HARTFORD, Conn. -- Lexi Gordon's eyes were focused on the XL Center court from her seat behind the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's bench as the Huskies faced Ohio State Monday night.
But Gordon was also clearly looking ahead to next year, when she's part of the UConn roster. The 6-foot guard from Fort Worth, Texas, signed her letter of intent with the Huskies last month.
"I saw myself going out there and playing basketball and doing whatever Coach (Geno) Auriemma wants me to do to help make the team better," Gordon said following No. 1 UConn's 82-63 win. "It looks like they just love to play with each other and I know I'll love playing with them. It's such a great and fun environment to be a part of. I'm excited to be a part of it and I'm ready to be a part of it."
Gordon is one of four players in UConn's recruiting Class of 2017. It was her second UConn game in Connecticut. She attended the Huskies' win over Temple last Jan. 16 at Gampel Pavilion and announced her commitment to UConn a month later.
Her host for her official visit in October was Katie Lou Samuelson. The sophomore said Monday night that the Huskies like to make an impression on their future teammates when they come to a game.
"We want them to see how hard we play every game and we want her to feel excited about being a part of this," Samuelson said. "We're going to be excited to play every game and we want that to be the same for every single person on the court."
Gordon has led L.D. Bell High to a 10-6 record (3-0 in district play) with four straight wins. She is the school's all-time leading scorer, having passed the 2,000-point plateau. In her last outing, she had 36 points and 14 rebounds in a 65-38 rout of Flower Mound on a night Baylor freshman and former UConn recruiting target Lauren Cox had her uniform number retired.
She's struggled recently with pain in her left knee and was checked out by the UConn staff while she was visiting. Fortunately, her team is off until after Christmas and does not return to district play until after New Year's.
"It's getting better," Gordon said. "They said it was like a bone bruise, not anything serious."
Gordon was joined here by her mother, Kim, a former TCU player, and her younger sister, Myra -- L.D. Bell's freshman point guard.
"It's been the best playing with my sister," Lexi Gordon said. "She's such a good point guard and good player. She takes a lot of pressure off of me so I really appreciate her, a lot."
Myra Gordon is among 22 players listed on ESPN HoopGurlz's Class of 2020 watch list and has received 12 scholarship offers.
SOPHOMORE SHOOTING STARS
Only five times has a UConn player averaged 20.0 points in a season, and three of those times were by the program's first All-American, Kerry Bascom (1989-91). Maya Moore has the school record, averaging 22.8 points during her senior season of 2011. Nykesha Sales averaged 20.9 points in her final season in 1998.
But after big games from Napheesa Collier (27 points) and Samuelson (26) against Ohio State, the Huskies have two players averaging 20-plus through 10 games. Samuelson is at 20.4 points per game while Collier is at 20.2.
"They're living up to their talent," Auriemma said. "They're both extremely talented individuals and they're both competitive. They have a lot of confidence in themselves. And both players know what they are good at. They know how to get to the spots where they are good. I've been incredibly impressed with both Pheesa and Lou. If you look around the country, who is playing better than those two? And they're only going to get better. This is the worst that they're going to be. That's what I keep smiling about."
Samuelson trails South Florida's Kitija Laksa in the American Athletic Conference scoring race by 0.04 points. Collier is in third place. Collier also ranks in the league's top 10 in field-goal percentage (first at 64.6), blocked shots (second at 1.9), steals (seventh at 2.1), and rebounds (ninth at 7.4).
UConn (9-0) remained the unanimous No. 1 in the Associated Press poll released Monday.
Notre Dame (10-1) was second with Baylor (11-1) third and Maryland (11-0) fourth. The Huskies handed the Irish and Bears their only loss, and UConn visits the Terrapins on Dec. 29. Mississippi State (12-0), South Carolina (9-1), Florida State (11-1), Louisville (11-2), Washington (11-1), and UCLA (8-2) round out the top 10.
Kansas State (10-1) reached the Top 25 for the first time since 2002 at No. 24 while Oregon State (8-1) re-entered at No. 25. DePaul and Oregon dropped out.
South Florida was the only other AAC team receiving votes as it tied for No. 21. The Bulls (8-1) will take a hit as they lost to Long Beach State 73-68 Monday night in the inaugural Play4Kay Shootout in Las Vegas. USF will face Santa Clara in the consolation round Tuesday.
The Huskies' win over Ohio State was their sixth against a Top 25 opponent. The rest of the AAC has played just seven games against the AP top 25 with Temple defeating DePaul last Thursday the only victory.
Ohio State's Sierra Calhoun -- whose brother, Omar, played for the UConn men's basketball team -- missed all four of her shots and did not score in 26 minutes. Calhoun also played here against the Huskies when she was a freshman at Duke on Dec. 29, 2014, and was scoreless (0-for-8 shooting) in 30 minutes ... Samuelson hit a pair of treys in a 53-second span of the third quarter. She seemed to think she was fouled on the first one. But after being knocked down on the second one, she appeared ready to let referee Joe Vaszily know how she felt as Ohio State called time out. "I was just excited in the moment," Samuelson said when asked if she was going to say something to the official. "Who knows?" ... 1,000-point watch: Kia Nurse at 882 ... Ohio State is now 2-17 against the top-ranked team with the last win a victory over Iowa on Feb. 26, 1988. UConn was No. 1 in all four meetings with the Buckeyes.