HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Napheesa Collier and UConn used a strong second half to turn their final nonconference game into a rout.
Collier had 31 points, 16 rebounds and six assists, and the fourth-ranked Huskies beat 11th-ranked South Carolina 97-79 on Monday night.
Katie Lou Samuelson added 29 points for the Huskies (22-2), who blew open a close game with a huge third quarter in which they outscored the Gamecocks 29-12. Samuelson scored 14 points in the game-changing period. Collier added eight as the two seniors continued to carry UConn.
"We've had quarters where we played really, really well. Shot the ball well or played well in general," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "Given the quality of the team we're playing against, that was pretty good. We did a lot of really great things in that quarter on both ends. ... That pretty much ended the game right there."
Collier has now scored 20 or more points in eight straight games and has three double-doubles in her past four contests. She left the game with just over a minute left and got a big hug from Auriemma.
"I said this the other night, that every coach talks about their players as if they're the best players ever," Auriemma said. "I don't get caught up in that stuff. (But) there can't be anywhere a player that's playing better or does more for their team than Napheesa Collier does. That's not possible. I haven't seen every game, every week in every conference. There's something about her that's rare - you just don't see it. You don't see it at all." >> Read more
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