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Katie Lou Samuelson

Huskies are ready to face Towson 00:02:29
UConn is in unfamiliar territory as a number two seed in the NCAA tournament, but the Huskies aren't worried in the slightest about it.

For the first time since 2006, the UConn women's basketball team enters the NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed.

Geno Auriemma, Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson talk about that and more ahead of their Friday matchup against No. 15 Towson in the first round.

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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and forward Napheesa Collier react after a play against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the second half at XL Center (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and forward Napheesa Collier react after a play against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the second half at XL Center (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS -- Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson had a perfect start to their college career, literally. As freshmen, the Huskies went undefeated and won the program's 11th national championship. 

Since then, the two classmates have done plenty of winning -- eight conference titles, helping build a 111-game win streak and reaching three straight Final Fours -- but they're missing one thing: a second national championship.

Fair or not, careers are judged at UConn by how many rings a player wins. 

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Katie Lou Samuelson gets injured 00:01:29
On Senior Day, Katie Lou Samuelson had to leave the first half against UConn after diving for a loose ball with an apparent back injury.

UConn women's basketball ruled senior Katie Lou Samuelson out for the AAC Tournament this weekend due to a back injury suffered last Saturday against Houston. The injury happened when Samuelson dove for a loose ball and collided with an opposing player. She tried to return in the second half, but quickly checked out.

In the Huskies' one game without Samuelson against USF, the offense struggled to get going for the first 30 minutes. UConn scored a season-low 25 points in the first half and needed a late push in the fourth quarter to get the win over the Bulls.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa got the start in Samuelson's place last game, and is a good bet to start in the tournament. Kyla Irwin also started two games back in December when Megan Walker missed a pair of contests with strep throat, but hasn't played much recently. Both would be options if head coach Geno Auriemma wants to replace Samuelson with another big, but if he decides to go small, Molly Bent or Mikayla Coombs could see their first career start.

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Points in the Paint: Samuelson 00:00:26
UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson dominates in the lane to give UConn a huge advantage in the paint against Houston, presented by Ring's End.

UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson dominates in the lane to give UConn a huge advantage in the paint against Houston, presented by Ring's End.

Watch the video above.

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Mar 2, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; UConn Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson (33) is injured during a play against he Houston Cougars in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 2, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; UConn Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson (33) is injured during a play against he Houston Cougars in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS -- In the second half of the UConn women's basketball's game on Saturday against Houston, senior Katie Lou Samuelson went diving for a loose ball and collided with a opposing player. Samuelson immediately rolled over in pain and stayed down on the court as Gampel Pavilion went dead silent.

She eventually walked off the court under her own power before heading into the locker room with team trainer Janelle Francisco.

"I don't know exactly what happened," Samuelson said on the play that caused the injury. "I just got hit where my muscle just spasmed and tightened up right after."

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UConn wins on Senior Day, 83-61 00:02:20
UConn won 83-61 vs. Houston, but the bigger worry is the health of senior Katie Lou Samuelson. The Huskies are regular season AAC Champs.

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Napheesa Collier celebrated senior day by scoring 29 points and grabbing nine rebounds to lead No. 2 UConn over Houston 83-61 on Saturday.

Fellow senior Katie Lou Samuelson scored 11 points for UConn (27-2, 15-0 American) before injuring her back diving for a loose ball in the second quarter. She returned to start the second half but struggled to run and was pulled after the first minute.

Jasmyne Harris, Octavia Barnes and Dorian Branch each had 14 points for Houston (15-13, 9-6), which opened a 17-7 lead and led by a point after the first quarter.

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier
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Katie Lou Samuelson gets injured 00:01:29
On Senior Day, Katie Lou Samuelson had to leave the first half against UConn after diving for a loose ball with an apparent back injury.

Katie Lou Samuelson was being honored on Saturday as part of UConn's Senior Day, but the guard suffered a scare late in the first half. 

Samuelson went down in pain, grabbing her back and had to leave the game. 

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma told SNY's Justine Ward at halftime that Samuelson was experiencing back spasms. 

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UConn routs Memphis 102-45 00:01:48
Katie Lou Samuelson went 7-8 in the first half and that's all the Huskies needed to easily roll past Memphis in their 102-45 win.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) There is not much UConn All-American Katie Lou Samuelson can't do, and that apparently that includes coaching the Huskies.

Samuelson scored a season-high 32 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out seven assists as No. 3 UConn routed Memphis 102-45 on Wednesday to remain unbeaten in six seasons of American Athletic Conference play.

She also asked coach Geno Auriemma if she could run the huddle during a fourth-quarter timeout with UConn's second unit on the floor.

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Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma speaks during a press conference before a regional semifinal game against Duke in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament Friday, March 23, 2018, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma speaks during a press conference before a regional semifinal game against Duke in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament Friday, March 23, 2018, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

STORRS - Geno Auriemma isn't all that concerned about March right now. Not that it's not important. When you've won as often as UConn women's basketball has, the overall success of a season is determined by what happens in March, but Auriemma has bigger things to worry about right now.

"There's too many things we have to work on short-term to think about where we're going to be long-term," he said.

This is different from the past five seasons where the UConn team that showed up for the preseason was pretty much the same once March came around. There weren't a whole lot of questions that still needed to be answered at this point in the season...

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier
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UConn easily beats SMU 79-39 00:01:53
The Huskies never had a worry as they beat SMU 79-39 behind good defense and transition basketball.

STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- No. 3 UConn has been working in practice on its pressure defense, hoping to force a few more turnovers and get a few more baskets in transition.

That practice paid off Wednesday night.

Napheesa Collier scored 22 points and Katie Lou Samuelson added 21 to lead the Huskies to a 79-39 rout of SMU, the team's 107th straight victory over an American Athletic Conference opponent.

 

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UConn beats Temple, 88-67 00:01:41
Napheesa Collier led UConn to a 88-67 win over Temple on Saturday, as the Huskies improved to 16-1 on the season.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Napheesa Collier had a season-high 30 points and 12 rebounds and Crystal Dangerfield set a career high with 26 points to lead No. 2 UConn to an 88-67 victory over Temple on Saturday.

The game originally was scheduled for Sunday but pushed up a day due to the forecasted winter storm for the Northeast.

The Huskies (16-1, 5-0 American) have won five in a row since their lone loss, 68-57 at Baylor on Jan. 3. UConn remained undefeated in league play since joining the American Athletic Conference, improving to 106-0.

 

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Geno Auriemma on win over Tulane 00:01:49
UConn women's basketball head coach Geno Auriemma liked how team played defensively but pinpoints how they didn't shoot well against Tulane.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Megan Walker has been playing well this past month.

On Wednesday night, she single-handedly outscored Tulane by a point in No. 2 UConn's 75-33 rout. Walker scored a career-best 34 points in the easy victory.

"I think since we got back from Christmas, Megan has had a different approach to the game," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "Her effort is different. Her intensity level is different. Just her whole mannerisms are different. It's obviously showed up in the way she's played in games. These are the kind of games where you just need one person to step up because everyone else is struggling to make any kind of shot. Today, it was her." Read More

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Samuelson leads UConn to win 00:01:38
Katie Lou Samuelson led UConn with 19 points as the Huskies defeated South Florida, 63-46, at Gampel Pavilion.

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Katie Lou Samuelson scored 19 points to reach the 2,000-point milestone and No. 3 UConn overcame a sluggish start to beat South Florida 63-46 on Sunday.

Megan Walker added 14 points and Napheesa Collier had 12 for the Huskies (14-1, 3-0 American), who have never suffered a conference loss in the AAC.

Samuelson is the 10th UConn player to reach 2,000 points...

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Nov 11, 2018; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) and teammates react after a basket against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated Ohio State 85-53. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Nov 11, 2018; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) and teammates react after a basket against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated Ohio State 85-53. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) UConn coach Geno Auriemma has warned his players about expecting every game to be a blowout.

That's what the second-ranked Huskies ran into Friday night, having to rally in the fourth quarter against pesky St. John's for a 65-55 victory at the Paradise Jam tournament.

Katie Lou Samuelson scored 19 points, Napheesa Collier added 17 points and Crystal Dangerfield 14 for UConn (4-0), which survived a challenge from the Red Storm to extend their regular-season winning streak to 119 games.

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Feb 26, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Seniors Connecticut Huskies forward Gabby Williams (15) and guard Kia Nurse (11) high-five fans after defeating the South Florida Bulls at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Feb 26, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Seniors Connecticut Huskies forward Gabby Williams (15) and guard Kia Nurse (11) high-five fans after defeating the South Florida Bulls at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Gabby Williams has picked up her share of honors as a member of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

But the Senior CLASS Award she got on Thursday figures to find a special place in the trophy case of her Sparks, Nevada, home.

"It means a lot to me because it's something that's beyond basketball, which we don't always get recognized for," Williams said. "It's too bad it gets lost because there are so many athletes doing so many good things. Sometimes athletes struggle with showing that they're more than athletes in a world that perceives them as just athletes. They're capable of more and should be allowed to be capable of so much more. That needs to be recognized more..."

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut Huskies Kia Nurse drives the ball against Saint Francis (Pa.) Red Flash guard Leah Morrow in the first half of the women's NCAA Tournament first round game at Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies Kia Nurse drives the ball against Saint Francis (Pa.) Red Flash guard Leah Morrow in the first half of the women's NCAA Tournament first round game at Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Katie Lou Samuelson was coming off one of the best sophomores seasons for any University of Connecticut women's basketball player and set her expectations even higher for her junior year.

But in the second quarter of the second game of the season on Nov. 17, against California at Gampel Pavilion, Samuelson fell awkwardly after collision with the Bears' Mikayla Cowling and eventually limped off the court. She would miss four games with a left foot sprain. In January she would get a black left eye against Texas and injure her left ankle versus Tulsa, which cost her another game, and led her to joke that everything happened on her left side.

As the Huntington Beach, California, native heads into Monday night's NCAA tournament Albany Regional final against South Carolina, she and the top-seeded Huskies are all right.

Tags: Azura Stevens, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

ALBANY, N.Y. -- About two dozen media members with either cameras, microphones, or tape recorders were waiting for her inside the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's locker room Friday.

Then, in walked Azura Stevens, sporting her best and biggest smile.

"Why would I dread this?" Stevens said with a laugh.

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Katie Lou Samuelson's older sister, Karlie, had moved on to Stanford as she entered her junior year at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, California. It didn't take long for her to develop a family-like tie with one of the Monarchs' newcomers -- Jayda Adams.

The two will be together again Saturday but on different sidelines. Samuelson and the top-seeded University of Connecticut women's basketball face Adams and No. 5 Duke in a NCAA tournament Albany Regional semifinal at the Times Union Center.

"I love her. In high school I called her my little sister," Samuelson said. "When I was a junior, she was the only freshman on varsity. I saw her develop as a player at Mater Dei and I've watched her since she got to Duke. I'm happy for her and excited to see her."

Tags: Azura Stevens, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Napheesa Collier has 23 double-doubles in three seasons with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team, all via points and rebounds.

That number would be 24 to match her uniform if not for a mistake by the stat crew at Gampel Pavilion during last Saturday's NCAA tournament first-round game with Saint Francis of Pennsylvania. In the opening minute of the third quarter, Collier passed the ball out to Katie Lou Samuelson, who connected on a 3-pointer. Gabby Williams, however, was credited with the assist. Collier would finish the game with a career high nine assists, three better than her previous best.

"That's interesting," Collier said. "But I really don't care."

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Mar 4, 2018; Uncasville, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) is presented with the AAC player of the year award before the start of the quarterfinals of the women's AAC Conference Tournament against the Tulane Green Wave at Mohegan Sun Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 4, 2018; Uncasville, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) is presented with the AAC player of the year award before the start of the quarterfinals of the women's AAC Conference Tournament against the Tulane Green Wave at Mohegan Sun Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. -- Katie Lou Samuelson would always follow her older sisters, Bonnie and Karlie, to their youth basketball practices in Huntington Beach, California.

But even from her young age the baby of the family would follow her own path.

"I was the girlie one and it took me awhile to get into basketball," Samuelson said. "I was a cheerleader every year for Halloween. I wanted to be a cheerleader. Then I told my mom I wanted to be a gymnast. And she just went, 'No. No. I'm not even going to let you try.'

"I always played with my dolls and toys. I still always went to basketball practice but I would bring my dolls. I don't know when it became serious for me. But even if I didn't really want to do it, I did it."

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 (David Butler II )
(David Butler II )

No University of Connecticut women's basketball player was born the last time the Huskies missed the NCAA tournament Sweet 16, let alone the tournament at all.

On March 4, 1988, UConn walked off the court at Pittsburgh's Fitzgerald Field House following a Big East tournament quarterfinal loss to Boston College knowing its season was over.

The next 30 years have produced 30 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, 23 via automatic bids. The latest came Tuesday when the top-seeded Huskies rolled to their fifth straight American Athletic Conference tournament title with a 70-54 win over No. 2 South Florida at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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 (David Butler II )
(David Butler II )

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Napheesa Collier's 3-point basket with 4:37 remaining Tuesday didn't get the crowd of 7,501 at Mohegan Sun Arena -- the second largest to see an American Athletic Conference tournament final -- out of its seats.

The fans knew that the top-seeded University of Connecticut women's basketball team was already well on its way to a 70-54 win over No. 2 South Florida and its fifth straight AAC crown. But what they didn't know was Collier's trey made some Huskies' history.

The basket put the junior forward over the 1,500-point plateau for her career and made her the fourth player on her team with to reach that total joining classmate Katie Lou Samuelson (1,638), and seniors Kia Nurse (1,615) and Gabby Williams (1,510 after scoring 19 on Tuesday). It's the first time in program history that UConn has had four active 1,500-point scorers.

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut guard Katie Lou Samuelson (33) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht) (Karen Pulfer Focht/AP)
Connecticut guard Katie Lou Samuelson (33) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht) (Karen Pulfer Focht/AP)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Katie Lou Samuelson shared the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year award with Napheesa Collier a year ago.

While her name alone will be on the 2018 trophy, Samuelson was happy to share credit with all of her University of Connecticut women's basketball teammates Saturday morning after becoming the sixth in Huskies' history to win a conference's top individual honor multiple times.

"Even on our team we have a lot of deserving players that could be recognized for this as well," Samuelson said. "None of us would be in the position that we are as a team, as individuals, without each other. We've all had each other's backs and my teammates have supported me through everything...

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Jan 9, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Azura Stevens (23) reacts after a play against the UCF Knights in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 9, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Azura Stevens (23) reacts after a play against the UCF Knights in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Azura Stevens feels like she is playing her best ball of the season for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team, but knows she has to be even better if the Huskies are to reach all of their postseason goals.

"I have definitely not gotten there yet," Stevens said. "I think coming in at first it was pretty easy. It wasn't easy, but I kind of started off pretty well. Then I hit a wall. I'm really grateful to my team and my coaches for allowing me to go through that. I had to do a lot of maturing and growing up. They were really patient with me and continued to work with me.

"Now I think it's a confidence boost for myself going into the postseason sort of continuing to do things that I've worked on and being more in tune and in synch with my teammates. What better time for that to happen than right now with postseason play coming up. It feels really good to I guess be on the downward slope of that hill."

Tags: Azura Stevens, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut's Napheesa Collier (24), Katie Lou Samuelson (33), Azura Stevens (23) and Kia Nurse (11), UConn's starters, cheer for their teammates at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Memphis Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Hartford, Conn. UConn won, 97-49. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn)  (Stephen Dunn/AP)
Connecticut's Napheesa Collier (24), Katie Lou Samuelson (33), Azura Stevens (23) and Kia Nurse (11), UConn's starters, cheer for their teammates at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Memphis Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Hartford, Conn. UConn won, 97-49. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn) (Stephen Dunn/AP)

In order to beat the University of Connecticut women's basketball team, you have to play them. Central Florida gets to do it as a member of the American Athletic Conference.

"Every time we play them, I think our team understands them more," UCF second-year coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said following the Knights' 55-37 loss to the Huskies at CFE Arena in Orlando Wednesday night.

AAC newcomer Wichita State will get its first experience against No. 1 UConn Saturdaywhen the Huskies open a three-game homestand against the Shockers at the XL Center in Hartford (SNY, 1 p.m.). UConn has won 86 consecutive games against first-time opponents dating back to a loss to Georgia at Gampel Pavilion on Jan. 15, 1996.

Tags: Azura Stevens, Crystal Dangerfield, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Carl Adamec
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UConn Huskies remain undefeated 00:01:58
Gary Apple and Kara Wolters break down the highlights from the UConn women's basketball team's 55-37 win over UCF on Wednesday night.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Katie Lou Samuelson passes up 80-degree weather about as often as she passes up an open 3-point shot.

But the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's junior All-American and resident California girl was content to trade a warm winter night here for a wintry day in New England if it meant not getting on another plane for almost two weeks.

The top-ranked Huskies wrapped up another trip Wednesday night as Samuelson had 19 points, six rebounds, and five assists in a 55-37 American Athletic Conference win over Central Florida before an announced pro-UConn crowd of 6,155 at CFE Arena. They then headed home where winter and the first three-game homestand of the season awaits.

 

Tags: Azura Stevens, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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 (Jonathan Dyer)
(Jonathan Dyer)

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- There are times that Kia Nurse makes 3-point shots look like layups.

But how the senior guard looks on layups has UConn coach Geno Auriemma wanting to pull some of his hair out.

"Kia explodes to the basket but the ball comes off her hand like at her palm," Auriemma said Thursday night. "I'm like, 'You're on the (Canadian) Olympic team and that's how you shoot layups?' "

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier
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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier reacts with guard Gabby Williams after a play against the UCF Knights in the second half of the semifinals during the women's AAC Conference Tournament at Mohegun Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier reacts with guard Gabby Williams after a play against the UCF Knights in the second half of the semifinals during the women's AAC Conference Tournament at Mohegun Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Gabby Williams was looking forward to returning to Colonial Life Arena.

Having played here two years ago as a sophomore, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's senior All-American was confident she and her fellow upperclassmen with experience here could handle anything reigning national champion South Carolina and a sellout crowd of 18,000 could throw at them.

It proved to be even easier than she imagined...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier
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Feb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams (15) grands a rebound over Tulane Green Wave guard Shakira Harding (1) at Devlin Fieldhouse. The Huskies won 63-60. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)
Feb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams (15) grands a rebound over Tulane Green Wave guard Shakira Harding (1) at Devlin Fieldhouse. The Huskies won 63-60. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)

STORRS, Conn. -  Gabby Williams could laugh at the irony.

Tags: Azura Stevens, Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier
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UConn defeats Memphis 00:02:00
Highlights from UConn women basketball's 93-36 victory over Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Napheesa Collier scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and top-ranked Connecticut routed Memphis 93-36 Wednesday to remain undefeated.

UConn (19-0, 8-0 American Athletic Conference) trailed only briefly in the opening minutes before beating Memphis for the ninth time overall and second time this season.

The Huskies routed Memphis 97-49 when the Tigers visited Dec. 31. The venue changed, but not the final result with UConn winning in a more smothering fashion despite coach Geno Auriemma pulling all but one starter in the third quarter. The Huskies held Memphis to fewer points in each of the first three quarters.

Tags: Azura Stevens, Crystal Dangerfield, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier
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GEICO SportsNite: UConn 00:00:59
UConn defeated Temple on Sunday, 113-57, to move to 18-0 on the season. Megan Walker and Crystal Dangerfield discussed the big victory.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Kia Nurse scored 24 points and freshman Megan Walker added a career-best 22 to help No. 1 UConn rout Temple 113-57 on Sunday.

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Jan 3, 2018; Greenville, NC, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) goes to the basket past East Carolina Pirates forward Dominique Claytor (23) during the first half at Minges Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Jan 3, 2018; Greenville, NC, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) goes to the basket past East Carolina Pirates forward Dominique Claytor (23) during the first half at Minges Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

STORRS, Conn. -- Katie Lou Samuelson and Gabby Williams made it clear following the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's win at Texas Monday that the Huskies need their reserves to step up and lengthen the rotation.

Injuries to the All-American pair Thursday night may leave the bench players no choice. Samuelson re-injured her left ankle in the third quarter of the top-ranked Huskies' 78-60 American Athletic Conference win over Tulsa at Gampel Pavilion. Williams, meanwhile, appeared to aggravate a hip injury in the fourth quarter.

"We have been banged up but that's not an excuse for us at all," UConn All-American Napheesa Collier said. "When a player goes down, you're supposed to respond by playing harder and doing better. We're not doing that."

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma watches during the first quarter an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Connecticut won 78-53. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)
Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma watches during the first quarter an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Connecticut won 78-53. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)

STORRS, Conn. -- Geno Auriemma coached his 1,143rd game with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team Thursday night.

He has had more great memories than anyone. But the top-ranked Huskies' 78-60 American Athletic Conference win over Tulsa before an announced crowd of 7,477 at Gampel Pavilion he'll remember as one he would love to forget.

"If I could have it my way, I would give every person that came tonight their money back. That was the most disgraceful effort I've seen at Connecticut in the 32 years I've been here.

"It doesn't bother me anymore, I see this every day in practice. I'm beyond being bothered. Some days we just hide it better than others. But give Tulsa all the credit in the world. They made shots. They were able to take the ball where they wanted to take it. We won because we have All-Americans and they don't. That's the bottom line..."

Tags: Azura Stevens, Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier
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Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma watches during the first quarter an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Connecticut won 78-53. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)
Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma watches during the first quarter an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Connecticut won 78-53. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)

STORRS, Conn. -- Geno Auriemma coached his 1,143rd game with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team Thursday night.

He has had more great memories than anyone. But the top-ranked Huskies' 78-60 American Athletic Conference win over Tulsa before an announced crowd of 7,477 at Gampel Pavilion he'll remember as one he would love to forget.

"If I could have it my way, I would give every person that came tonight their money back. That was the most disgraceful effort I've seen at Connecticut in the 32 years I've been here.

"It doesn't bother me anymore, I see this every day in practice. I'm beyond being bothered. Some days we just hide it better than others. But give Tulsa all the credit in the world. They made shots. They were able to take the ball where they wanted to take it. We won because we have All-Americans and they don't. That's the bottom line..."

Tags: Azura Stevens, Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier
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 (Erich Schlegel)
(Erich Schlegel)

AUSTIN, Texas -- Katie Lou Samuelson had lost the battle, but at least she won the war.

And the University of Connecticut women's basketball team junior All-American had not lost her sense of humor Monday night after she finished with a game-high 19 points and a swollen left eye as the top-ranked Huskies held off No. 9 Texas 75-71 before a partisan announced crowd of 11,877 at the Frank Erwin Center.

"I just got a nice elbow," Samuelson said. "It got more swollen throughout the game. It's good right now. I think it looks pretty with all the colors."

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson warms up before the start of the game against the Oregon Ducks in the finals of the Bridgeport Regional of the women's 2017 NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson warms up before the start of the game against the Oregon Ducks in the finals of the Bridgeport Regional of the women's 2017 NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Katie Lou Samuelson's second bid in four days for her first career double-double with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team came up just short again, but the junior All-American's expanded game is giving her more paths to get it.

After missing a double-double by one rebound Sunday against Memphis, Samuelson came up one assist short Wednesday, finishing with 19 points and nine assists along with five rebounds and three steals in No. 1 UConn's 96-35 American Athletic Conference rout of East Carolina at Minges Coliseum.

"Since I've been here I've developed so many things in my game that I never had at all," Samuelson said. "I feel comfortable that I can impact the game in all kinds of different aspects. I don't need to every single game because of how versatile our team is. (Wednesday) I had the ball in my hands a lot and was trying to get it up the floor as quickly as I could and find my teammates. They were finishing well so that added up in assists."

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Carl Adamec
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UConn defeats East Carolina 00:02:06
Check out highlights from UConn women's basketball's 96-35 victory over East Carolina.

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Gabby Williams came from nowhere to the baseline and did a 2012 United States Olympic Trials-like high jump to save the ball to Kia Nurse. Then Nurse fired a pass over to an open Katie Lou Samuelson behind the arc.

With the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's bench already on its feet with the save and now jumping up and down with arms raised, Samuelson found nothing but net on the 3 and the roar from the sideline was heard throughout Minges Coliseum.

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier
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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma celebrates his 1,000th win with his assistant coaches and players after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners at Mohegan Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma celebrates his 1,000th win with his assistant coaches and players after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners at Mohegan Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Chris Dailey was impressed, and it had nothing to do with the top-ranked University of Connecticut women's basketball team's 88-64 victory over Oklahoma in the Naismith Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.

As part of the postgame celebration of win No. 1,000 for head coach Geno Auriemma and his associate head coach Dailey, several members of the 1985-86 Huskies -- their first team -- were introduced to the sellout crowd. Among the players returning to the state was Jennifer Weideman.

"She came from France and that's pretty impressive," Dailey said. "I don't know if I would have come all that way...

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and guard/forward Napheesa Collier on the sideline as they take on the Albany Great Danes in the first half during the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and guard/forward Napheesa Collier on the sideline as they take on the Albany Great Danes in the first half during the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Geno Auriemma is no longer the coach of the United States national team, but the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's present and past is well represented on the 2017-20 Team USA pool that was announced by USA Basketball on Thursday.

Junior All-Americans Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier are among the 29 players in the pool from which the 2018 USA World Cup Team is expected to be selected. Also named were eight former Huskies' stars: four-time Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, two-time Olympic gold medalists Tina Charles and Maya Moore, fellow 2016 Olympic gold medalist Breanna Stewart and her UConn classmate Morgan Tuck, Stefanie Dolson, and Tiffany Hayes.

Available members of the pool will participate in a minicamp Feb. 9-11, 2018, at the University of South Carolina. Collier and Samuelson will not attend as UConn entertains American Athletic Conference newcomer Wichita State at the XL Center on Feb. 10, and hosts former Big East and AAC rival Louisville on Feb. 12 at Gampel Pavilion...

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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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)

It was a delay of game that the University of Connecticut women's basketball team was happy to accept. A year ago, the Huskies were looking into scheduling a homecoming game for Sparks, Nevada, native Gabby Williams, who was on her way to an All-American junior season. The only problem was that UConn's 13-game non-league schedule -- which included the recently-added Nike PK80 Invitational in Eugene, Oregon -- was filled.

Enter Seton Hall and coach Tony Bozzella.

UConn and Seton Hall had signed a deal to start a home-and-home series during the 2017-18 season. But the Huskies reached out to Bozzella and the Pirates, who agreed to push back the series by one year giving UConn the opening to schedule Tuesday night's game against Nevada in Reno.

Tags: Azura Stevens, Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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GEICO SportsNite: UConn tops MSU 00:01:14
UConn women's basketball had a wire-to-wire 96-62 victory over the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday afternoon.

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Azura Stevens recorded one of three UConn double-doubles and reached 1,000 points for her career as the top-ranked Huskies beat Michigan State 96-62 at the PK80 Invitational on Saturday.

Tags: Azura Stevens, Crystal Dangerfield, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier
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GEICO SportsNite: Huskies win 00:00:39
The No. 1 ranked UConn Huskies defeated the Maryland Terrapins on Sunday night by the score of 97-72.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Kia Nurse scored 21 points to lead six UConn players in double figures as the top-ranked Huskies routed No. 15 Maryland 97-72 on Sunday.

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse
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GEICO SportsNite: UConn wins 00:00:38
UConn women's basketball opened its season with a dominant win over 10th ranked Stanford, 78-53.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Crystal Dangerfield scored 24 points and Katie Lou Samuelson added 21 to help top-ranked UConn rout No. 10 Stanford 78-53 on Sunday.

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier
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Duke Blue Devils guard/forward Azura Stevens (11) dribbles the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. The Blue Devils won 70-48. (Charles LeClaire)
Duke Blue Devils guard/forward Azura Stevens (11) dribbles the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. The Blue Devils won 70-48. (Charles LeClaire)

STORRS, Conn. - .Azura Stevens transferred to UConn in 2016 after playing her first two collegiate seasons at Duke where she earned all-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors. As a freshman, she had a team high 16 points in the Blue Devils' 83-52 loss to the Huskies on Dec. 30, 2014. The 6-foot-6 wing from Raleigh, North Carolina, sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules and has two years of eligibility remaining. Stevens recently took a time out to answer five questions from SNYUConn.com reporter Carl Adamec.

1. You wore uniform No. 11 during your time at Duke and you chose to wear No. 23 here. Why, and are you aware of the importance of that uniform number in UConn history?

"I wore 23 in high school so I decided to go back to that number. I am aware of the history of that number here. Arguably the greatest player in the history of this program, Maya Moore, wore this number. So I definitely get some chills looking at that number here. I don't feel pressure with it, though. Playing up to being a UConn player is enough."

Tags: Azura Stevens, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier
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Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

It was a situation seemingly made for the point guard in Crystal Dangerfield.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team had possession with 26.6 seconds left in overtime of a tie game with Mississippi State in the NCAA Final Four semifinals last March 31 and could take the final shot.

No one may have been better equipped than Dangerfield to hold the ball out as time ran down, then make her move to the basket and either kick the ball out for a shot or put up a floater in the lane to win it, with the worst-case scenario being a second five-minute extra session...

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma (Kevin Jairaj)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma (Kevin Jairaj)

 Forty minutes of hell? Geno Auriemma and the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's coaching staff should have been so lucky.

The video tape of the Huskies' loss to Mississippi State in the 2017 NCAA Final Four semifinals at the American Airlines Center in Dallas included the overtime.

"Painful," Auriemma said Monday during the American Athletic Conference's media day at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott hotel...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson reacts after a play against the Syracuse Orange in the second half during the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson reacts after a play against the Syracuse Orange in the second half during the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

PHILADELPHIA -- The last time Katie Lou Samuelson played against an American Athletic Conference opponent, she had a performance for the ages. The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's guard scored 40 points on a NCAA-record 10-for-10 effort from 3-point land in the Huskies' win over South Florida in the AAC tournament final at Mohegan Sun Arena.

At least one coach in the league was not impressed.

After being named a unanimous first-team all-league pick and the AAC's Co-Player of the Year, the AAC tournament's Most Outstanding Player and a consensus first-team All-American last March, Samuelson was named to the 2017-18 preseason first team by league coaches at media day at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott Monday. But unlike teammates and fellow All-Americans Gabby Williams and Napheesa Collier, the Huntington Beach, California, native was not a unanimous choice.

"I don't know why. I don't know," Collier, who shared Co-Player of the Year honors with Samuelson last season and was named the preseason Player of the Year on Monday, said with a shake of the head. "I was really surprised by that, too."

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

PHILADELPHIA -- Napheesa Collier was her stoic self whenever a postseason honor -- and there were many -- came her way last March.

So being named the American Athletic Conference preseason Player of the Year Monday by league coaches at AAC media day won't change anything for the junior forward.

"Obviously it's a great honor that people think that of me," Collier said. "But the season hasn't even started yet so I don't know how much of an affect it will have with anything for me. I'm going to work as hard as I always have."

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

Katie Lou Samuelson and her University of Connecticut women's basketball teammates have had just over six months to think about their loss to Mississippi State in the NCAA Final Four semifinals in Dallas. If the junior All-American had her way, she would have been working and playing days later. She wasn't. The saying is, "Wait till next year," after all.

"One of the biggest things after the way the season ended was that we needed to get back into it and we were able to do that earlier than usual because of the trip to Italy," Samuelson said. "We're ready to go. This team is ahead of where the others were since I've been here because we've had more time together and we know what we need to get done to get better."

The Huskies open practice officially Thursday with a workout at the Werth Family Champions Center, exactly one month before they begin the regular season against Stanford in the Countdown to Columbus at Nationwide Arena...

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Molly Bent, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and guard/forward Napheesa Collier on the sideline as they take on the Albany Great Danes in the first half during the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and guard/forward Napheesa Collier on the sideline as they take on the Albany Great Danes in the first half during the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Katie Lou Samuelson was the youngest player at this weekend's United States senior national team training camp, which wrapped up Monday in Santa Barbara, California. 

The University of Connecticut junior was 5 when the oldest player in camp, former Huskies' point guard Sue Bird, won her first gold medal with the senior team at the 2002 FIBA world championships.

Taking a pass from a four-time Olympic gold medalist and the WNBA's all-time assist leader can leave a collegian -- even an All-American like Samuelson -- a bit awestruck.

"It's definitely one of the things we knew coming here," Samuelson said. "At the same time we're all competitors and we're all going to go out there and do our best no matter who we're playing against. But there's going to be those moments where we talk to the older guys and learn about them and from them. This is an opportunity not many of us have and I'm so fortunate to get it."

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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