The Big East continues to dissolve, slowly.

Boise State, the linchpin to the Big East's reinvention, will back out of its commitment to the Big East according ESPN and stay in the Mountain West Conference.

Boise State's departure could also result in San Diego State backing out without a an exit fee penalty and could lead to further defections as the Mountain West seems to have won out over the Big East as the best of the rest in college football.

ESPN is also reporting that SMU and Houston could be targets of the Mountain West.

The Boise State makes Big East football almost unworkable. Any further defections, such as San Diego State, would deny the westward expansion and could have other teams, such as Navy, back out of its ultimate Big East entrance.

The league now has to replace Boise State on the schedule for next season as the league tries to regroup.

UConn, South Florida, Temple Cincinnati are the only Big East members left.

Next year, Central Florida, Houston SMU, San Diego State, Memphis were supposed to join with Louisville and Rutgers.

That would make next year 11 teams without Boise. If there are further departures, it could become difficult for the league to field.

 

This leaves UConn athletics in an even worse position if possible. The Huskies have no desire to remain in the Big East, but also have no outlet with the ACC unwilling to extend an invite. With the basketball schools having departed, the basis of football/basketball league remains problematic from a television and strength standpoint.

Tags: Football, Men's Basketball, UCONN, Women's Basketball

 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

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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GEICO SportsNite: Geno Auriemma 00:01:09
Justine Ward talks with Geno Auriemma after UConn's win over Syracuse to advance to the Sweet 16.

STORRS, Conn. -- The one University of Connecticut women's basketball player that Syracuse should know best is Kia Nurse.

Nurse's aunt, Raquel, played for Syracuse from 1995-98 and is fourth on the Orange's all-time assist list. Nurse's uncle by marriage is legendary Syracuse and former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, who serves today on the school's Board of Trustees.

But Monday night, Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman's defense treated Nurse like she didn't exist, leaving the Huskies' junior guard open from 3-point land and daring her to shoot.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn preps 00:01:56
Justine Ward talks to Katie Lou Samuelson about how the UConn Women's basketball team is preparing for Syracuse on Monday.

STORRS, Conn. -- Katie Lou Samuelson could only sit on the bench and watch the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's national championship game win over Syracuse last April after breaking a bone in her left foot two days earlier.

The Huskies' sophomore guard didn't have to wait all that long to get a shot at the Orange.

"It's cool to have a chance to play them again," Samuelson said Sunday. "But really it's an opportunity to play another real good team. We'll be excited for it and ready to go."

The top-seeded Huskies go for their 24th straight NCAA tournament Sweet 16 appearance Monday when they entertain No. 8 Syracuse in a Bridgeport Regional second-round game at Gampel Pavilion. Tip off is at 6:35 p.m. It's a rematch of last year's final won by UConn 82-51 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

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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)

 

STORRS, Conn. -- Geno Auriemma admits he's been surprised by the breakout year that Gabby Williams has enjoyed with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

 

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn women 00:01:29
Kia Nurse breaks down the Huskies' game and stresses the need to stay competitive while Geno Auriemma previews Syracuse.

STORRS, Conn. -- The toughest part for Kia Nurse during her four-game absence from the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's lineup last month was staying off her injured right ankle to give it a chance to heal.

But the 12-day break between the American Athletic Conference tournament final and the start of the NCAA tournament allowed the Huskies' junior guard to get back in the routine she's accustomed to.

Her work paid off Saturday.

Nurse had 24 points, going 6-for-7 from 3-point land, as the top-seeded Huskies routed No. 16 Albany 116-55 in a NCAA Bridgeport Regional first-round game before a crowd of 5,670 at Gampel Pavilion.

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 (Steven Branscombe)
(Steven Branscombe)

STORRS, Conn. -- Geno Auriemma is never at a loss for words, but the University of Connecticut women's basketball coach never thought he'd say what he did Friday.

"If we could go back in time four years ago and tape this segment and hear these words come out of my mouth, 'I don't know where we would be without Saniya Chong,' I'd say, 'Somebody dubbed that into Coach Auriemma's mouth,' " Auriemma said during a press conference here. "Now here we are four years removed and I don't know where we would be without Saniya right now. That's how much she has changed and how much she has added to our program.

"It was two years ago when Saniya said she wanted to keep playing after college. I said something like, 'I'm sure there are many pickup leagues back in Ossining, New York, that would love to have you as part of their program.' Now having watched her play this year I'm thinking, 'You know, there is a place for her to play next year.' I told her at the conference tournament,' I don't know how many people understand this, but you might be the most important person out on the court for as long as we are in the NCAA tournament.' 

Tags: Saniya Chong, Carl Adamec
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GEICO SportsNite: UConn women 00:02:01
The players of the UConn women's basketball team and head coach Geno Auriemma talk about their historic run and the upcoming tournament.

 (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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Maryland Terrapins guard Chloe Pavlech (15) works for the loose ball against Connecticut Huskies guard Bria Hartley (14) during the second half at the XL Center. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Maryland Terrapins guard Chloe Pavlech (15) works for the loose ball against Connecticut Huskies guard Bria Hartley (14) during the second half at the XL Center. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. -- Chloe Pavlech played in two NCAA Final Four semifinals with the University of Maryland women's basketball team, but was denied a third time as a senior when Washington eliminated the Terrapins in the tournament's second round.

With her playing days done, the Cincinnati native made her way to Indianapolis and the 2016 Final Four in a different role as she took part in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's "So you want to be a coach" program.

By that time, Pavlech had already started work on her masters degree as the two-time all-Big Ten academic selection had earned her bachelor's in journalism in three years. Coaching, though, would allow her to stay close to the game she had been a part of most of her life.

She reached out to University of Connecticut assistant coach Marisa Moseley, who was one of the first to recruit her when Moseley was on the Minnesota staff.

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 (Chris O'Meara/AP)
(Chris O'Meara/AP)

STORRS, Conn. -- Gabby Williams always thought of herself as an athletic basketball player, not an athlete who plays basketball.

But somewhere between her time at Reed High in Sparks, Nevada, and her arrival at the University of Connecticut, the thinking for some changed.

"In high school, no one ever felt that I was just an athlete and it kind of happened when I got to college," Williams said. "It's been a back-and-forth struggle. Starting my freshman year I heard, 'She's a great athlete. She's a great athlete.' Well, what I'm going to do is prove that I'm a lot more than that."

She's done it better than even the Huskies could have expected.

Tags: Gabby Williams, Carl Adamec
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 (Photo courtesy USA Basketball)
(Photo courtesy USA Basketball)

STORRS, Conn. -- The look of excitement and surprise was all over Katie Lou Samuelson's face when WNBA star Elena Delle Donne visited Mater Dei High in California and presented her with the 2015 Gatorade national Player of the Year award.

"They called the senior class out for a rally and I thought I was doing a photo shoot, but obviously there was other stuff going on," Samuelson said. "Elena was really nice, just awesome. I look up to her and love watching her play. It was so cool."

Megan Walker knows exactly how her future teammate with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team felt...

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Geno Show: Best opposing players 00:01:36
Geno Auriemma recalls the best players he's faced during his tenure as UConn head coach.

Geno Auriemma recalls the best players he's faced during his tenure as UConn head coach.

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Geno's most impressive season? 00:01:18
In a special NCAA Tournament preview, Jonas Schwartz and Kara Wolters ask if this season was Geno Auriemma's most impressive yet.

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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GEICO SportsNite: Geno Auriemma 00:01:39
Geno Auriemma goes one-on-one with Michelle Yu to discuss the UConn women's basketball team and his tournament expectations for his team.

Geno Auriemma goes one-on-one with Michelle Yu to discuss the UConn women's basketball team and his tournament expectations for his team.


Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and teammates celebrate their championship win over the South Florida Bulls during the women's AAC Conference Tournament at Mohegun Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and teammates celebrate their championship win over the South Florida Bulls during the women's AAC Conference Tournament at Mohegun Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)

STORRS, Conn. -- Katie Lou Samuelson takes pride in what the University of Connecticut women's basketball team has accomplished the last four months.

But what the Huskies do the next three weeks is what they'll be remembered for.

"We've done a lot of things people didn't expect this season," Samuelson said Monday after UConn was given the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA tournament and the top seed for the Bridgeport Regional. "We all kind of thought we could do it, but we didn't look so far ahead. We took every single game one game at a time, and I think that's why we had the success we did because we weren't looking ahead to the streak or anything else going on. We just kind of focused on what we had to do that day.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn ousted 00:00:46
UConn falls to Cincinnati, 81-71 in the semifinals of the AAC Tournament to mark the program's first losing season in more than 30 years.

Gary Clark scored 24 points to lead No. 15 Cincinnati to an 81-71 win over UConn in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday night.

Jacob Evans added 21 points and Troy Caupain had 19 for the Bearcats (29-4), who will be seeking their first AAC title on Sunday against No. 12 SMU.

Jalen Adams scored 20 points and Christian Vital had 19 for UConn. The Huskies finish their season 16-17, their first losing campaign in 30 years.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn advances 00:00:52
The UConn men's basketball team advanced to the American Athletic Conference semifinals with a 74-65 win over Houston.

Jalen Adams scored 23 points as UConn upset Houston 74-65 in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament Friday in Hartford.

The Huskies (16-16) meet second-seeded Cincinnati (28-4) in the semifinals at 5 p.m. today in Hartford. No. 15 Cincinnati, which beat Tulsa 80-61 Friday, routed the Huskies 67-47 last Sunday in Storrs after beating them 82-68 at home earlier in the season.

The loss likely knocked Houston (21-10) out of NCAA Tournament consideration.

>>Box score

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Geno Auriemma on Senior Day 00:02:11
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma talks about what Senior Day for his players means to him.

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma talks about what Senior Day for his players means to him.

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Mar 1, 2017; Greenville, NC, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Rodney Purvis (15) drives with the ball against East Carolina Pirates forward Kentrell Barkley (15) during the second half at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. The East Carolina Pirates defeated the Connecticut Huskies 66-62. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Mar 1, 2017; Greenville, NC, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Rodney Purvis (15) drives with the ball against East Carolina Pirates forward Kentrell Barkley (15) during the second half at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. The East Carolina Pirates defeated the Connecticut Huskies 66-62. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Rodney Purvis scored a career-high 30 points and UConn beat South Florida 77-66 on Thursday night in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament.

Amida Brimah added 13 points and Christian Vital had 11 for the Huskies (15-16), who snapped a four-game losing streak.

UConn led by 13 points at halftime and 15 after a Brimah dunk to open the second half. >> Read more

Tags: University of Connecticut, University of South Florida
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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 (33) reacts after her three point basket against the South Florida Bulls in the second half of the championship game during the women's AAC Conference Tournament at Mohegun Sun Arena. (David Butler II)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) reacts after her three point basket against the South Florida Bulls in the second half of the championship game during the women's AAC Conference Tournament at Mohegun Sun Arena. (David Butler II)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Katie Lou Samuelson put on a show Monday night for 6,448 fans at Mohegan Sun Arena, a national television audience, and her University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

But Huskies' freshman Crystal Dangerfield had seen the act before.

On June 23, 2013, in the gold-medal game of the FIBA Americas U-16 tournament in Cancun, Mexico, Samuelson scored 24 points on a USA Basketball record 8-for-8 effort from 3-point land to lead Team USA to a victory over Canada.

It was a performance that got the attention of former UConn star and now four-time Olympic gold medalist Diana Taurasi, who, at the WNBA All-Star Game a month later, raved about "the kid from Mater Dei" and her stunning performance.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn champs 00:02:23
Katie Lou Samuelson shot 10-for-10 from beyond the arch to lead UConn to the American Conference title.

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- As is tradition with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team, the Huskies did not cut down the nets at Mohegan Sun Arena Monday night after wrapping up the American Athletic Conference tournament championship.

It may have been a safety issue as the nets were still too hot to handle after Katie Lou Samuelson got through with them.

Samuelson scored a career high 40 points -- including a NCAA record 10-for-10 effort from 3-point range -- to earn Most Outstanding Player honors as the top-seeded Huskies completed their run to the AAC title with a 100-44 rout of third-seeded South Florida before a crowd of 6,448 at the casino.

"The thing that helped me out it that I didn't start out the game focused on threes," Samuelson said. "I focused on just playing. Then they were going in and I kept shooting it and they felt good. I was getting open shots and my teammates kept getting me the ball so I was going to keep shooting."

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn wins 00:01:46
The Huskies defeated UCF, 78-56, to advance to the AAC title game.

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Playing three games in three days can take its toll.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team is pleased, though, that it will deal with that after advancing to the American Athletic Conference championship game Sunday. Napheesa Collier had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Gabby Williams added 16 points and nine rebounds as the top-seeded Huskies downed No. 4 Central Florida, 78-56, in semifinal action at Mohegan Sun Arena.

But playing a game, no matter how many in a row is better than going to practice, right?

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Mar 5, 2017; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Rodney Purvis (15) returns up court against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Cincinnati defeated UConn 67-47. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 5, 2017; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Rodney Purvis (15) returns up court against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Cincinnati defeated UConn 67-47. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Gary Clark had 17 points and 14 rebounds, leading Cincinnati over short-handed Connecticut 67-47 Sunday in the regular-season finale for both teams.

The Bearcats led 21-7 midway through the first half. Kevin Johnson made a 3-pointer 14 seconds into the second half and Cincinnati never lost its double-digit lead.  

Amida Brimah had 11 points for UConn. The Huskies were down to seven scholarship players for the game after freshman Vance Jackson sustained a concussion in Wednesday's loss at East Carolina. >>Read More

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Ashley Hughes' final shot for the University of Tulsa women's basketball team went around the rim and in for her Saturday. But UConn's Molly Bent had bumped her on the floor before the release of the foul-line jumper, and though the senior guard tried a bit to sell the hoop to the officials, the call would only allow her team to maintain possession.

It would also be her last play for the Golden Hurricane. With 1:45 to go, Hughes left the Mohegan Sun Arena floor having left everything she had on it. After slapping hands with her coaches and teammates down the sidelines she took a seat and looked at the scoreboard that showed her team facing a 46-point deficit.

At the final buzzer of UConn's 105-57 victory in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament, Hughes slapped the floor with the palms of her hands. The Huskies had pushed their winning streak to 105, but Hughes was not beaten. The toughest women's basketball player on the planet went out with her head held high.

Tags: University of Tulsa
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GEICO SportsNite: UConn women 00:02:46
Justine Ward catches up with Geno Auriemma after the Huskies breezed past Tulsa, 105-57, in the AAC Quarterfinals on Saturday.

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- It took until his fourth season for Geno Auriemma's University of Connecticut women's basketball team to play 30 games.

Now 30-win seasons are the norm for the Huskies and their hall of fame coach.

Top-seeded UConn reached the plateau again Saturday as Napheesa Collier scored 24 points in a 105-57 rout of No. 9 Tulsa in an American Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinal game before an announced crowd -- it seemed much larger -- of 5,513 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The Huskies (30-0) have won at least 30 games in a NCAA record 12 consecutive seasons and 22 times in the last 24 seasons. 

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Jan 10, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; The Connecticut Huskies bench react after a basket against the South Florida Bulls in the second half at XL Center. UConn defeated South Florida 102-37. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 10, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; The Connecticut Huskies bench react after a basket against the South Florida Bulls in the second half at XL Center. UConn defeated South Florida 102-37. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- The record says the University of Connecticut women's basketball team is perfect but the Huskies know better than anyone that they're not.

After beating South Florida Monday night to cap the program's ninth unbeaten regular season and push its winning streak to 104, UConn (29-0) was given two days off before returning to work at the Werth Family Champions Center on Thursday.

Top-seeded UConn will face No. 9 Tulsa in an American Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinal game Saturday just after 2 p.m.

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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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UConn loses to ECU 00:00:42
Playing with a thin rotation, the UConn Huskies men's basketball team lost in Greensboro to the East Carolina Pirates, 66-62.

Caleb White poured in a career-high 28 points in his final home game, leading East Carolina to a 66-62 upset of Connecticut on Wednesday on the Pirates' Senior Night.

White's previous high had been 22 points. Kentrell Barkley added 18 points for ECU.

Kentan Facey had 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead four Huskies in double figures. >> Read more

Tags: East Carolina University

 (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 1, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) dribbles up court against the Temple Owls during the first half at The Liacouras Center. The Connecticut Huskies 97-69. (Bill Streicher (USA Today))
Feb 1, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) dribbles up court against the Temple Owls during the first half at The Liacouras Center. The Connecticut Huskies 97-69. (Bill Streicher (USA Today))

There is nothing Napheesa Collier would rather do than play basketball.

Over the last several years -- between her high school and college seasons and her offseasons playing either AAU or for her country -- her second home was a basketball court.

But after helping the University of Connecticut win an unprecedented fourth consecutive national championship a year ago, the perpetual motion stopped. Last April 22, Collier had surgery at the UConn Health Center in Farmington to repair a torn labrum in her right hip. The injury originally occurred during individual workouts in the preseason.

Not only did the successful surgery get her back to 100 percent physically, it may have been the break she needed -- lasting about three months -- that would allow her to take her game to another level and emerge as an All-American and conference Player of the Year candidate.

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UConn beats USF, 96-68 00:00:52
UConn defeats USF, 96-68, in the regular season finale, for its 104th consecutive victory.

TAMPA, Fla. -- If the stretch drive in the race for the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year was the Belmont Stakes, Napheesa Collier would be Secretariat.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's forward closed out the regular season of her breakout sophomore year with a career night for the ages.

Collier had a career-high 39 points to go along with 12 rebounds and four blocks Monday night as the top-ranked Huskies completed their ninth unbeaten regular season and fourth straight American Athletic Conference perfect regular season by coasting past South Florida, 96-68, before a pro-UConn crowd of 5,948 at the Sun Dome.

"Pheesa did what's she's been doing all season," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "I don't think there was anything different she did today. She knows where she wants the ball and she goes to that spot and gets it and finishes. She is incredibly efficient and incredibly consistent. She's one of those players who doesn't waste a lot of time or energy. She's hard to play against, no matter who it is."

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The Connecticut Huskies pose for a picture holding their 2017 AAC Regular Season Champions after the game against the Temple Owls at XL Center. (David Butler II)
The Connecticut Huskies pose for a picture holding their 2017 AAC Regular Season Champions after the game against the Temple Owls at XL Center. (David Butler II)

TAMPA, Fla. -- When the University of Connecticut women's basketball team watched Florida State's Imani Wright go up for a 3-point shot at the end of its Nov. 14 season opener, the Huskies weren't thinking about a perfect regular season. They were hoping to survive their first game.

What started up in Tallahassee will come to a close about a four-hour drive via I-10 East and I-75 South away Monday night. And what a long and interesting journey it's been for UConn these past few months.

"It's been crazy when you look back and you're already a game away from postseason play," UConn guard Katie Lou Samuelson said. "Now it seems like it went by so fast. It's up to us now to keep it going."

The top-ranked Huskies will look to complete their second straight and ninth unbeaten regular season overall Monday at 7 p.m. when they face South Florida in American Athletic Conference action at the Sun Dome.

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

STORRS, Conn. -- Saniya Chong looked into the Gampel Pavilion stands Saturday and felt the love of the sellout crowd.

But the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's senior guard -- who was escorted to center court by her parents, Andrew and Leslie, to accept a framed uniform No. 12 from coach Geno Auriemma during the Senior Day ceremony -- felt like she was taking a back seat to her father, who was having the time of his life.

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UConn Trivia Question 00:00:33
Name the three former Huskies to record 200+ assists in a Senior season.

Question: Name The Three Former Huskies To Record 200+ Assists In A Senior Season?

Click above to play the answer.

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Huskies continue to roll 00:02:27
UConn earns a dominant win over conference-rival Memphis, 91-48, in Storrs.

It's an offensive set that the University of Connecticut women's basketball team has run thousands of times in games and in practice this season.

But it may have been the first time it was Tierney Lawlor delivering the ball to Katie Lou Samuelson. The senior's pass to Samuelson with 14 seconds gone Saturday resulted in a four-point play for the sophomore shooting star and she and the Huskies were never headed.  

"It was a great way to start the game and it was even better that Tee gave me the pass," Samuelson said. "It felt good from there."  

Samuelson scored 23 of her 29 points in the first half as No. 1 UConn routed Memphis 91-48 in American Athletic Conference action before a Senior Day sellout crowd at Gampel Pavilion.

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Feb 25, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs guard Jarrey Foster (10) and forward Ben Moore (0) defend against Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs guard Jarrey Foster (10) and forward Ben Moore (0) defend against Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Shake Milton had 20 points and seven rebounds to lead No. 15 SMU over UConn 69-61 on Saturday.

The Mustangs (25-4, 15-1 American Athletic Conference) won their 11th straight and haven't lost since Jan. 12 at Cincinnati. Semi Ojeleye had 16 points, Ben Moore added 15 and Sterling Brown had 11.

The Huskies (14-14, 9-7), who have dropped two straight after a four-game winning streak, were led by Kentan Facey's 15 points. Freshman Christian Vital and Vance Jackson each added 14, while Rodney Purvis had 11. >> Read more

Tags: Southern Methodist University

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

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

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

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

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 (Steven Branscombe)
(Steven Branscombe)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Home court advantage 00:02:08
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma talks about how important home court advantage has been during his tenure with the Huskies.

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma talks about how important home court advantage has been during his tenure with the Huskies.

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Mercedes Trivia Question 00:00:30
Mercedes Trivia asks: who was the fastest UConn player to reach 1000 career points?

Question: Who is the fastest UCONN Player to reach 1,000+ career points in program history?

Click above to play the answer.

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Culmo's Courtvision 00:00:59
Meghan Culmo and Eric Frede examine the Huskies' defensive game in this edition of Culmo's Courtvision presented by Yale-New Haven Health.

Meghan Culmo and Eric Frede examine the Huskies' defensive game in this edition of Culmo's Courtvision presented by Yale-New Haven Health.

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Feb 22, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars guard Damyean Dotson (21) dribbles the ball as Connecticut Huskies guard Rodney Purvis (15) defends during the second half at Hofheinz Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Feb 22, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars guard Damyean Dotson (21) dribbles the ball as Connecticut Huskies guard Rodney Purvis (15) defends during the second half at Hofheinz Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Damyean Dotson had 25 points and nine rebounds and Houston used a big run to start the second half to rally for a 75-70 win over UConn Wednesday night.

Rob Gray added 16 points for Houston (19-8, 10-5 American), which shot 34 percent. Devin Davis had 11 points, and Kyle Meyer had nine points and 11 rebounds for the Cougars, which hit 9 for 10 from the free throw line in the final minute.

Jalen Adams had 18 points, Vance Jackson added 16 points and Rodney Purvis had 11 points for UConn (14-13, 9-6), which saw its four-game winning streak snapped. The Huskies shot 39 percent but hit 9 of 29 in the second half. >> Read more

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press

Tags: University of Houston
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