By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — Stefanie Dolson would never forget.

The memories came rushing back anyway as soon as the University of Connecticut women's center walked onto the court at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee a week ago.

Last Feb. 25, Dolson was benched against Marquette after playing six unproductive minutes, totaling two points and one rebound. About 11 months later she returned with a purpose.

"What happened last year was in my mind," Dolson said. "It was a chance to redeem myself and to prove to everyone that I was a different player and that something like that wouldn't happen again."

Dolson has been a different player since and her junior season has been her best and most consistent since she arrived here.

And when the third-ranked Huskies face Syracuse Saturday at the XL Center in Hartford (4 p.m., SNY), Dolson will have a chance to join an exclusive club. With eight points, she'll become the 36th UConn player with 1,000 in their careers.

"It's exciting, a cool achievement," Dolson said. "It’s not on the top of my mind. I just want to go out there and play a great game with the team and after the game get ready for Duke."

Dolson comes in averaging career highs of 13.1 points and 6.7 rebounds in 26.7 minutes. She ranks first in the Big East and fourth nationally in field-goal percentage (60.8). She also has 15 more assists than turnovers after being a minus-43 in her first two seasons.

She's been in double figures a career best seven straight games, including 20 points a week ago against Marquette. She followed that up with 16 points and nine rebounds in another redeem game against Louisville Tuesday night.

Even if the 6-foot-5, Port Jervis, N.Y., native didn't remember what happened a year ago in Milwaukee, someone else was in town to remind her.

"I made a point to bring up before the Marquette game that our big guys didn't do anything to help us there last year," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We played with five guards most of the time. Big guys have a specific role on your team and if they're not playing that role there's no point in having them out there.

"If you think of what that role is ... You've got to be a decent defender in the lane. You have to be a pretty good rebounder. You have to screen a little bit. You have to score in there a little bit. You have to pass the ball a little bit. It’s not easy doing all those things. But if you look at Stefanie this year you'd be hard pressed to find an area she hasn't been good as a post player. She's put herself in a position where if you would describe what is a real good post player and what would they do, Stefanie's all those things. And she didn't used to be."

Dolson's surge actually began right after the benching. She earned spots on the Big East and NCAA Kingston (R.I.) Regional all-tournament teams and scored 20 points in the Final Four overtime loss against Notre Dame in Denver.

In the offseason, she got into the best shape of her life and it's paid dividends.

"It's crazy how much more you're able to help your team when you’re more physically fit and healthier and able to be in the game longer," Dolson said. "I think the team relies on me for energy so it's important for me to be on the floor."

And be a leader.

"I'm a lot more mature and a lot stronger mentally," Dolson said. "Last year with Marquette I was benched and against Louisville I got wrapped up in the things that were going on in the game. As you mature and grow as a player you learn not to let that stuff effect your game.

"There are some things you have control over and some things you don't have control over. One of the things you do is getting upset or angry. You have to go out and play your game."

If Dolson can get eight or more points today, she'll join teammate and classmate Bria Hartley in the 1,000-point club.

Hartley got there a season ago, the third UConn sophomore to do so.

"It shows how much you’ve worked and how much you want to contribute to this program," Hartley said. "Stef's one of those players you can see the work she's done and the progress that she's made. It's paid off."

The All-American guard admits she would love to have the assist that gets Dolson the milestone.

"That would be awesome," Dolson said.

"If I can, I'll try," Hartley said. "I don't count points. But if I notice it, I'll try."

Of course, the No. 1 objective for the Huskies (15-1 overall, 3-1 Big East) Saturday is to get a win.

Syracuse (15-1, 3-0) is one of four unbeaten teams in league play. Senior center Kayla Alexander has emerged has one of the Big East's best. The Orange are also getting the job done with three freshmen in their starting lineup. The game is the last Big East regular season meeting between the schools as Syracuse will head to the Atlantic Coast Conference at the end of the year.

Tags: UCONN, Women's Basketball, Carl Adamec

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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Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams (15) and guard Kia Nurse (11) and guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) and guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) sit on the bench during the second half against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Raymond Carlin III)
Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams (15) and guard Kia Nurse (11) and guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) and guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) sit on the bench during the second half against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (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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Feb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma looks on against the Tulane Green Wave during the first half at Devlin Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)
Feb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma looks on against the Tulane Green Wave during the first half at Devlin Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Last season, the University of Connecticut women's basketball program arranged a homecoming game for Breanna Stewart at Colgate. Next season, homecoming games for junior guard Kia Nurse (versus Duquesne in Toronto) and sophomore guard Katie Lou Samuelson (at UCLA) are set.

But what about Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma, who was born in Montella, Italy, on March 23, 1954?

That's on the schedule, too. The Huskies will travel to Italy for 11 days in August. It will be their fifth visit to Europe since 1994.

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they takes on the Baylor Bears at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they takes on the Baylor Bears at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. - There are 11 national championship banners proudly on display in the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's practice facility.

But nowhere in the Werth Family Champions Center gymnasium where the Huskies work out is any mention of the 22 regular season league titles (19 Big East, three American Athletic Conference) that they have won since 1989. Don't think for a second, though, that winning a championship isn't important to them. 

Top-ranked UConn can wrap up its fourth consecutive AAC regular season title outright Wednesday night when it hosts No. 23 Temple at the XL Center in Hartford (SNY, 7 p.m.).

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn wins 00:00:33
The Huskies survived a late thriller as Jalen Adams hit a game-winning layup in the final seconds of a 64-63 win over Temple.

Jalen Adams scored 13 points and hit a driving layup with 2.9 seconds left as UConn rallied to beat Temple 64-63 on Sunday for its fourth straight win.

Rodney Purvis finished with 18 points and five assists for the Huskies (14-12, 9-5 American), who overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to win for the seventh time in their last eight contests.

Daniel Dingle led Temple (14-14, 5-10) with 17 points. Damion MooreAlani Moore II and Shizz Alston Jr. added 11 points apiece but Alston missed a heave at the buzzer as the Owls lost their second straight.

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UConn edges Tulane 00:02:18
The UConn Huskies keep their streak alive with a 63-60 victory over Tulane.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team survived its first American Athletic Conference fourth-quarter challenge.

Barely.

Kayla Manuirirangi's 40-foot shot to tie was off the mark and the top-ranked Huskies pushed their winning streak to 101 by holding off Tulane 63-60 in AAC play at Devlin Fieldhouse in New Orleans

 

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Geno on young players 00:06:04
UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma discusses the freshman wall, an invisible force which can hamper young players.

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma discusses the freshman wall, an invisible force which can hamper young players.

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UConn Trivia Question 00:00:33
What is the fewest amount of points UConn has scored vs. AAC opponents since joining the conference?

Question: What is the fewest amount of points UCONN has scored vs AAC opponents since joining the conference.

Click above to play the answer.

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Jan 28, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) drives the ball against Houston Cougars guard Chyanne Butler (1) in the first half at XL Center. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 28, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) drives the ball against Houston Cougars guard Chyanne Butler (1) in the first half at XL Center. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

STORRS, Conn. - Geno Auriemma says plenty to Napheesa Collier in his role as coach of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

But one thing he never has to tell her is to play harder. That's a lesson the sophomore forward took to heart from her parents, Sarah and Gamal, as a youngster whether she was involved in basketball, softball, baseball, soccer and track and field.

"That started really early," Collier said. "I started playing soccer when I was like four years old. My parents really drilled it into me early that it doesn't matter if you are good or not, you have to give maximum effort."

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn holds on 00:00:39
UConn edges conference rival Memphis on Thursday night, 65-62.

HARTFORD -- Jalen Adams scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half to rally UConn to a 65-62 win over Memphis on Thursday night. Christian Vital added 13 points for the Huskies (13-12, 8-5 American), who have a winning record for the first time this season.

Craig Randall II and Markel Crawford each scored 13 for Memphis, which led by as many as 17 points in the first half and by 14 at halftime.

The Huskies began chipping away, but Memphis led 60-53 with just 5 minutes left on a jumper by Jeremiah Martin. UConn scored the next 10 points, taking lead at 61-60 on a runner in the lane by Adams with just under 2 minutes left. >> Read more.

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 (AP)
(AP)

Carl Adamec, SNY.TV:

STORRS, Conn. -- There will never be a 100-game winning streak (or whatever number the streak ends at) banner in Gampel Pavilion as long as Geno Auriemma is the University of Connecticut women's basketball coach.

While there was a championship feel Monday night following the Huskies' 100th consecutive win, no title was on the line. With March two weeks away, 100 percent of their attention is on continuing their championship reigns.

That's how you put up a banner at Gampel Pavilion. 

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

Latest Update: (Feb. 15)

3:15 p.m.: Big East associate commissioner John Paquette said on Wednesday that there have been "no discussions between the Big East and UConn," reports Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Previous Reports: (Feb. 15)

1:10 p.m.: The Big East and UConn have held discussions about a possible return to the collegiate conference, Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports reported Wednesday. The potential return to the Big East would encompass all UConn sports, with the exception of football which has no participants in the league.

 

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 (David Butler II (USA Today))
(David Butler II (USA Today))

Crystal Dangerfield has shown that she can be a big-game player for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

What the Huskies need the freshman point guard to be as they approach March and the postseason is an every-game player.

With starting guard Kia Nurse struggling to move with a right ankle injury Monday night, coach Geno Auriemma turned to Dangerfield and she responded with 30 minutes of solid play. She finished with five points, seven assists, and a steal as No. 1 UConn made it 100 straight wins by beating sixth-ranked South Carolina 66-55 at sold-out Gampel Pavilion.

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. -- Breanna Stewart was sitting maybe 20 feet away from where she would have been standing a year ago.

So close, yet so far.

The three-time national Player of the Year was part of the first 75 games of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's record winning streak. Monday night she was a spectator at Gampel Pavilion for the first time since her senior year of high school and she watched the top-ranked Huskies make it 100 in a row with a 66-55 win over No. 6 South Carolina.

"It was very important to me to be here," Stewart said. "If I was in the country, I was coming to this game...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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GEICO SportsNite: 100 wins 00:01:12
The UConn women's basketball team defeated South Carolina, 66-55, for its 100th win in a row.

 

STORRS, Conn -- University of Connecticut women's basketball royalty -- from Sue Bird to Maya Moore to Bria Hartley to Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck -- was seated right behind its bench.

And on this extraordinary Monday night at sold-out Gampel Pavilion, Gabby Williams was the queen of the court.

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GEICO SportsNite: Geno on 100 00:18:00
Uconn women's basketball head coach Geno Auriemma discusses the team's milestone night.

Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma (L) looks on from the sideline against the Southern Methodist Mustangs in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma (L) looks on from the sideline against the Southern Methodist Mustangs in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. -- Whether it's the Game of the Century remains to be seen.

But it's a Game for a Century for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

The excitement has been building for a month since the Huskies broke their own NCAA record for longest winning streak. And while a circus atmosphere swirls around Gampel Pavilion, let sophomore forward Napheesa Collier put their approach to Monday night in the simplest of terms.

"We're not focusing on 100. We're focusing on South Carolina as a team," she said.

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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier dribbles up court against the Temple Owls during the first half at The Liacouras Center. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier dribbles up court against the Temple Owls during the first half at The Liacouras Center. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. -- Napheesa Collier won't have to look far to see some familiar faces on the South Carolina sideline Monday night when the top-ranked University of Connecticut women's basketball team hosts the No. 6 Gamecocks at sold-out Gampel Pavilion.

The Huskies' sophomore forward was a teammate of South Carolina junior forward A'ja Wilson on USA Basketball's gold-medal winning teams at the 2014 FIBA U-18 Americas Championship and the 2015 FIBA U-19 world championships. Team USA was coached at both events by South Carolina's Dawn Staley.

"A'ja is a real good player," Collier said. "She's tall and physical but she can also go on the perimeter and play. It's going to be a challenge."

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Kara Wolters displays her gold medal after the USA defeated Australia 76-54 in the women's Gold Medal game at the Superdome, (AP)
Kara Wolters displays her gold medal after the USA defeated Australia 76-54 in the women's Gold Medal game at the Superdome, (AP)

STORRS, Conn. -- Kara Wolters was 6-foot-7 and came from a basketball family.

But when University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma made the one-hour drive to Holliston, Massachusetts, to watch Wolters play, he wasn't sure she had what it took to help the Huskies continue their surge onto the national scene.

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Culmo's Courtvision 00:00:25
Culmo's Courtvision breaks down UConn's screen, where Natalie Butler opened up Katie Lou Samuelson for the easy basket.

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UConn Trivia Question 00:00:22
When was the last time UConn scored 90+ points in seven straight games?

When was the last time UCONN scored 90+ points in 7 straight games?

Click above to play the answer.

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ORLANDO -- Rodney Purvis scored 18 points, including five 3-pointers, and Connecticut held off a Central Florida second-half rally for a 66-63 win Saturday night. >>Read more. . .

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press

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UConn runs streak to 99 00:02:15
The Huskies steamrolled over SMU, 83-41, to record their 99th consecutive win.

STORRS, Conn. -- Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams have been part of 100 wins with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

The Huskies' junior class reached the century mark Saturday thanks to the top-ranked Huskies' 83-41 American Athletic Conference victory over SMU before 10,012 at Gampel Pavilion.

"I didn't even think about that," Williams said. "Sometimes we get caught up with everything that's going on that we don't even think about how special the things that we're doing here are. I just feel blessed that we're in this position."

Now UConn and its junior class get to go for 100 in a row.

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 (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. -- Gabby Williams never backs down from a tough defensive assignment.

Fortunately, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's junior forward is always well prepared, thanks, in part, to Huskies' newcomer Azura Stevens.

"Z is one of those people who if you can guard her, you can guard anyone in the country pretty much," Williams said. "She's a huge threat inside with her height and the way she can finish. It's hard to close out on her because she has a foot on you. She makes things more competitive. You really have to step your game up when she's at practice."

Stevens is sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules, but she is a force at practice, whether it's scrimmaging against All-American candidates Williams or Napheesa Collier or doing drills with associate head coach Chris Dailey and assistant Marisa Moseley. During games, she does her best to support and encourage her teammates.

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 (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
(Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. - Katie Lou Samuelson played through flu-like symptoms against Maryland on Dec. 29 and scored 23 points in the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's win at the Xfinity Center in College Park.

The Huskies' sophomore guard may take a back seat to similar symptoms Saturday when No. 1 UConn takes on SMU in an American Athletic Conference game at Gampel Pavilion (SNY, 2 p.m.). Samuelson did not practice Friday and coach Geno Auriemma said the decision to play her or not will be made close to game time.

"She's been kind of under the weather for at least the last week or so," Auriemma said. "It wasn't getting any better. So, I don't know about tomorrow. I don't know what her situation will be tomorrow. It's certainly not going to be like regular business. Either she's not going to play at all or she's going to play some minutes. That will be depending on how she feels at shootaround tomorrow.

"It's been a crazy winter as far as that stuff goes. There's a lot of stuff going around and it's been all over campus and everybody. She's been struggling with it for awhile. She's just run down."

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Feb 8, 2017; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies center Amida Brimah (35) makes a basket against the South Florida Bulls in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Feb 8, 2017; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies center Amida Brimah (35) makes a basket against the South Florida Bulls in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

Rodney Purvis scored 23 points and UConn made a school-record 16 shots from 3-point range in a 97-51 rout of South Florida on Wednesday.

Jalen Adams added 18 points and 10 assists and Steven Enoch came off the bench to score 15 points for the Huskies ( 11-12, 6-5 American), who won for the fourth time in five games.

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Huskies' home-court advantage 00:02:15
UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma talks about his team's distinct advantage when playing in Hartford and Storrs.

UConn Women's head coach Geno Auriemma talks about his team's distinct advantage when playing at home.

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UConn Trivia Question 00:00:34
Who is the last Husky to shoot 10-for-10 in a single game?

Question: Who is the last Husky to shoot 10 for 10 in a single game?

Click above to play the answer.

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UConn blows by Cincinnati 00:02:23
The UConn women's basketball team notched its 98th straight win, crushing Cincinnati, 96-45.

Tamika Williams not only holds the single-season record for field-goal percentage with the University of Connecticut women's basketball program, the 2002 graduate and two-time national champion has the top four single-season marks.

But the former 2002 WNBA first-round draft pick by the Minnesota Lynx, now an assistant coach at Penn State, may seen her monopoly at the top come to an end courtesy of Napheesa Collier.

Collier hit all 10 of her shots from the floor Tuesday night and finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds, six assists to no turnovers, and five blocks before taking a seat for good with 11:11 to go. The top-ranked Huskies pushed their NCAA record overall winning streak to 98 and their NCAA record road winning streak to 36 with a 96-49 rout of Cincinnati in American Athletic Conference action before a crowd of 4,029 at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati.

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 (Steven Branscombe)
(Steven Branscombe)

STORRS, Conn. -- Saniya Chong is getting a long look from her coaches due to the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's short bench. The Huskies' starting senior guard has had the opportunity to get plenty of fourth-quarter minutes with the game outcome decided.

Top-ranked UConn enters Tuesday night's American Athletic Conference road contest against Cincinnati at Fifth Third Arena (SNY, 7 p.m.) having trailed for 1:37 out of a possible 400 minutes in league play. It has an average margin of victory against AAC foes of 44.0 points.

But Chong knows she has to be as focused at the end as she is in the beginning. She wants to set a good example for her younger teammates and she knows that her coaches, particularly Geno Auriemma, are paying attention.

"Even when we're up a lot of points, the coaches and players will still get mad if we make a turnover or a mistake," Chong said. "We want to do in the game what we do in practice, make sure our offense runs smoothly and everything is smooth."

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 (David Butler II (USA Today))
(David Butler II (USA Today))

STORRS, Conn. -- Sometime next season, University of Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma should record his 1,000th career win. The top-ranked Huskies gave him No. 977 Sunday when they routed American Athletic Conference foe Tulsa, 96-50, at Gampel Pavilion.

Before his game, Auriemma reached out to fellow Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, who won his 1,000th game with the Syracuse men Saturday when the Orange defeated Virginia at the Carrier Dome (of note, 101 of Boeheim's wins have been vacated by the NCAA).

"I texted Jim and I said, 'That's a lot of wins.' And he goes, 'Yeah, you probably did that in 20 years.' I said, 'No, not quite, but almost,' " Auriemma said with a laugh...

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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Culmo's Courtvision: Defense 00:00:41
SNY college basketball analyst Meghan Culmo breaks down the UConn women's communication on the defensive end.

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UConn Trivia Question 00:00:31
Who holds the program record for most points in a sophomore season?

Question: Who holds the program record for most points in a sophomore season?

Click above to play the answer.

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UConn routs Tulsa, 96-50 00:02:35
Highlights from UConn's dominating performance over Tulsa.

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.

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STORRS, Conn. -- Breanna Stewart had 473 field-goal attempts during her senior season when she was national Player of the Year for the third time and led the University of Connecticut women's basketball team to its fourth straight national championship.

She remembers the one shot that was blocked.

Temple's Donnaizha Fountain earned some recognition a year ago when she came from behind Stewart and rejected her layup bid in the first half of a game in Philadelphia. Fountain then let everyone know about it with a version of Cam Newton's Superman celebration.
 
But when Fountain made a move into the lane during the second quarter of Wednesday night's game at the Liacouras Center, UConn sophomore Napheesa Collier was waiting. The American Athletic Conference's leader in blocked shots stuffed Fountain's bid back in her face, then raced down court and took an outlet pass from Natalie Butler for a layup that was part of her double-double effort of 25 points and 10 rebounds.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn loses 00:00:50
The Huskies' three-game win streak ended as they fell to No. 14 Cincinnati, 82-68, despite 20 points from Rodney Purvis.

Kyle Washington scored a career-high 27 points, and Gary Clark had his fifth double-double of the season on Saturday as No. 14 Cincinnati used its front-line advantage and pulled away to an 82-68 victory over UConn, its 14th straight win.

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