court following the game against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma leaves the court following the game against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)

DALLAS -- From his early days as the University of Connecticut women's basketball coach -- at least as far back to the Huskies' first Big East championship in 1989, Geno Auriemma has believed in destiny.

Perhaps the first sign that UConn was meant to break its own NCAA record for longest winning streak came in the first game of this season at Florida State on Nov. 14. The Huskies trailed the Seminoles by seven in the opening minute of the third quarter, their biggest second-half deficit of the streak. After a Napheesa Collier basket, Gabby Williams took a pass from Saniya Chong at the top of the key and nailed a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game. The two hoops were the start of a 14-2 run that put UConn in front as it survived a final shot by Imani Wright to get out of Tallahassee with a 78-76 victory.

Williams had not made a 3-pointer in her first two seasons at UConn, attempting one. She has misfired on the three she has tried since.

Still, there has to be more.

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Megan Walker has signed with UConn and will be a freshman next season. (Photo courtesy USA Basketball)
Megan Walker has signed with UConn and will be a freshman next season. (Photo courtesy USA Basketball)

Two years ago, Mikayla Coombs was sitting on the sidelines. The 5-foot-8 guard from Buford, Georgia, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in the first quarter of the first game of her sophomore season at Wesleyan School and she had season-ending surgery.

On Sunday, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's Class of 2017 was recognized as one of the top players in the country.

Coombs and fellow UConn signee Megan Walker (6-foot-1 wing, Chesterfield, Virginia) will be teammates on the East squad at the 2017 McDonald's All-American Game to be played March 29 at the United Center in Chicago.

Twenty-four players were selected for the 16th annual girls game. UConn Class of 2017 signees Lexi Gordon and Andra Espinoza-Hunter were nominated to take part.

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Jan 14, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma and guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) and center Natalie Butler (51) clap on the bench during the second half against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. Connecticut won 88-48, for their 91st consecutive victory an NCAA record. (Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 14, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma and guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) and center Natalie Butler (51) clap on the bench during the second half against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. Connecticut won 88-48, for their 91st consecutive victory an NCAA record. (Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)

DALLAS -- It was a year ago this weekend that recruits Lexi Gordon and Christyn Williams made their way to Storrs to watch the University of Connecticut women's basketball team in action.

Gordon (who signed with UConn in November) and Williams (one of the top players in the Class of 2018) were together again at Moody Coliseum Saturday as the top-ranked Huskies won their NCAA-record 91st consecutive game by defeating SMU 88-48 in American Athletic Conference play.

The Huskies lost All-Americans Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck to graduation. On Saturday, their version of a Big Three -- Katie Lou SamuelsonNapheesa Collier and Gabby Williams -- came up big as they combined for 66 points, 32 rebounds, 11 assists, nine blocked shots and eight steals. It's a different team, but. ...

"As far as the way they play team ball, there is no difference," Christyn Williams said. "They play to win. Coach A [Geno Auriemma] is an amazing coach and they play the way that he wants them to."

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UConn dominates in historic win 00:02:13
Katie Lou Samuelson scored a game-high 28 points as the Huskies beat SMU for their 91st consecutive victory.

DALLAS -- What the University of Connecticut women's basketball team does if it earns the opportunity to return to this city and the American Airlines Center for the NCAA Final Four in a bit over two months will determine what it's best remembered for.

But the Huskies have their piece of history that cannot be taken away.

Katie Lou Samuelson had 28 points while Gabby Williams (19 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, five steals) and Napheesa Collier (19 points, 16 rebounds, six blocked shots) recorded double-doubles Saturday as the top-ranked Huskies won their NCAA record 91st straight game with an 88-48 American Athletic Conference victory over SMU before 3,878 at Moody Coliseum.

"It's a cool accomplishment but there's a lot more we want to do this season," Samuelson said. "I'm sure we'll look back at it more later than right now. Maybe at the end of the year, a couple of years ..

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GEICO SportsNite: Huskies record 00:03:54
Geno Auriemma and his players reflect on their monumental winning streak, the night before they go for the all-time record.

DALLAS -- Eighteen players have taken the floor for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team during its current 90-game winning streak.

Only two -- juniors Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams -- have played in all 90 games.

Nurse and Williams were part of the Huskies' historic run to an unprecedented four consecutive national championships. Now they -- along with seniors Saniya Chong and Tierney Lawlor -- are going for a piece of history they can own.

Top-ranked UConn will go for a NCAA-record 91st consecutive win Saturday when it takes on SMU in an American Athletic Conference game at Moody Coliseum (SNY, 3 p.m.).

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The Connecticut Huskies celebrate their 90th win as they took on the South Florida Bulls at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)
The Connecticut Huskies celebrate their 90th win as they took on the South Florida Bulls at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)

STORRS, Conn. -- Geno Auriemma usually hates the comparisons that come up between his University of Connecticut women's basketball team and UCLA's legendary men's teams of the 1960s and 1970s.

Mention that Auriemma's Huskies have topped the Bruins' 88-game winning streak not once but twice? Say how Auriemma has won more national championships (11) than John Wooden? Just don't go there.

But maybe there's a UCLA comparison that Auriemma buys into.

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Guess the longest streaks... 00:02:01
Can you guess the longest winning streaks in sports?

HARTFORD, Conn. -- After winning the 2015 national championship game, Breanna Stewart said the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's loss to Stanford four months earlier was the best thing that happened to it.

The Cardinal's 88-86 overtime victory at Maples Pavilion on Nov. 17, 2014, ended a Huskies' 47-game winning streak. UConn has not lost since, matching its own NCAA mark with 90 straight wins with Tuesday night's 102-37 rout of American Athletic Conference foe South Florida.

The Huskies will look to establish a new record with win No. 91 Saturday when they take on SMU at Moody Coliseum in Dallas (SNY, 3 p.m.).

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