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Napheesa Collier

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. -- 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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 (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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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 Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier shoots against Oregon Ducks forward Mallory McGwire during the first half in the finals of the Bridgeport Regional of the women's 2017 NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier shoots against Oregon Ducks forward Mallory McGwire during the first half in the finals of the Bridgeport Regional of the women's 2017 NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team is in Dallas for the first time since last March. All-American forward Napheesa Collier and her teammates need no reminders. 

The overtime loss to Mississippi State in the 2017 NCAA Final Four semifinals at the American Airlines Center is the 1 in the 101-1 record Huskies' juniors Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson have at UConn.

For Collier, it was also the first time since her freshman year when her Jefferson City (Missouri) High club fell in the district finals that her team lost its last game of the season. She would go on to win three consecutive state titles at Incarnate Word Academy in St. Louis before being part of the Huskies' unprecedented fourth straight national championship as a freshman.

Tags: Napheesa Collier, 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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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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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)

All-Americans Katie Lou Samuelson and Gabby Williams are calling out the reserves.

Tags: Azura Stevens, Crystal Dangerfield, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier
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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: 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 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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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)

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team will play homecoming games for seniors Gabby Williams (at Nevada) and Kia Nurse (in Toronto vs. Duquesne) and junior Katie Lou Samuelson (at UCLA) this coming season.

Junior Napheesa Collier will be taking notes.

"The thing that I've already picked up on is how they have been asking everyone for tickets for those games," Collier said. "So I'm going to be sure to get a head start on that for next year."

The St. Charles, Missouri, native will have a homecoming of her own next year as UConn has signed a contract to play at Saint Louis University during the 2018-19 season. The deal is for just one game.

Tags: Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Charli Collier made a verbal commitment to attend the University of Texas in eighth grade. Four years later, the 6-foot-4 forward from Baytown, Texas, has done so again. This time, though, it's at the expense of the University of Connecticut.

Collier announced her decision on Twitter Friday that has her backing out of the verbal commitment she made to the Huskies 10 months ago. Instead, she will sign a letter of intent with the Longhorns in November. She is ranked the No. 2 player in the Class of 2018 by ESPNHoopGurlz.

"I feel like this is the best decision for me personally and everything is for a reason," Collier tweeted. "Being closer to home and representing the state of Texas that has been so good to me. I have a good relationship with the coaching staff, they're like family to me. And my family and friends get to see me play and grow into a successful individual at such a prestigious university. This recruiting process has taught me so much about listening to my heart and at the end of the day I have to do what is best for me."

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

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's road to the 2018 NCAA Final Four will see it travel to 12 states and Canada as the school released its 29-game regular season schedule for the 2017-18 campaign on Wednesday.

The Huskies will play 12 home games -- six each at their on-campus home Gampel Pavilion and at the XL Center in Hartford, 13 on the road, and four at neutral sites.

All 29 games will be televised, including 16 on SNY, which is entering its sixth season broadcasting UConn women's games...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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 (AP)
(AP)

Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams have been part of two losses in three seasons with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

The seniors will get the chance to avenge at least one of them.

UConn will play Stanford in its season opener on Nov. 12 in the Countdown to Columbus event to be played at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Huskies were originally scheduled to take on Ohio State in the one-day showcase at the site of the 2018 NCAA Final Four. But the Buckeyes will now face Louisville in the second game of the doubleheader. Times and television information are still to be determined.

The Huskies lead the overall series with the Cardinal 10-7, including 4-2 in NCAA tournament play. But in the last meeting at Maples Pavilion on Nov. 17, 2014, Stanford received a late 3-pointer from Amber Orrange to force overtime and pulled out an 88-86 victory to snap UConn's 47-game winning streak. The Huskies followed the defeat in Palo Alto by winning their next 111 games. That NCAA record run was stopped by Mississippi State in the Final Four semifinals last March 31 in Dallas.

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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 (Jeffrey Swinger)
(Jeffrey Swinger)

In their first game as a starting backcourt, they combined for a pedestrian 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists in the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's 36-point victory over Villanova at Gampel Pavilion.

Who knew on Feb. 4, 2001, that Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi would go on to be the best their sport has seen? Their then-college coach and later their coach for seven years with the United States national team had an idea.

"I have always said from back in 2002 that they'd be the best backcourt in the history of women's basketball -- college basketball, pro basketball, any kind of basketball -- and I said time will prove that," Geno Auriemma said last month. "It certainly has. You'll never find something like that ever again. It's too improbable for it to happen again. Those two are pretty special. There's nothing to compare them to. There really isn't."

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Dan Rolfes looked forward to having the chance to watch his former player, Napheesa Collier, and the University of Connecticut women's basketball team play.

But throughout the 6-foot-1 forward's All-American sophomore season he kept having flashbacks to their time at Incarnate Word Academy in St. Louis when the Rolfes-coached Red Knights captured three straight Missouri Class 4A state championships.

"It's so amazing," Rolfes said during a break in the United States U-16 national team trials in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he served as a court coach. "I'd sit there and watch with my assistants and it's so much like Incarnate Word with the high-percentage shots, a lot of times defending the post because of her size, being able to guard a guard or guard a post. What I saw this year was what I saw at Incarnate.

Tags: Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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 (Bill Streicher (USA Today))
(Bill Streicher (USA Today))

DALLAS -- Napheesa Collier will be 21-years-old on Sept. 23.

Her coaches and teammates with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team may not be aware of the exact date. But there are 12 WNBA general managers that are. Since her 22nd birthday is during the 2018 calendar year, Collier will be eligible to enter the 2018 WNBA Draft.

But before Husky Nation begins to panic, the All-America forward said Thursday she has no plans to move on until her eligibility is done in 2019.

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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 (Phil Sears/USA Today Sports Images)
(Phil Sears/USA Today Sports Images)

DALLAS -- It was a 45-second video, but it made the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's day.

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant sent his best wishes via video and through Nike this week to the Huskies, who take on Mississippi State in a NCAA Final Four semifinal game Friday night at American Airlines Center.

"It was obviously really exciting and he's the GOAT so anytime you can have the GOAT talk to you it's a great day," UConn guard Kia Nurse said. "He had a goal to win and that's what he was known for. So you look at someone of his caliber and the career that he had, that he took time out of his day to sit down and send us a video we are very grateful."

Stanford, which like UConn is affiliated with Nike, also received a video from Bryant. The Cardinal face South Carolina in the opener of Friday night's doubleheader.

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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. (Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports Images)
. (Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports Images)

BRIDGEPORT -- Saniya Chong was celebrating with her University of Connecticut women's basketball teammates Monday night after their 90-52 win over Oregon in the NCAA tournament Bridgeport Regional final at Webster Bank Arena.

The senior guard then heard her name announced over the public address system and could not figure out why. So she turned to classmate Tierney Lawlor to find out why.

Lawlor -- the Dean's List student she is -- of course, had the answer. Chong had been selected to the regional all-tournament team, the first such honor of her career...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Napheesa Collier, Saniya Chong, Tierney Lawlor, Carl Adamec
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 (Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The old saying that the best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores could not ring more true for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

While Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson were key contributors to the Huskies' 2016 national championship as rookies, they always knew that Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson, and Morgan Tuck would be there to bail them out if needed. But the Big Three's graduation meant Collier's and Samuelson's days in the background were over if UConn was to remain among the elite.

Among the reasons the Huskies are one win away from their 10th straight NCAA Final Four appearance is the play of their sophomore sensations. They were rewarded for their efforts Monday by being named to the five-player Associated Press All-America first team...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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 (Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)
(Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)

There has been talk throughout the season that Geno Auriemma has done his best job of coaching the University of Connecticut women's basketball team in this his 32nd year. Considering the Hall of Fame coach has led the Huskies to a record 11 national championships and is the game's all-time leader in winning percentage, that's saying something about what UConn has done so far this season.

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association has noticed and on Thursday it named Auriemma as its 2017 Coach of the Year. He will be presented with the Pat Summitt Trophy, named for the late legendary University of Tennessee coach, during the 2017 WBCA Convention to be held in conjunction with the NCAA Final Four in Dallas.

"Geno continues to raise the standard of excellence in the coaching profession," WBCA executive director Danielle Donehew said in a statement. He is a teacher of the game, and the development of his student-athletes both on and off the court this season has been remarkable, a masterpiece. Geno is very deserving of the WBCA's highest praise for the coaching profession, as confirmed by the vote from his respective peers."

The top-seeded Huskies (34-0 and winners of 109 straight games) will continue their bid for a fifth consecutive national championship Saturday when they take on No. 4 UCLA in a NCAA Bridgeport Regional semifinal game at Webster Bank Arena...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the American Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals at Mohegan Sun Arena, Saturday, March 4, 2017, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) (Jessica Hill/AP)
during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the American Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals at Mohegan Sun Arena, Saturday, March 4, 2017, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) (Jessica Hill/AP)

STORRS, Conn. -- Gabby Williams got position in the lane and Saniya Chong delivered the pass right on time.

Williams turned to her left and took a a dribble to get away from Syracuse's Briana Day, and converted the left-handed layup over Day with 4:35 gone in the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's NCAA tournament Bridgeport Regional second-round game Monday night.

Since the pass did not directly lead to the basket, Chong was not credited with an assist. It was the only Huskies hoop without an assist attached to it in the first three quarters. Top-seeded UConn finished with 30 assists on 33 baskets in its 94-64 rout of No. 8 Syracuse at Gampel Pavilion.

"Take a minute to think about that," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "It's just unusual to do what we did and we do it quite often. That's why we can have performances like we had today because our ball movement was incredible.

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Saniya Chong, Carl Adamec
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 (Steven Branscombe (USA Today))
(Steven Branscombe (USA Today))

STORRS, Conn. -- Senior Saniya Chong was ready to charge the court as if the University of Connecticut women's basketball team had won another national championship.

Chong's classmate, Tierney Lawlor, appeared to have an opening for a 3-point shot as time wound down on the top-seeded Huskies' 94-64 rout of No. 8 Syracuse in a NCAA tournament Bridgeport Regional second-round game at Gampel Pavilion Monday night. But the Ansonia native, who is 0-for-8 from the floor this season, passed it up.

"I wanted to run out there and scream in T's face, 'Why didn't you shoot that?' " Chong said with a smile.

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Saniya Chong, Tierney Lawlor, Carl Adamec
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 (Raymond Carlin III)
(Raymond Carlin III)

STORRS, Conn. -- Molly Bent was a 4.0 student in high school -- and is a Dean's List student here -- for a reason. While the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's freshman guard loves her sport, school was her priority.

So when that first Thursday of the men's NCAA tournament rolled around, Bent found herself in a classroom and not in her living room watching games.

"I always enjoyed going to school," Bent said Friday. "But on the weekend days my family made sure that we got everything done in the morning and then once noon hit we'd sit in front of the television and watch game after game after game. We'd fight over which game to watch. Every year we'd do tournament brackets, like ESPN, within our family. I'm in the lead right now, actually tied with my brother and dad. My strategy picking teams? Go with my gut."

Crystal Dangerfield was a member of the Honors Program at Blackman High in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. But when the college postseason came around in March and there was a game, she'd find a way to watch.

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Kyla Irwin, Molly Bent, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Feb 22, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) react after a play 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/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) react after a play against the Temple Owls in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Katie Lou Samuelson follows her own path, even when she's on the foul line.

While her older sisters, Bonnie are Karlie, are role models, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's sophomore guard approaches free throws in a way that's best for her.

"Bonnie, Karlie, and I have a similar shot routine," Samuelson said. "Karlie takes three dribbles and shoots. Bonnie would take three dribbles and spin it in the air and shoot it. I take three dribbles, spin it and let it drop, and shoot it. I chose mine when I was younger because I saw what they were doing and wanted to be different."

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Saniya Chong, Carl Adamec
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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- The Big East was in its fourth season when Geno Auriemma became the coach of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team in 1985.

The following March, the league sent two teams to the NCAA tournament for the first time.

The American Athletic Conference finished its fourth season Monday night and the Huskies remained perfect in league play (82-0) in that span. Top-seeded UConn capped off its latest run by rolling past No. 3 South Florida 100-44 in the AAC tournament final at Mohegan Sun Arena...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and guard/forward Napheesa Collier cheer from the bench during the second half against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Raymond Carlin III/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and guard/forward Napheesa Collier cheer from the bench during the second half against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Raymond Carlin III/USA TODAY Sports)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson joined the University of Connecticut women's basketball team in part to be part of history.

The Huskies' sophomores made some history of their own Friday.

Collier and Samuelson were named the American Athletic Conference Co-Players of the Year at a press conference at Mohegan Sun Arena, site of the fourth annual AAC tournament. It is the first time that a UConn player, let alone a pair of Huskies, has shared the top league honor.

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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 (Steven Branscombe)
(Steven Branscombe)

After the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's win over South Florida on Jan. 10, coach Geno Auriemma compared what junior forward Gabby Williams does on the defensive side of the ball to what linebacker Lawrence Taylor did for the New York Football Giants during his NFL Hall of Fame career.

"Whatever play you're trying to run, it ain't going to happen," Auriemma said. "We switch a lot with her, so one minute she's guarding you and the other guys are like, 'I'm glad she's not guarding me.' Then two sequences later, she is guarding you.

"She is just so disruptive and creates so much so many ways, whether it is a deflection, a steal or some of the blocks that she had or a defensive rebound. She just makes plays that the average basketball player can't make. If you don't watch her play in person, you're really missing out on something special."

The coaches in the American Athletic Conference agreed...

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Saniya Chong, Carl Adamec
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 (Raymond Carlin III)
(Raymond Carlin III)

TAMPA, Fla. -- The University of Connecticut women's basketball team started the 2016-17 season at No. 3 in the Associated Press poll but moved up to the top spot by beating the teams -- Baylor and Notre Dame -- ahead of it.

The Huskies also began the season with no All-Americans nor any first- or second-team all-league players. That will change Thursday when the American Athletic Conference announces its All-Stars and it will change again later this month when national honors are released.

A 29-0 record has its benefits. Top-ranked UConn completed the ninth perfect regular season in program history Monday night by rolling past South Florida, 96-68, at the Sun Dome...

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, 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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 (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)
(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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 (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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