(David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

Napheesa Collier is experiencing the life of a returning All-American. Her phenomenal sophomore season a year ago put a target on the back of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's forward.

The Huskies' opponents are going harder at her than ever before. But her rivals' efforts pale compared to how hard Collier is on herself.

"I know the work that I put into this and I know that my shots are eventually going to start falling," Collier said. "I try to keep pushing and working through this slump."

Slump? About 98 or 99 percent of the country would love to be slumping so much.

Collier was everyone's All-American before a record crowd at the Sun Dome in Tampa Saturday night. She had a season high 25 points, 11 rebounds, four assists to no turnovers, and four blocked shots in 28 superb minutes as No. 1 UConn smashed South Florida 100-49 in American Athletic Conference action.

She'll go for her second straight double-double Tuesday night when the Huskies host Central Florida at Gampel Pavilion (SNY, 7 p.m.).

Collier made her first five shots Saturday night, then hit the rim on a 3-pointer while trying to beat the first-quarter buzzer. She missed a left-handed layup to start the second quarter and didn't finish a drive to the basket and committed a foul two minutes later. She then made her last seven attempts. At the end, 12-for-15 shooting wasn't good enough for her.

"I want to be the best I can be and when I miss a shot I know I should make it's frustrating," Collier said.

"I don't think I've played that great. One of the things I wanted to get better at was defense and I'm not at the level I want to be. And my shots aren't falling like I want."

Let's look at the numbers.

Collier is averaging 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 1.9 blocked shots, all numbers that rank in the top 10 in the AAC. She is also 13th in assists (3.2) and second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6). She has been in double figures scoring in every game since the opener and Saturday night raised her field-goal percentage to 54.9.

"Yeah, but I shot almost 70 percent last year," Collier said.

"I don't know, but maybe I spoiled myself because I want to get back up there."

Through 13 games last year, her field-goal percentage and scoring were higher (64.4/19.2) were better. All her other numbers are equal or better this year.

Does her frustration show?

"She's so hard to read. Pheesa is the same whether she's getting 30 points or getting three," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "It's difficult to gauge where she is. But I just go by, 'What kind of shots is she getting? How are they coming?' She has about the same number of shots after 13 games that she had a year ago, but they just don't seem like she's in a rhythm, in a flow, as the game goes on."

Collier was so good as a sophomore when she was a consensus first-team All-American, that if Washington's Kelsey Plum had not had the sensational senior season she put together, the St. Charles, Missouri, resident might have brought home a national Player of the Year award or two.

But while Collier seems to see the glass half empty, her teammates see it as full.

"There's frustration when you're not making shots that you know you can make," UConn All-American Katie Lou Samuelson said. "Last year we just got so accustomed to having Pheesa go 9-for-10, 10-for-11, making almost every shot every single night.

"But even when she's missing a couple, she still impacts every single game no matter what and she's going to have performances like this over and over."

UConn (13-0 overall, 3-0 AAC) took care of its biggest AAC rival with ease Saturday night and can start to put distance between itself and the rest of the conference in the league standings this week. The Huskies, who are in a three-way tie for the conference lead with UCF and surprising Houston, host the Knights Tuesday night and visit the Cougars this Saturday.

UCF (11-5, 3-0) pulled away late to defeat Wichita State 59-53 in Orlando Saturday and win its first three AAC games for the first time. Senior guard Aliyah Gregory was an all-AAC first-team selection in the preseason and is the Knights' top scorer alongside senior guard Zakiya Saunders. Forward Masseny Kaba was named the AAC Freshman of the Week Monday.

It will be the first time UCF has played at Gampel Pavilion. It will be the first time the Huskies have played on campus since Nov. 17.

"It's been since Cal, and I don't have a good memory of that one," said Samuelson, who suffered a left foot sprain that night that sidelined her for four games.

The Huskies flew home from Tampa Saturday night. They'll be back on the road Friday for a Texas two-step: at Houston Saturday followed by a trip to Austin to face the Longhorns Monday.

UConn pushed its winning streak in true road games to a NCAA record 43 Saturday. It has won 70 in a row -- the third-longest streak in NCAA history -- at home and that will be on the line Tuesday night.

"Leadership and maturity come in a lot of different ways," Auriemma said. "We talked a lot, and you can tell a lot about a team by the way they handle road trips. We've been on a long road trip and we've been on the road a lot since November. I think we're on the road 19 out of 31 days in January so it's not ideal. If you're not mature about it you let it affect you. Our seniors did a great job this trip especially of setting the kind of tone we need to have set. Everybody else followed suit. I hope we can get that from them every game."

And get what they got from Collier as well.

"One of the great things about this team is that no one is worried about their own stats," Collier said. "Everyone is happy when someone else does well.

"This year has been harder, but hopefully my shots start falling soon."

The Huskies hope she's on target again.


POLL POSITION
UConn was the unanimous pick as the nation's No. 1 team for the 10th consecutive week as the Huskies received all 32 first-place votes in the Associated Press poll released Monday.

Notre Dame remained second while Louisville, Mississippi State, and Baylor each moved one up one spot to round out the top five. Notre Dame visits Louisville Thursdaynight.

Rutgers (16-2) entered the poll for the first time this season at No. 21. The Scarlet Knights, who were 6-24 a year ago, have won 11 in a row and have a top 10 RPI and strength of schedule. It is their best start since they were 17-2 in 2008, a year that concluded with a loss to UConn in the NCAA Elite Eight in Greensboro, North Carolina. They are also 4-0 in the Big Ten.

Green Bay returned to the top 25 at No. 25. Villanova and Stanford dropped out. USF was the only other AAC team to receive votes.

 
SALE OF THE CENTURY
What kind of night was it for USF Saturday? UConn's Molly Bent had missed her only 3-point shot of the season coming into the game. But the reserve sophomore guard nailed a trey with 2:21 left. Then on the Huskies' final possession and the shot clock almost out, she hit a second 3 with 8.2 seconds to go to get UConn into triple figures for the fourth time this season.

The situation was similar to one UConn was in at Purdue exactly a decade earlier. On Jan. 6, 2008, the Huskies had 97 points with the clock running out when Tahirah Williams made the only 3-point shot of her career to finish a 100-50 victory. The Boilermakers fans at Mackey Arena booed. The difference in Saturday night's situation, though, was Bent needed to shoot to avoid a shot-clock violation while the shot clock was off at Purdue.

"It's a delicate situation," Auriemma said. "At one point CD (associate head coach Chris Dailey) actually said what we always say, 'Let's work on our offense, we're up a bunch, but let's not embarrass anyone, obviously.' Some of those kids just got in the game. What are you going to tell them? Don't play? Don't shoot? Don't make any basketball plays? But the guys that came off the bench played pretty well and that's the second game in a row we've gotten good minutes from them."


BULLS RUSH
After losing three times to UConn by an average of 49.7 points a season ago, USF figured its luck against the Huskies had to improve. It didn't. The Bulls lost by 51 and are now 0-24 in the all-time series.

"I went in afterwards and said, 'We're not 51 points better,' " Auriemma said. "We make them do things that they're not used to doing. We're probably the only team they play that forces them into situations that they're not comfortable in. We've done a good job against them the last couple of years. They have so much stuff they do and that European style of play is not easy to play against, it's kind of tricky. You have to be solid and on your toes. They shot the ball lousy, too. It's not like they didn't get any shots. They got a bunch of good shots but just didn't make them."

USF's top three scorers -- Kitija Laksa, Maria Jespersen, and Laura Ferreira -- combined to shoot 4-for-40 from the floor and the team finished at 27.8 percent. The teams have a rematch at Gampel Pavilion on Feb. 26, which will be Senior Night for UConn's Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams and include Williams' induction into the Huskies of Honor program as a WBCA All-American.

"They are the No. 1 team in the country," USF point guard Laia Flores said. "It's good for us to have them in our conference so we have the opportunity to play them twice, hopefully three times, so we can learn from the best."


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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Kevin Ollie reacts during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against Cincinnati. (AP)
Kevin Ollie reacts during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against Cincinnati. (AP)

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (AP) Gary Clark scored 10 of his 17 points during Cincinnati's decisive spurt, and the 11th-ranked Bearcats shook off consecutive losses by beating short-handed Connecticut 77-52 on Thursday night for their fifth straight win over the Huskies.

The Bearcats (24-4, 13-3 American Athletic) recovered from a loss at Houston that ended their 16-game winning streak and a 76-72 loss to Wichita State that snapped their 39-game winning streak at home. They play back-to-back games against conference also-rans before finishing at Wichita State on March 4, a rematch that could decide the league title.

Clark had 10 points as Cincinnati surged ahead 34-19. The Bearcats got a lot of open shots against UConn's zone defense and made 12 of their first 18 attempts. They led by double digits the rest of the way.

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Jan 16, 2018; Memphis, TN, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams (4) goes to the basket against Memphis Tigers guard Jeremiah Martin (3) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)
Jan 16, 2018; Memphis, TN, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams (4) goes to the basket against Memphis Tigers guard Jeremiah Martin (3) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)

Cincinnati has to try to stop a losing streak for only the second time this season Thursday night when it hosts Connecticut.

The No. 11 Bearcats have dropped their last two outings, a 67-62 decision at Houston on Feb. 15, then fell to No. 13 Wichita State 76-72 at home on Sunday.

Both losses were close, and both had several common denominators, most noticeably, an inability to rebound.

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UConn vs. Tulane highlights 00:02:16
The UConn women's basketball team traveled to New Orleans to take on Tulane and came away with another victory to push their record to 27-0.

Azura Stevens scored 23 points, Napheesa Collier scored 22 and No. 1 UConn won its 50th straight road game, 91-47 over Tulane on Wednesday night.

Katie Lou Samuelson had 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for UConn (27-0, 14-0 American), which led by as many as many as 32 in the first half and built a lead as large as 48 in the final period.

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The best Geno impressions 00:00:52
Various players on the UConn women's basketball team try their hand at some impressions of head coach Geno Auriemma.

Various players on the UConn women's basketball team try their hand at some impressions of head coach Geno Auriemma.


Feb 18, 2018; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Napheesa Collier (24) shoots against Temple Owls guard Tanaya Atkinson (22) in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Feb 18, 2018; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Napheesa Collier (24) shoots against Temple Owls guard Tanaya Atkinson (22) in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

The official Twitter account of Louisiana Tech women's basketball touts the program as No. 2 in all-time wins nationally.

The Lady Techsters may have to make a change soon.

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A moment of silence was held prior to the start of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's game with Temple Sunday to remember the victims of last Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

UConn All-American Gabby Williams was among those with her head bowed paying tribute. The tragedy hit home for the Sparks, Nevada, native as on Oct. 21, 2013, during her senior year at Reed High, a school shooting at Sparks Middle School left two people, including the 12-year-old perpetrator, dead and two others injured.

"It did happen minutes from my house, obviously not to the same extent, but it is just kind of like enough is enough, and when is something going to change," Williams said following the top-ranked Huskies' 106-45 win. "It hits home because I'm going to have kids who go to school one day and I have little siblings in high school so it definitely hits home."

Tags: Gabby Williams, Carl Adamec
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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson reacts after a play against the Temple Owls in the first half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson reacts after a play against the Temple Owls in the first half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Katie Lou Samuelson has this habit -- not one of her best, she admits -- of when she drives to the basket and feels contact, she calls out, "And one," looking for a foul call.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's junior All-American's aggressive approach has developed since she first arrived here but she has taken her attack mode to another level in the last month even as she deals with an injured left ankle. It's one of the reasons that the buzz around her national Player of the Year candidacy continues to grow.

Samuelson's aggressiveness was rewarded Sunday as she completed a trio of the old-fashioned three-point plays to go along with four of her specialty, the 3-point shot. Her 27 points paced six players in double figures as No. 1 UConn routed Temple 106-45 in American Athletic Conference action before 13,110 at XL Center.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn 00:00:29
The UConn Huskies took on the East Carolina Pirates on the road and earned a narrow 84-80 victory, spurred by Jalen Adams' 26 points.

Connecticut put together one of its best offensive performances of the season. The Huskies needed it, because East Carolina's Isaac Fleming came up with another triple-double.

UConn beat the Pirates 84-80 on Sunday despite the do-it-all ECU guard.

Jalen Adams scored 26 points, Terry Larrier added 20 points and Christian Vital finished with 16 to help the Huskies (13-14, 6-8 American Athletic Conference) snap a two-game losing streak.

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Feb 10, 2018; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) reacts after her backhanded pass to guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) for the basket against the Wichita State Shockers in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Feb 10, 2018; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) reacts after her backhanded pass to guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) for the basket against the Wichita State Shockers in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. -- Ten of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's 11 national championship campaigns included winning at least a share of its league's regular season title.

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Geno on the most overused terms 00:08:07
UConn women's basketball head coach Geno Auriemma discusses what he believes the most overused terms are while coaching basketball.

On the Clock: Geno and Justine 00:02:09
SNY's Justine Ward chats with UConn head coach Geno Auriemma about offbeat happenings in the world of sports.

SNY's Justine Ward chats with UConn head coach Geno Auriemma about offbeat happenings in the world of sports.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn loses 00:00:56
UConn's Christian Vital had a solid day earning himself a double-double, but the Huskies fell to Tulsa, 73-71, on Thursday night.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Sterling Taplin scored a career-high 30 points and Tulsa beat UConn 73-71, sweeping the season series from the Huskies.

Junior Etou had 15 points and DaQuan Jefferies added 14 for Tulsa (15-10, 8-5), which extended its winning streak to four on Thursday night.

Christian Vital had 13 of his 20 points in the first half for UConn (12-14, 5-8) when the Huskies built up a 12-point lead. The Huskies, who have lost five of their last six, led 40-31 at intermission.

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Feb 12, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Napheesa Collier (24) drives to the basket against the Louisville Cardinals in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Connecticut defeated Louisville 69-58. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Feb 12, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Napheesa Collier (24) drives to the basket against the Louisville Cardinals in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Connecticut defeated Louisville 69-58. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. -- Yes, the University of Connecticut and Louisville women's basketball teams played three times in 2014 as members of the American Athletic Conference.

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SNY recently aired "Best of the Best: UConn Women's Top 10" that had the following ranking of the top members of the UConn Women's Basketball team:

  • 10: Moriah Jefferson
  • 9: Kerry Bascom
  • 8: Nykesha Sales
  • 7: Jen Rizzotti
  • 6: Tina Charles
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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson reacts after a play against the Louisville Cardinals in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson reacts after a play against the Louisville Cardinals in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. -- Whether Katie Lou Samuelson can make a stretch run towards becoming the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's next national Player of the Year while dealing with her injured left ankle remains to be seen.

But it's hard to find many players around the country who are playing better than the Huskies' All-American guard is right now.

Samuelson gave UConn 40 minutes Monday night and scored 26 points as the top-ranked Huskies topped No. 4 Louisville before an announced sellout crowd of 10,167 at Gampel Pavilion.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn 00:00:51
The UConn women's basketball team defeated Louisville, 69-58, on Monday night to improve to 25-0 on the season.

Katie Lou Samuelson scored 26 points and top-ranked UConn used an early run to beat No. 4 Louisville 69-58 on Monday night.

Napheesa Collier added 14 points and Gabby Williams had 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Huskies (25-0), who won their 76th consecutive home game and ended Louisville's 13-game road winning streak.

Louisville (25-2) scored the first three points and UConn rattled of 19 straight.

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Connecticut Huskies associate coach Chris Dailey reacts during Senior Day before the start of the game against the Tulane Green Wave at Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies associate coach Chris Dailey reacts during Senior Day before the start of the game against the Tulane Green Wave at Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. -- The Geno Auriemma-coached 2000 United States U-18 national team was scrimmaging at Colorado College when Duke University-bound Alana Beard finished a stunning drive to the basket.

Auriemma blew his whistle and turned to where his assistant at the University of Connecticut, Chris Dailey, and Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt and her assistant, Mickie DeMoss, were seated in the small gym. They were watching as Team USA's roster included UConn-bound Diana Taurasi and Ashley Battle, and Tennessee-bound Ashley Robinson and Loree Moore.

He then looked over to Summitt and said: "Chris Dailey and Mickie DeMoss should be fired for not recruiting Alana Beard." Summitt nodded her head in agreement. They didn't get fired, though DeMoss did move on to other jobs. But this June they'll be together again in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Dailey, the Huskies' associate head coach, is one of seven people who will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2018, it was announced Monday night. She will be the fifth UConn representative in the WBHOF joining Auriemma (Class of 2006) and former players Rebecca Lobo (Class of 2010), Jennifer Rizzotti (Class of 2013) and Kara Wolters (Class of 2017).

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Feb 4, 2018; Syracuse, NY, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Jeff Walz reacts to a play against the Syracuse Orange during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Feb 4, 2018; Syracuse, NY, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Jeff Walz reacts to a play against the Syracuse Orange during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

For nine seasons, they faced off in February, March, or even April.

But when Louisville left the American Athletic Conference for the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014, its women's basketball rivalry with the University of Connecticut that saw the teams play 16 times -- including two national championship games and three league tournament finals -- in those nine seasons went with it.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn loses 00:00:50
UConn fell to Witchita State, 95-74, on Saturday despite 22 points from Jalen Adams and Christian Vital.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) Landry Shamet scored 16 points in just 23 minutes as No. 22 Wichita State cruised to a 95-74 win over UConn on Saturday night.

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Feb 10, 2018; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) reacts after a basket and foul against guard Kia Nurse (11) as they take on the Wichita State Shockers in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Feb 10, 2018; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) reacts after a basket and foul against guard Kia Nurse (11) as they take on the Wichita State Shockers in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Katie Lou Samuelson will let her game speak for her.

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Nov 29, 2017; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) reacts after play against the Columbia Lions in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Nov 29, 2017; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) reacts after play against the Columbia Lions in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

It hasn't been a typical season for Connecticut. The Huskies have struggled to stay above .500 and are now dealing with an NCAA inquiry.

UConn will try to stay focused on the court when it travels to take on No. 22 Wichita State on Saturday in an American Athletic Conference rematch.

The NCAA inquiry into the program's recruiting was made public in late January. UConn athletic director David Benedict says the university is fully cooperating.

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UConn beats Witchita State 00:02:29
The UConn women's basketball team defeated Witchita State, 124-43, on Saturday behind Katie Lou Samuelson's 22 points.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Napheesa Collier scored 26 points and Katie Lou Samuelson added 22 points to lead UConn to a 124-43 rout of Wichita State on Saturday in the first meeting between the two programs.

The 124 points was two shy of the program record, which was set against Providence in 1998.

Gabby Williams added 17 points, Azura Stevens 16 and Kia Nurse 14 for the Huskies (24-0, 12-0 American), who won their 75th straight home game, the third longest home winning streak in NCAA history.

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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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 (Reinhold Matay)
(Reinhold Matay)

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Ezi Magbegor is only 18 and already a world traveler thanks to her basketball abilities. But the Australian standout is about to get her first look at UConn Nation.

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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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GEICO SportsNite UConn men 00:00:34
The UConn men's basketball team defeated USF, 68-65, at home on Wednesday night to improve to 12-12 on the season.

Jalen Adams scored 19 points and dished out six assists and UConn held on to defeat USF, 68-65, on Wednesday night at Gampel Pavilion to snap a three-game losing streak.

Terry Larrier and Christian Vital added 15 points apiece for the Huskies, who had dropped five of their last six overall.

Stephan Jiggets led USF with 18 points while Isaiah Manderson scored 15 and pulled down eight rebounds. >> Box score

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Gabby Williams has a unique way of filling a stat sheet, but has never been concerned about her numbers.

The All-American senior forward does make one exception and that's for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's win total. She has been part of 134 of them heading into Wednesday's American Athletic Conference contest against Central Florida at CFE Arena (SNY, 7 p.m.).

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On the Clock w/ Geno and Justine 00:02:06
SNY's Justine Ward chats with UConn head coach Geno Auriemma about the off-beat things going on in the world of sports.

SNY's Justine Ward chats with UConn head coach Geno Auriemma about the off-beat things going on in the world of sports.

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Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse reacts after her basket against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse reacts after her basket against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- For the first time in program history, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team began a season with four 1,000-point scorers.

They didn't do it on their own.

Seniors Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams and juniors Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson have combined for 5,736 points as Huskies. The foursome tacked on 79 to their total Sunday as No. 1 UConn rolled past Cincinnati 106-65 in American Athletic Conference action before 12,342 at XL Center. They also combined for 23 of the Huskies' 32 assists. Williams reached the 400-assist plateau Sunday, three days after Nurse got there against South Carolina.

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UConn beats Cincinnati, 106-65 00:02:49
UConn defeated Cincinnati, 106-65, on Sunday behind Napheesa Collier's 25 points.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Napheesa Collier says she's proud of the fact that UConn never plays down to the level of its opposition.

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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)

Katie Lou Samuelson made her first and only shot, a layup, when the University of Connecticut women's basketball team beat South Carolina at Colonial Life Arena her freshman year.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn 00:00:53
UConn men's basketball saw great performances from Jalen Adams and Christian Vital, but the Huskies fell short against Cincinnati.

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Jacob Evans III scored 19 points to lead No. 8 Cincinnati to its 14th straight win, 65-57 over a struggling UConn team.

Kyle Washington added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Bearcats (21-2, 10-0 American), who never trailed.

Jalen Adams scored 20 points and Christian Vital added 18 for the Huskies, who have lost five of their last six to fall below the .500 mark at 11-12 (4-6) American.

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Jan 16, 2018; Memphis, TN, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams (4) goes to the basket against Memphis Tigers guard Jeremiah Martin (3) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)
Jan 16, 2018; Memphis, TN, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams (4) goes to the basket against Memphis Tigers guard Jeremiah Martin (3) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)

You can count one of the program's former rival coaches among those thinking Cincinnati can be a real factor come NCAA Tournament time.

"I think they've got an outstanding team that could get to the Final Four depending on who they play, the health, and if they bring their 'A' game," former Xavier coach and current CBS Sports Network radio analyst Pete Gillen told the Cincinnati Enquirer this week.

"You need a player that can make a big shot down the stretch," Gillen said. "I think Jacob Evans can do that. Gary Clark can do that. Usually those last games tend to be low-scoring. Coaches get a little conservative. You need guys that can put it on the deck and create. That, and great defense. Defense travels on the road and in your tournaments."

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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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Huskies roll South Carolina 00:00:55
The UConn Huskies rolled to an 83-58 victory over rival South Carolina, as Kia Nurse led the way for the victors with a 23-point effort.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Kia Nurse scored 23 points and Katie Lou Samuelson added 20 as No. 1 UConn powered past defending national champ South Carolina 83-58 on Thursday night.

The Huskies opened things up early to lead 53-24 at the half on their way to a 21-0 start for the fourth time in five seasons. They extended their NCAA mark with their 48th straight road win and, if anyone needed more evidence, marked themselves the clear favorite for another NCAA title.

No. 7 South Carolina (18-4) fell to 0-6 all-time against UConn and 0-15 in program history against No. 1 teams.

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- On Jan. 3, 1998, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team was welcomed by 24,597 orange-clad fans to Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville. The 84-69 loss to Tennessee marks the only time in program history the Huskies have played the reigning national champion on the road.

That will change.

A crowd of 18,000 is expected here Thursday night as 2017 national champion and No. 7 South Carolina entertains top-ranked UConn for a non-league showdown at Colonial Life Arena.

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Jan 28, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) reacts after receiving a technical foul during the second half against the Temple Owls at Liacouras Center. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Derik Hamilton)
Jan 28, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) reacts after receiving a technical foul during the second half against the Temple Owls at Liacouras Center. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Derik Hamilton)

B.J. Taylor scored 20 points and UCF pulled away in the second half to defeat UConn, 70-61, on Wednesday night at CFE Federal Credit Union Arena in Orlando.

Dayon Griffin added 12 points and eight rebounds while A.J. Davis and Chad Brown contributed 10 points apiece.

Terry Larrier scored a team-high 15 points and Jalen Adams added 11 for UConn, which has dropped four of its last five games. >> Box score

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Auriemma on body language 00:06:15
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma discusses how much of an impact positive and negative body language can have throughout the course of a game.

UConn Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma compares the team's media attention now to when he first became a head coach in 1985.


Auriemma on the media 00:02:00
UConn Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma compares the team's media attention now to when he first became a head coach in 1985.

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma discusses how much of an impact positive and negative body language can have throughout the course of a game.


Dec 31, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Megan Walker (3) reacts after scoring against the Memphis Lady Tigers in the second half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports  (David Butler II)
Dec 31, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Megan Walker (3) reacts after scoring against the Memphis Lady Tigers in the second half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Megan Walker had the best seven-day stretch of her young career with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team and she was rewarded for it on Monday.

Walker was named the American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week for the first time. In league wins over Memphis and Tulane she averaged 11.5 points and 3.5 rebounds.

Her week-long surge actually began on Jan. 21 when she had a season-high 22 points to go with six rebounds and five assists over 32 minutes in a 113-57 win at Temple. She then had 10 points and six rebounds in the 93-36 victory at Memphis last Wednesday. Then on Saturday against Tulane at Gampel Pavilion, she had 13 points and two assists in a 98-45 triumph...

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn loses 00:00:50
The UConn men's basketball team continued their struggles Sunday night, falling to Temple, 85-57.

Shizz Alston Jr. scored 18 points, Quinton Rose had 17 and Temple rolled to an 85-57 win over UConn on Sunday night.

Christian Vital finished with 15 points for the Huskies, who were playing for the first time since it was revealed their program is the target of an NCAA investigation.

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Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse after the game against the Memphis Lady Tigers at Elma Roane Field House. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse after the game against the Memphis Lady Tigers at Elma Roane Field House. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. -- The University of Connecticut women's basketball team shot a near-school record 72.2 percent from the floor Saturday in its 98-45 American Athletic Conference win over Tulane at Gampel Pavilion.

But the Huskies were even better when it came to being represented Thursday at "3.0 night" during halftime of the UConn-SMU men's game. Nine players on the 12-player roster (75 percent) were among the 361 student-athletes honored by UConn's Division of Athletics.

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Jan 27, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave guard Kolby Morgan (3) drives the ball against Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse (11) in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 27, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave guard Kolby Morgan (3) drives the ball against Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse (11) in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. -- When the University of Connecticut women's basketball team struggled with Tulane a season ago in New Orleans, Kia Nurse was on the Huskies' bench sitting out with an ankle injury.

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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. (AP) Katie Lou Samuelson scored 15 of her 19 points in the first half to lead UConn to a 98-45 rout of Tulane on Saturday and a 20-0 start to the season for the 11th time in program history.

Kia Nurse scored 14 for the Huskies (9-0 American Athletic Conference) and tied a career high with seven rebounds.

UConn had six players in double figures for the sixth time this season.

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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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Connecticut Huskies head coach Kevin Ollie yells towards his players during the second half of the game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at the Reynolds Center. (Brett Rojo/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Kevin Ollie yells towards his players during the second half of the game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at the Reynolds Center. (Brett Rojo/USA TODAY Sports)

The University of Connecticut confirms it is the target of an NCAA investigation into its men's basketball program.

University President Susan Herbst, in a statement released Friday morning, says the school is committed to "a culture of compliance" and intends to fully cooperate with the investigation in a "thorough and transparent manner."

 

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Jan 16, 2018; Memphis, TN, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams (4) goes to the basket against Memphis Tigers guard Jeremiah Martin (3) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)
Jan 16, 2018; Memphis, TN, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams (4) goes to the basket against Memphis Tigers guard Jeremiah Martin (3) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Christian Vital scored 20 points and Jalen Adams added 18 to lead UConn to a 63-52 win over SMU on Thursday night.

Josh Carlton added a season-high 12 rebounds for the Huskies (11-9, 4-3), who used a 19-4 second-half run to secure much-needed conference win after losing back-to-back games by at least 20 points.

Shake Milton scored 18 points and Jimmy Whitt had 14 for SMU, (14-7, 4-4) which was coming off wins over No. 17 Wichita State and Tulane.

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