The next time the University of Connecticut women's basketball team takes the floor will be for preseason workouts at the Werth Champions Center in Storrs.
The Huskies completed the basketball-playing portion of their tour of Italy Sunday by dropping a 79-59 decision to Slovenian and Adriatic League champion Celje in Capodistria. UConn was 3-1 on its trip with two wins over the Netherlands national team and one over an Italian All-Star squad.
All-American Katie Lou Samuelson led the Huskies Sunday with 17 points. Freshman Megan Walker added a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds), while All-American Gabby Williams chipped in 12 points and five assists. Point guard Crystal Dangerfield had six assists and three steals.
UConn led 22-17 after one quarter and 37-36 at the half. Celje outscored the Huskies by 15 to take a 61-47 advantage to the fourth quarter and did not look back. Celje out-rebounded the Huskies 51-32 and held UConn to 32 percent shooting from the floor.
All-American Napheesa Collier did not play for precautionary reasons after suffering an ankle sprain in Friday's win over the Italian All-Stars.
The Huskies are scheduled to tour Venice on Monday and Tuesday before returning home on Wednesday. Freshman orientation is set for Friday and the first day of fall semester classes is Aug. 28. Preseason workouts begin that week to prepare for the start of official practice in mid-October. The regular season opener against Stanford at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, is Nov. 12.
Tuck signs with Israeli club
Left knee surgery last year cost Morgan Tuck to opportunity to play overseas following her rookie season with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun.
While the former UConn All-American missed 12 games earlier this summer with a knee contusion, she is healthy now and will be playing this winter. She has signed a contract with Elitzur Maclaren Holon in Israel.
"You go through your agent, so it isn't much work on my part," Tuck said. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity.
"It definitely would have been nice to have played last offseason. But sometimes it works out that way. Everything happens for a reason. Last offseason was great and I had a great time. But this winter I'm expected to be able to go play."
Tuck is averaging 5.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 17.3 minutes over 17 games for the Sun (19-10), who defeated the Phoenix Mercury 94-66 on Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Bolingbrook, Illinois, native missed most of her sophomore season at UConn to have surgery that replaced missing cartilage in her right knee. Her surgery a year ago was to repair torn cartilage in her left knee.
She earned All-America honors as a senior and was the No. 3 pick overall in the 2016 WNBA Draft behind UConn teammates Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson after helping the Huskies to an unprecedented fourth consecutive national championship.
"Physically I feel good," Tuck said. "We're winning and we're in the playoffs. That's huge for our program. Right now it's important for me to make sure that I'm playing the way I know how to play and that I am doing all I can to help the team."
The Sun host Saniya Chong and the Dallas Wings on Wednesday and close out their home schedule Friday against Stefanie Dolson and the Chicago Sky. Their final three regular season games are on the road.