By Carl Adamec

Whether the University of Connecticut women's basketball team will be No. 1 in the land Monday will be determined by the voters in the Associated Press poll.

The second-ranked Huskies got to make a final impression Sunday when they took on No. 16 Texas A&M at Reed Arena in College Station and certainly left a good one.

Stefanie Dolson scored 20 of her career-high matching 24 points in the first half as UConn made its case with an 81-50 rout of Texas A&M before a crowd of 7,657. The top spot in the polls opened up Friday night when top-ranked Baylor was beaten by No. 4 Stanford in Hawaii. UConn has not been No. 1 since the final poll of the 2010-11 season.

"I don't think anything of it," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "Baylor losing ... It would be like if we played a real good team like Stanford and didn't have Bria Hartley and they beat us. That wouldn't necessarily mean we weren't as good of a team as we were. That Baylor played without Odyssey Sims, one of the best players in the country, and lost, I don't know if that automatically means they're not the best team in the country.

"We've been 1, 2, 3 ... It doesn't really matter."

As long as there's a NCAA Tournament at the end to crown the national championship on the court, polls don't matter. But being No. 1 is better than being No. 10 or No. 100, isn't it?

"For us, it's something that you don't look at," UConn senior Kelly Faris said. "All that's stuff on paper. What matters is what comes out on the court."

What came out Sunday was the dominance of Dolson.

With her freshmen teammates struggling in the first half, the UConn center did exactly what a junior and leader should do.

"Stefanie's Stefanie," Auriemma said. "She's the personality of our team. Exactly the way she played today is who we are. The poise we played with, that's where our team is right now."

UConn (2-0) never trailed as Dolson scored seven points in a game-opening 11-2 run. Six straight points by Courtney Walker brought the Aggies to within 16-12, but the Huskies came back with nine unanswered, capped by a Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis layup off a pass and steal from Brianna Banks to take their biggest lead of the period at 13. Dolson's short jumper right before the buzzer accounted for the 40-28 halftime score.

The Huskies broke it open with a 15-0 run that pushed their lead to 58-31. Their biggest advantage was 34.

Dolson finished 11-for-15 from the floor and added six rebounds, five assists, and three steals in her 29 minutes. She was the main reason the Huskies held a 42-12 bulge in points in the paint.

"Teams are going to make sure they take away jump shots so it opens up the paint," Dolson said. "It makes my job easier.

"If there are double teams I'm always looking to pass out for the open shot. I help the team run the offense. As a center, people don't think you can be a leader, that it always has to be a guard. But as a center I can see everything and help people know where they have to be. When they need me, when our guards can spread the floor, it makes it easier for me."

Dolson overwhelmed Texas A&M's Kelsey Bone, the one-time No. 1 high school recruit. But even when the Aggies went to the bench they had no answer.

"Dolson just put on a clinic against our post players," Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. "There are no excuses. I've been praising my post players but tonight it was all Connecticut. It was not a good day for the head coach and our post players.

"Give them a lot of credit. Their ball movement is great. Their ball skills are great. You have to have players to run that kind of offense. Their kids understand the game a little bit better than mine."

Dolson was joined in double figures by Mosqueda-Lewis (16), Breanna Stewart (11), and Faris (10). The Huskies had 27 assists on 32 baskets.

"That's kind of how this program usually runs," Faris said. "We have a lot of depth, we have points coming from every direction. The more and more we work on our passing, the better we're going to be. We have a lot of good passers and a lot of good shooters, good posts that can score inside and outside."

UConn's freshman class of Stewart, Morgan Tuck, and Moriah Jefferson had a rough time in the first half of its first road game with Stewart picking up two fouls in the opening 3:44. The rookies rallied in the second half and aided in the blowout.

"When you play a lot of young guys you never know what it's going to be like early in the game," Auriemma said. "The first half about what I thought it would be. We looked good at times. We looked shaky at times. In the second half we came out and had our tempo going and played like we like to play. In the first half Stefanie carried us for the most part. She was unbelievable. She was just great. The second half everyone else got involved. When points come from so many spots on the floor we're a hard team to play against."

Courtney Walker led A&M (0-3) with 20 points. The Aggies have lost to top 10 opponents Louisville, Penn State, and UConn to open the season.

The Huskies will stay in Texas Sunday night before heading to the U.S. Virgin Islands Monday. They begin play in the Paradise Jam Thursday against Wake Forest (6 p.m.). They will then take on Marist Friday (8:15 p.m.) and No. 18 Purdue Saturday (8:15 p.m.). All three games from the Paradise Jam will be televised by SNY.

Tags: UCONN, Women's Basketball, Carl Adamec

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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Connecticut Huskies guard Saniya Chong (12) dribbles against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Pinnacle Bank Arena. (Steven Branscombe)
Connecticut Huskies guard Saniya Chong (12) dribbles against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Pinnacle Bank Arena. (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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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier and guard Saniya Chong celebrate a play against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier and guard Saniya Chong celebrate a play against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes/USA Today Sports Images)

STORRS, Conn. -- Only twice out of 38 games during her freshman year with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team did Napheesa Collier play at least 30 minutes.

As a sophomore, the only things that keep her off the floor are fouls and lopsided scores. The 29.5 minutes per game that the 6-foot-1 forward plays is third on the top-ranked Huskies behind Kia Nurse (32.6) and Katie Lou Samuelson (31.5).

If the St. Peters, Missouri native plays 33 minutes Sunday against American Athletic Conference foe Tulsa at Gampel Pavilion (SNY, 1 p.m.), she'll match her minutes total from a season ago in just 22 games.

Collier is not complaining. She still has plenty of gas in the tank.

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 (Scott Sewell)
(Scott Sewell)

There was one preseason poll in October that had the University of Connecticut women's basketball team on top. The American Athletic Conference coaches were unanimous in making the Huskies the favorite to win a fourth consecutive league regular season title.

There was hope among the coaches, though, that maybe the gap had closed between UConn -- which was 63-0 in AAC play at the start of the season -- and the best of the rest. South Florida and Temple were expected to give UConn its toughest challenges.

But in a two-week span, the top-ranked Huskies were up to those challenges -- at least the first time around. UConn buried the Bulls by 65 points at the XL Center in Hartford on Jan. 10. Then Wednesday night, the Huskies took a 34-point halftime lead and coasted to a 97-69 win over the Owls at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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 (Roy K. Miller/AP)
(Roy K. Miller/AP)

As the University of Connecticut women's basketball team continues to make history on the court this season, television ratings for its games on SNY are flourishing in both the New York and Connecticut markets.

No better example of that can be found than the impressive numbers from the Huskies win over Temple on Wednesday night.

UConn topped the Owls in Philadelphia by a 97-69 score as the program's record winning streak of 96 rolled on and this year's record improved to a spotless 21-0. The game was telecast by SNY - the television home of UConn women's basketball since 2012. The New York City-based SNY is seen throughout the Northeast on cable television carriers and nationally on satellite and telecommunication providers.

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma coaches during the second half against the Temple Owls at The Liacouras Center. (Bill Streicher)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma coaches during the second half against the Temple Owls at The Liacouras Center. (Bill Streicher)

PHILADELPHIA -- They went their separate ways in 2014 when Louisville -- the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's rival in the Big East for eight years and American Athletic Conference for a season -- joined the Atlantic Coast Conference.

But after three years, the Huskies and Cardinals have found each other again and that is good news for the sport.

UConn and Louisville have agreed to a home-and-home series starting next season. When the contract is signed by the schools, the Cardinals will play in Connecticut in 2017-18 -- likely in January or February -- with the Huskies visiting the KFC Yum! Center in 2018-19.

"This was always kind of going to be in the works, and was always kind of going to happen," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Wednesday night after No. 1 UConn defeated Temple 97-69 in American Athletic Conference action at the Liacouras Center. "It took them a little bit longer to put together than we anticipated.

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Geno Auriemma Show 00:01:55
UConn women's basketball head coach Geno Auriemma discusses team motivation on this week's show.

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UConn Trivia Question 00:00:24
Who did UConn lose to in the 1991 Final Four of the NCAA tournament?

Question: Who did UConn lose to in the Final Four of the 1991 NCAA Tournament?

Click above to play the answer.

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UConn takes care of Temple 00:02:10
Full game highlights of the UConn women vs. Temple in a 97-69 victory.

PHILADELPHIA -- Geno Auriemma has always taken pride in the way his University of Connecticut women's basketball team plays on the road.

The hall of fame coach took pride in the way the Huskies played Wednesday night in setting a NCAA record for consecutive road wins.

Napheesa Collier had a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds and Katie Lou Samuelson added 24 points as No. 1 UConn rolled past Temple 97-69 in American Athletic Conference action before 4,371 at the Liacouras Center.

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Jan 24, 2017; Greenville, NC, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Williams looks on during the second half of the game against the East Carolina Pirates at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. the Connecticut Huskies defeated the East Carolina Pirates 91-44.  (James Guillory (USA Today))
Jan 24, 2017; Greenville, NC, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Williams looks on during the second half of the game against the East Carolina Pirates at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. the Connecticut Huskies defeated the East Carolina Pirates 91-44. (James Guillory (USA Today))

Katie Lou Samuelson admitted after the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's win over Maryland on Dec. 29 that the first six weeks of the season felt like six months.

But after rolling through January and the first half of their American Athletic Conference schedule, there's a light at the end of the tunnel for the sophomore All-American candidate and the top-ranked Huskies. Six weeks from today, they figure to be preparing for their first-round NCAA tournament game at Gampel Pavilion.

There's a lot of work to do between now and then, though, starting with Wednesday's AAC showdown with Temple at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia (SNY, 7 p.m.). UConn, which is seeking its 96th straight win overall and a NCAA record 35th consecutive road victory, has nine regular season games left -- eight in the league and South Carolina on Feb. 13.

The February stretch drive is on and it's time to pick up the pace.

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 (Matt Cashore)
(Matt Cashore)

Kia Nurse has her 1,000 career points. But if there's something else the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's junior guard would like to add to her individual resume, it's a double-double.

She made a run at one Saturday in the top-ranked Huskies' 91-42 American Athletic Conference win over Houston at the XL Center in Hartford. Nurse finished with 16 points and eight assists before taking a seat for good with 4:35 left.

Her assists were spread out to six players -- Gabby Williams and Kyla Irwin two each, and Napheesa CollierKatie Lou SamuelsonSaniya Chong, and Natalie Butler one apiece. Of course, Nurse knew where two more potential assists could have come from.

"One of them was a layup at the end that we missed and I'm not going to mention any names, Kyla," Nurse said with a laugh. "That would have been nine. The other one ..."

Tags: Kia Nurse
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