STORRS, Conn. -- Napheesa Collier has not had three consecutive double-doubles in her still young career with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.
She entered Sunday's American Athletic Conference game with Tulsa coming off back-to-back double-doubles against Houston and Temple. And at halftime against the Golden Hurricane she was two rebounds shy of a new personal record.
The sophomore forward didn't get there, though she was outstanding with 24 points, nine rebounds and three assists in the top-ranked Huskies' 96-50 rout of Tulsa before a crowd of 9,347 at Gampel Pavilion.
"They didn't say that," Collier said when asked if a player or coach had pointed out she just missed the double-double by the one rebound. "Nine is still pretty good. I had eight at halftime? Well, then, they might say something about that."
It's almost as certain as the Huskies' 97th consecutive win was after they blew away the Golden Hurricane with a strong third quarter following an up-and-down first half.
"After every game, and this never fails," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "There is never a time when you pass up an opportunity to get a dig in at somebody about something in that game. I don't care if it's a triple-double and it's the first in the history of college basketball. We're going to find something to say about something. Why? For the hell of it, because it's fun. It keeps them engaged. Otherwise I would have no reason to talk to them. And they wouldn't want to talk to me and now they have to talk to me because I'm asking, 'Why do you have nine rebounds instead of 10?' Everyone's fawning all over you, Napheesa. You got one rebound in the second half. Really?
"You have some fun with that stuff but when it's all said and done ... A lot of these kids push themselves. I don't know if it's like the old days where guys get on each other and make fun of each other. Everybody loves everybody all the time. Text me a picture of a heart and tell me you love me."
Collier finished 10-for-13 from the floor as the St. Peters, Missouri, native pushed her league-leading field goal percentage to 67.5.
She was on fire while her teammates struggled to make shots. In the first quarter, the Huskies were at 33.3 percent while one of the best perimeter shooters in the country -- Katie Lou Samuelson -- was 2-for-10. The sophomore guard rallied to make five of her last six shots but missed all seven of her shots from behind the arc. It was the first time she did not make a 3-pointer since a game at Temple on Feb. 14, 2016.
"Every time Lou misses a shot, Shea (assistant coach Ralph) loses her mind because it's unthinkable," Auriemma said with a smile. "We were trying to talk her off the ledge after this performance."
"We get so used to shots going in that you almost forget there are times they don't," he added. "As a coach you make a decision, are we taking bad shots or do we need to get better shots? Or, are we getting wide open shots and they're not going in? There's nothing you can do about that. But let's go to the one guy that is making shots. But I wouldn't trade any of the shots we took in the first half. Most of them were the same shots we've taken all year and they weren't going in. When we found something that was working we went in that direction."
UConn (22-0, 10-0 AAC) still led 16-11 after one quarter. Collier had nine points in a 16-2 run that pushed the lead to 19. It was 40-23 at the break.
Tulsa (8-15, 4-6) got no closer as Samuelson scored 10 points and Gabby Williams nine in the third quarter to blow it open to 69-34.
Williams sat out the final 13:01 of the first half even though she was in no foul trouble.
"She's just not feeling right and you can see it," Auriemma said. "It's been like that the last couple of days, week. She's a little out of sorts right now. I thought it would be best to give her a chance to sit and watch for awhile."
The junior forward's 17 minutes on the court were a season low.
Still she managed to join the other starters in double figures as Saniya Chong had 17 points, Samuelson 16, Kia Nurse 14 and Williams 10. Chong also had seven rebounds and seven assists to no turnovers, while Williams chipped in six rebounds, six assists to no turnovers and two blocks.
UConn shot 66.7 percent from the floor over the final three quarters to finish at 56.5 percent for the game.
"We didn't have a good shooting half in the first," Nurse said. "It wasn't something that slowed us down, but we needed to execute better."
Tulsa received 12 points from freshman Shug Dickson and 10 from Ebony Parker. The Golden Hurricane shot 36.8 percent and committed 23 turnovers that the Huskies turned into 29 points.
The win was No. 977 in Auriemma's Hall-of-Fame career, tying him with Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer for fourth on the all-time list. Auriemma's record in his 32nd season at UConn is 977-134, while Stringer's record in 45 seasons at Cheyney State, Iowa, and Rutgers is 977-383.
Auriemma can pass Stringer, at least temporarily, when the Huskies visit Cincinnati on Tuesday (SNY, 7 p.m.). Rutgers does not play again until Wednesday against Indiana.