Feb 26, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Gabby Williams (15) (left) and guard Kia Nurse (11) center pose for a picture with her teammates holding the regular season championship toffee after defeating the South Florida Bulls 82-53 at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Feb 26, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Gabby Williams (15) (left) and guard Kia Nurse (11) center pose for a picture with her teammates holding the regular season championship toffee after defeating the South Florida Bulls 82-53 at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Gabby Williams is usually very sure of herself on the basketball court and off of it.

But Thursday was different. The University of Connecticut senior forward had no control over her future as she attended the WNBA Draft at Nike Headquarters in New York.

"I was nervous, I was anxious, I just wanted it to be here," Williams said. "You don't know what city you're going to. You don't know who your teammates are. It's a scary thing."

At least the Sparks, Nevada, native did not have to wait long as she was taken with the fourth pick overall by the Chicago Sky.

She was one of three Huskies taken in the first round. Forward Azura Stevens went to the Dallas Wings with the No. 6 overall pick, while guard Kia Nurse went to the New York Liberty with the No. 10 overall choice.

"That just says so much about the program that Coach (Geno Auriemma) and CD (associate head coach Chris Dailey) have built," Williams said. "People want UConn players because they know how to develop us. That's why I went to UConn -- so I could develop and be pushed every day."

South Carolina forward A'ja Wilson, the consensus national Player of the Year, went No. 1 as expected to the Las Vegas Aces. The Indiana Fever followed by taking Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell. The Sky, who finished 12-22 a year ago and missed the playoffs, had the next two picks and took former Tennessee wing Diamond DeShields third before selecting Williams at No. 4. It's the first time the 12-year-old franchise has taken a UConn player.

She was asked if she thought she would be a lottery pick.

"I've been getting that question a lot so it sounds like everyone else is surprised," Williams said with a laugh. "I had zero expectations coming in. I have played every scenario in my head, what could go right, what could go wrong. I just tried to keep an open mind about it.

"I'm just really excited right now. My heart was pounding the entire day, the entire week. There's a big sense of relief."

In Chicago, Williams will join former UConn center and two-time WNBA All-Star Stefanie Dolson.

The two-time All-American averaged 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.4 steals as a senior and was the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Albany Regional. Considered to be one of the top defenders in the country, she and Maya Moore are the only UConn players to finish with 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 assists, 300 steals, and 100 blocked shots. She recorded one of the five triple-doubles in Huskies' history.

The Seattle Storm took UCLA point guard Jordin Canada before the Wings stepped up to select Stevens, who gave up her final year of college eligibility to enter the draft.

"It was a hard decision," Stevens said. "It's been an amazing ride from the minute I stepped on campus. It was overwhelming how much I enjoyed being there, being part of the program with my teammates and coaches. It was hard to leave that all behind.

"But it was exciting to see the opportunities opening up and begin this new chapter."

The Wings reached the playoffs with a 16-18 record last summer. In Dallas, Stevens will join former UConn guard Saniya Chong, who made last year's roster after being taken in the third round of the 2017 draft. Stevens sat out due to NCAA transfer rules during Chong's senior year.

Stevens averaged 14.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.1 blocked shots in her only season playing for the Huskies after spending her first two years at Duke. She was named the American Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year and the Sixth Man Award winner, as well as the Most Outstanding Player of the AAC tournament. She had 19 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks in the NCAA Final Four overtime loss to Notre Dame.

"It was interesting to see how everything would shake out," Stevens said. "I'm definitely very excited, ready to get down to Dallas and play and be a part of that nucleus."

With their third-round pick, the Wings selected former UConn center Natalie Butler, who used her final season of eligibility at George Mason University and was the Atlantic-10 Player of the Year while leading the country in rebounds and double-doubles.

The Washington Mystics chose Texas guard Ariel Atkins with the overall No. 7 pick and the Fever used their second choice of the first round to take Mississippi State guard Victoria Vivians.

With the ninth pick, the Connecticut Sun selected Duke guard Lexie Brown. According to Sun coach and general manager Curt Miller, his choices were down to Brown and Nurse when it came his turn to pick. The Nurse family has a history with Miller, who coached Nurse's older sister, Tamika, at Bowling Green and tried to recruit Kia to Indiana University five years ago.

"We thought that we might have a choice between Brown and Nurse and we've debated that for weeks," Miller said. "It did play out that way and we're excited to bring Lexie into our family. Ultimately you have to take the emotions out of it and take what you need and what's best for the organization. We decided to go the 1-2 route rather than the 2-3, it can't be more simply stated than that. We looked at Kia more as a 2-3.

"I know some people are going to be disappointed (by the Sun not taking a UConn player). They don't realize how hard it is not to take a family that I truly care about, someone I would have given my left arm to coach in college, someone I would do anything for. But again I have to take that emotion out of it. With us being able to acquire Bria Holmes in a trade earlier in the day, the obvious choice for us was Lexie Brown."

Nurse didn't stay on the board long as the Liberty snatched her up with the next selection.

"In Kia Nurse we got a very solid, big guard who can score and comes from a great program," New York first-year coach Katie Smith said.

"I think this is a great fit for me in a place that's exciting," Nurse said. "I love the city and I'm excited to get back there. I hope offensively and defensively I can play a role and hopefully make an impact."

Nurse joins Tina Charles, Bria Hartley, Kiah Stokes, and Kelly Faris as UConn products with the Liberty, who were 22-12 a season ago and won the Eastern Conference regular-season title. Stokes and Nurse were teammates on UConn's 2015 national championship team.

The Hamilton, Ontario, native averaged 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists as a senior and was the AAC and WBCA national Defensive Player of the Year. She improved her outside shot in Storrs, making 46.2 percent of her 3-point tries as a junior and 44.3 percent of her attempts as a senior.

Among those in New York supporting Nurse was her brother Darnell, a defenseman for the Edmonton Oilers who was the No. 7 overall pick by Edmonton in the 2013 NHL Draft held in Newark, New Jersey. "I was at his draft a couple of years at the Prudential Center and it was amazing to have him here," Nurse said. "My family, the five of us, are not together very often because we're always all over the player. But it was great, and a lot of fun to have him here supporting me."

It's the third time UConn has had at least three players taken in the first round. In 2002, Sue Bird (1 to Seattle), Swin Cash (2 to Detroit), Asjha Jones (4 to Washington), and Tamika Williams (6 to Minnesota) went in the first six picks. Then two years ago, Breanna Stewart (1 to Seattle), Moriah Jefferson (2 to San Antonio), and Morgan Tuck (3 to Connecticut) made history by being the first teammates taken with the first three choices in the draft.

Wrapping up the first round Thursday, the Los Angeles Sparks took Russian center Maria Vadeeva and the Phoenix Mercury selected Oregon State center Marie Gulich.

Tags: Azura Stevens, Gabby Williams, Kia Nurse, Carl Adamec
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Huskies are ready to face Towson 00:02:29
UConn is in unfamiliar territory as a number two seed in the NCAA tournament, but the Huskies aren't worried in the slightest about it.

For the first time since 2006, the UConn women's basketball team enters the NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed.

Geno Auriemma, Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson talk about that and more ahead of their Friday matchup against No. 15 Towson in the first round.

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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and forward Napheesa Collier react after a play against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the second half at XL Center (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and forward Napheesa Collier react after a play against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the second half at XL Center (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS -- Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson had a perfect start to their college career, literally. As freshmen, the Huskies went undefeated and won the program's 11th national championship. 

Since then, the two classmates have done plenty of winning -- eight conference titles, helping build a 111-game win streak and reaching three straight Final Fours -- but they're missing one thing: a second national championship.

Fair or not, careers are judged at UConn by how many rings a player wins. 

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Mar 2, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; UConn Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson (33) drives the basket against the Houston Cougars in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 2, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; UConn Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson (33) drives the basket against the Houston Cougars in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS -- UConn women's basketball senior Katie Lou Samuelson will return for the NCAA Tournament after missing the previous four games due to a back injury suffered on Senior Day on March 2.

"I'm ready to go. I'm excited to get playing again," Samuelson announced.

While Samuelson admitted she isn't back to 100 percent just yet, she will be once the Huskies tip-off in the first round against 15-seed Towson on Friday.

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Geno Auriemma talks Tourney 00:00:50
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma talks to SNY's Justine Ward about his team getting a "rare" # 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Katie Lou Samuelson is expected to return to 2-seed UConn for its NCAA tournament opener on Friday against 15-seed Towson, head coach Geno Auriemma told SNY.tv's Justine Ward.

Samuelson, who has averaged 18.0 points and 6.7 rebounds this season, has missed the Huskies' last four games, including the entire American Athletic Conference tournament, due to a back injury.

She last played March 2 vs. Houston, when she scored 11 points in 17:48 of playing time.

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Geno Auriemma talks Tourney 00:00:50
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma talks to SNY's Justine Ward about his team getting a "rare" # 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Nearly four hours before the scheduled women's NCAA Tournament bracket reveal on ESPN, the network accidentally leaked the entire bracket on Monday during the 3 p.m. Eastern hour on ESPNU.

ESPN acknowledged its error in a statement. 

"In working with the NCAA to prepare for tonight's Women's Selection Special we received the bracket, similar to years past. In the midst of our preparation, the bracket was mistakenly posted on ESPNU," it said in the statement. "We deeply regret the error and extend our apology to the NCAA and the women's basketball community. We will conduct a thorough review of our process to ensure it doesn't happen in the future. We will now broadcast the full bracket at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2, and the regularly-scheduled show on ESPN at 7 p.m."

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Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) reacts after his basket against Temple Owls guard Shizz Alston Jr. (10) in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) reacts after his basket against Temple Owls guard Shizz Alston Jr. (10) in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) UConn's success in March continued in the opening round of the American Athletic Conference tournament thanks to accurate first-half shooting that spread into the early stages of the second.

The shooting that hovered above 63 percent with eight minutes left in the game, provided enough of a buffer for UConn to withstand a late run by South Florida, allowing the Huskies to hold on for an 80-73 victory on Thursday.

"(The Huskies) run and their transition offense really put us in a bind," USF coach Brian Gregory said. "We were on our heels in transition." >> Read More

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UCONN wins AAC Tournament 00:00:48
The Huskies are just warming up. They easily won the AAC tournament and improved their all-time record to 120-0 in conference play.

No. 2 UConn was forced to play the American Athletic Conference Tournament without injured All-American Katie Lou Samuelson and may have become a more complete team as a result.

Napheesa Collier scored 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, and the Huskies beat UCF 66-45 Monday night to win their sixth straight league tournament championship.

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Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley watches from the sideline as they take on the Temple Owls in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Temple defeated UConn 78-71. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley watches from the sideline as they take on the Temple Owls in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Temple defeated UConn 78-71. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) After missing seven games with a sprained ligament in his knee, Connecticut senior guard Jalen Adams was adamant about playing Sunday.

He told coach Danny Hurley that he wanted to wear the UConn jersey again, then took the Huskies' offense to a higher level in an 82-73 defeat of East Carolina at Minges Coliseum. Adams tied his career high with 12 assists and scored 13 points in the regular-season finale for both teams. Teammates Josh Carlton (20 points), Tyler Polley (19 points) and Christian Vital (16 points) all benefited from having Adams back in the lineup as the Huskies (15-16, 6-12 American Athletic Conference) won on an opponent's home floor for the first time this season.

"Being at one school for four years, it's only right you get to put on the jersey to close out the end of the season," Adams said. "It just meant a lot to be out there with my brothers. It's probably my last time to be playing on a team where everyone genuinely cares for me and loves me. After this, it's probably going to be just business."

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UConn routs South Florida 00:01:28
UConn defeated South Florida 81-45 in the AAC semifinal game. The Huskies were lead by Collier and her strong shooting from beyond the arc.

Megan Walker scored 24 points and Napheesa Collier added 23 to lead No. 2 UConn to an 81-45 rout of South Florida on Sunday and move Huskies into their sixth straight American Athletic Conference championship game.

Crystal Dangerfield added 11 points and Christyn Williams chipped in 10 for Connecticut (30-2), which has never lost to an AAC opponent and has won 30 games for a 14th consecutive season.

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Collier leads UConn past ECU 00:01:32
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma, Napheesa Collier and Crystal Dangerfield discuss Collier's 37-point performance in their win over ECU

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) Napheesa Collier scored a season-high 37 points as No. 2 UConn, playing without injured All-American Katie Lou Samuelson, pulled away from East Carolina 92-65 Saturday in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.

UConn (29-2) beat the Pirates last month in Hartford by 63 points, a game in which Samuelson scored 31. She hurt her back in a game last week and the Huskies say she won't be back before the NCAA Tournament.

Minus Samuelson, UConn led just 24-22 after a quarter and 46-39 at halftime. Olivia Nelson-Ododa, who started in Samuelson's place, finished with 17 rebounds and five blocks.

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Jan 19, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Alterique Gilbert (3) shoots against the Tulane Green Wave in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 19, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Alterique Gilbert (3) shoots against the Tulane Green Wave in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Alterique Gilbert's injury woes continue as UConn announced the redshirt sophomore point guard is dealing with a concussion and eye injury.

In Thursday's 78-71 loss to Temple, Gilbert left the game after colliding with a Temple player and stayed overnight at Hartford Hospital. 

According to the school, Gilbert will not participate in basketball activities for "an indefinite period of time."

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Katie Lou Samuelson gets injured 00:01:29
On Senior Day, Katie Lou Samuelson had to leave the first half against UConn after diving for a loose ball with an apparent back injury.

UConn women's basketball ruled senior Katie Lou Samuelson out for the AAC Tournament this weekend due to a back injury suffered last Saturday against Houston. The injury happened when Samuelson dove for a loose ball and collided with an opposing player. She tried to return in the second half, but quickly checked out.

In the Huskies' one game without Samuelson against USF, the offense struggled to get going for the first 30 minutes. UConn scored a season-low 25 points in the first half and needed a late push in the fourth quarter to get the win over the Bulls.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa got the start in Samuelson's place last game, and is a good bet to start in the tournament. Kyla Irwin also started two games back in December when Megan Walker missed a pair of contests with strep throat, but hasn't played much recently. Both would be options if head coach Geno Auriemma wants to replace Samuelson with another big, but if he decides to go small, Molly Bent or Mikayla Coombs could see their first career start.

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Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) works for the ball against Temple Owls guard Quinton Rose (1) in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Temple defeated UConn 78-71. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) works for the ball against Temple Owls guard Quinton Rose (1) in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Temple defeated UConn 78-71. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Shizz Alston scored a career-high 34 points to lead Temple past UConn 78-71 on Thursday to keep the Owls hopes alive for an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Alston hit 12 of his 14 shots from the floor and was 4 of 5 from behind the arc for the Owls (22-8, 12-5 American).

Quinton Rose added 20 points for Temple, which secured a bye in the first-round of next week's conference tournament.

Christian Vital had 26 points for the Huskies (14-16, 5-12), who lost for the first time this season at Gampel Pavilion. Josh Carlton added 21 points in a losing effort.

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UConn finishes regular season 00:00:35
The Huskies played their regular season finale against USF without senior Katie Lou Samuelson, it was a good test before the tournament.

Christyn Williams scored eight of her 10 points in the fourth quarter and second-ranked UConn finished the game on a 9-0 run to pull away to a 57-47 regular season-ending victory over South Florida on Monday night.

The Huskies (28-2, 16-0), playing without injured star Katie Lou Samuelson, completed another perfect run through the American Athletic Conference, improving to 102-0 during the regular season against league opponents since the AAC was formed six seasons ago.

Samuelson did not play after hurting her back during last Saturday's 83-61 home victory over Houston. She accompanied the team to Florida, however the Huskies announced a little over an hour before the game that the two-time All-American would not be available.

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Mar 3, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Josh Carlton (25) works for the ball against South Florida Bulls forward Michael Durr (4) in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated USF 60-58. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 3, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Josh Carlton (25) works for the ball against South Florida Bulls forward Michael Durr (4) in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated USF 60-58. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Josh Carlton scored 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds as UConn held off South Florida 60-58 on Sunday.

Alterique Gilbert added 15 for the Huskies (14-15, 5-11 American), who won despite failing to make a 3-point basket for the first time in more than nine years and 338 consecutive games.

David Collins had 17 points and Alexis Yetna added 15 for USF (18-11, 7-9 American), which had a chance to win or send the game into overtime.

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Points in the Paint: Samuelson 00:00:26
UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson dominates in the lane to give UConn a huge advantage in the paint against Houston, presented by Ring's End.

UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson dominates in the lane to give UConn a huge advantage in the paint against Houston, presented by Ring's End.

Watch the video above.

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Mar 2, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; UConn Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson (33) is injured during a play against he Houston Cougars in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 2, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; UConn Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson (33) is injured during a play against he Houston Cougars in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS -- In the second half of the UConn women's basketball's game on Saturday against Houston, senior Katie Lou Samuelson went diving for a loose ball and collided with a opposing player. Samuelson immediately rolled over in pain and stayed down on the court as Gampel Pavilion went dead silent.

She eventually walked off the court under her own power before heading into the locker room with team trainer Janelle Francisco.

"I don't know exactly what happened," Samuelson said on the play that caused the injury. "I just got hit where my muscle just spasmed and tightened up right after."

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UConn wins on Senior Day, 83-61 00:02:20
UConn won 83-61 vs. Houston, but the bigger worry is the health of senior Katie Lou Samuelson. The Huskies are regular season AAC Champs.

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Napheesa Collier celebrated senior day by scoring 29 points and grabbing nine rebounds to lead No. 2 UConn over Houston 83-61 on Saturday.

Fellow senior Katie Lou Samuelson scored 11 points for UConn (27-2, 15-0 American) before injuring her back diving for a loose ball in the second quarter. She returned to start the second half but struggled to run and was pulled after the first minute.

Jasmyne Harris, Octavia Barnes and Dorian Branch each had 14 points for Houston (15-13, 9-6), which opened a 17-7 lead and led by a point after the first quarter.

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier
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Kobe has high praise for UConn 00:02:23
Kobe Bryant and his daughter are fans of UConn. He talks UConn's success, being beat 1-on-1 by his daughter, and what he's been up to.

Kobe Bryant and his 12-year-old daughter Gianna are both big fans of UConn's women's basketball program. Gianna has been especially fond of the team and hopes to play for the Huskies eventually, and it's the people involved that have drawn her to the program.

"I think the players, first and foremost. The camaraderie that they have with each other is something she kind of gravitated to," Kobe told SNY's Justine Ward at Saturday's game in Storrs. "And then Geno (Auriemma) and (Chris Dailey) and their leadership and the culture of the program, all the way on down to Rebecca (Lobo) and Diana (Taurasi) and Sue (Bird), so she loves the program."

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Kobe has high praise for UConn 00:02:23
Kobe Bryant and his daughter are fans of UConn. He talks UConn's success, being beat 1-on-1 by his daughter, and what he's been up to.

Kobe Bryant's daughter Gianna has her dad's trademark confidence.

During an interview with SNY Saturday afternoon at UConn's victory over Houston, the question was posed to Kobe if her 12-year-old daughter, whom he has been teaching basketball to, if she could beat him one-on-one.

He turned to his daughter to ask the same question.

"Yeah," she said smiling. Bryant told Reggie Miller in a video captured in October that Gianna is "hellbent" on going to UConn.

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Katie Lou Samuelson gets injured 00:01:29
On Senior Day, Katie Lou Samuelson had to leave the first half against UConn after diving for a loose ball with an apparent back injury.

Katie Lou Samuelson was being honored on Saturday as part of UConn's Senior Day, but the guard suffered a scare late in the first half. 

Samuelson went down in pain, grabbing her back and had to leave the game. 

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma told SNY's Justine Ward at halftime that Samuelson was experiencing back spasms. 

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UConn celebrates senior day 00:02:32
Senior duo Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier are obviously successful on the court, but their lasting impact on UConn is much more.

STORRS -- When looking back on the careers of UConn seniors Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson, it'll be hard to separate one from the other. They both came to Storrs as freshmen in 2015 and were solid role players on the Huskies' 2016 national title team.

The next season, they won co-AAC Player of the Year and were both named First Team All-Americans.

Not only are Collier and Samuelson the only two classmates to eclipse the 2,000 point mark in program history, they're also the highest-scoring classmates.

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Mar 24, 2018; Albany , NY, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma looks on against the Duke Blue Devils during the second half in the semifinals of the Albany regional of the women's basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament at the Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Mar 24, 2018; Albany , NY, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma looks on against the Duke Blue Devils during the second half in the semifinals of the Albany regional of the women's basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament at the Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

STORRS -- After missing both of UConn's games last week due to an illness, Geno Auriemma was back at practice ahead of the Huskies' final home game against Houston on Saturday.

In his absence, associate head coach Chris Dailey took command of the team and improved her record as a head coach to 9-0. While Auriemma watched from his couch at home, he enjoyed getting to see the game from a different perspective.

"It's really a weird dynamic when you're watching on television because you're watching the game differently," he said. "You're not worried about 'Who do I have to sub in?' You're not talking to your coaches, you're not bitching about who didn't rebound who didn't screen. You're just watching the game and as you're watching the game, you almost start acting like a fan."

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Feb 28, 2019; Wichita, KS, USA; Wichita State Shockers guard Samajae Haynes-Jones (4) hits the game winning basket at the buzzer to beat the Connecticut Huskies at Charles Koch Arena. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports (Peter Aiken)
Feb 28, 2019; Wichita, KS, USA; Wichita State Shockers guard Samajae Haynes-Jones (4) hits the game winning basket at the buzzer to beat the Connecticut Huskies at Charles Koch Arena. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports (Peter Aiken)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) Samajae Haynes-Jones scored 20 points and hit a jumper at the buzzer as Wichita State erased a 10-point deficit and beat Connecticut 65-63 on Thursday night.

UConn's Alterique Gilbert scored on back-to-back 3-pointers inside the final minute that tied the game at 63. Haynes-Jones took an inbounds pass with 6.4 seconds to go, dribbled the floor and sealed it with an off-balance shot from the corner.

Wichita State (14-13, 7-8 American Athletic Conference) rebounded from an 88-85 loss against Memphis on Saturday and has won two of its last three games. Coach Gregg Marshall also picked up his 300th career win with the Shockers. >> Read More

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Points in the Paint: UConn 00:00:22
UConn outscored Wichita State, 28-16, in the paint on their way to a dominating 84-47 victory, presented by Ring's End.

UConn outscored Wichita State 28-16 in the paint on their way to a dominating 84-47 victory, presented by Ring's End.

Watch the video above.

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UConn clinches 2019 AAC title 00:02:02
UConn clinches the 2019 AAC title behind a strong performance by senior Napheesa Collier.

Napheesa Collier scored 32 points, making 13 of 15 shots, and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead No. 2 UConn to an 84-47 victory over Wichita State on Tuesday night.

The Huskies were missing coach Geno Auriemma for the second straight game because of a stomach virus. The Hall of Famer issued a statement saying he expects to be back on the sideline Saturday for the Huskies final home game of the season against Houston.

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Points in the Paint: UConn 00:00:51
UConn outscored Tulsa early in the paint, which led them to another big victory, presented by Ring's End.

UConn outscored Tulsa early in the paint, which led them to another big victory, presented by Ring's End.

Watch the video above.

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UConn beats Tulsa, 68-49 00:02:27
Megan Walker leads UConn to a 68-49 win over Tulsa on Sunday afternoon, as the Huskies played without coach Geno Auriemma.

Megan Walker scored 21 points and No. 3 UConn, playing without Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma, rolled to a 68-49 victory over Tulsa on Sunday.

Auriemma missed the game with an illness. He did not travel with the Huskies for the opener of a two-game trip, but hopes to return for Tuesday's game at Wichita State.

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UConn lose to Cincinati, 64-60 00:01:46
UConn's late rally falls short, as the Huskies fell to the Cincinnati Bearcats 64-60 on Sunday for their 5th straight loss.

Keith Williams scored 12 points and Cane Broom added 10, including a late 3-pointer that helped Cincinnati to a 64-60 road win over UConn on Sunday.

Justin Jennifer also had 10 points for the Bearcats, who have won 11 of their last 12 with the only loss during that stretch coming at No. 9 Houston, which leads Cincinnati (23-4, 12-2 American) by a game in the race for the AAC title.

Christian Vital had 14 points and Alterique Gilbert had 13 to lead UConn (13-14, 4-10).

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UConn head coach Geno Auriemma (Matt Eisenberg)
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma (Matt Eisenberg)

UConn women's basketball head coach Geno Auriemma will miss Sunday's road game against Tulsa due to an illness, the school announced.

The Huskies are hopeful Auriemma can return for Tuesday's game against Wichita State. In his absence, associate head coach Chris Dailey will coach the team.

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UConn falls to Mustangs 00:01:28
Without Jalen Adams UConn never looked like it found its rhythm against SMU as they were dominant in the paint, ultimately falling 77-59

DALLAS (AP) - Jahmal McMurray drove for three straight layups in a 12-2 run late in the first half, and SMU went on to beat UConn 77-59 on Thursday night.

The game was tied at 24 before the Mustangs regained the lead with 3-pointers by Nat Dixon and Isiaha Mike before McMurray began slicing through the UConn defense to build SMU's lead to 36-26 with 2:24 remaining.

McMurray led the Mustangs (13-12, 5-8 American Athletic Conference) with a game-high 25 points, 15 in the second half. Ethan Chargois and Mike scored 14 each, and Feron Hunt had 11.

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UConn freshman Olivia Nelson-Odoba congratulates teammates during a timeout in a game against South Carolina at XL Center. (Matt Eisenberg)
UConn freshman Olivia Nelson-Odoba congratulates teammates during a timeout in a game against South Carolina at XL Center. (Matt Eisenberg)

HARTFORD -- UConn is not the biggest women's basketball team in the country. Far from it, actually. Its de facto center, Napheesa Collier, is 6-foot-1. Stretch 4 Megan Walker is the same height. The Huskies' tallest starter is Katie Lou Samuelson at 6-foot-3, but she doesn't have the strength to be a prototypical post player.

It's certainly a big weakness, and if UConn hopes to claim its 12th national title this season, the Huskies might need some luck of the draw. Head coach Geno Auriemma admitted as much.

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Nelson-Ododa Points in the Paint 00:00:56
UConn's Olivia Nelson-Ododa with a beautiful finish against Memphis, finishing off a 102 - 45 victory. Presented by Ring's End.

UConn's Olivia Nelson-Ododa with a beautiful finish against Memphis, finishing off a 102 - 45 victory, presented by Ring's End.

Watch the video above.

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UConn routs Memphis 102-45 00:01:48
Katie Lou Samuelson went 7-8 in the first half and that's all the Huskies needed to easily roll past Memphis in their 102-45 win.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) There is not much UConn All-American Katie Lou Samuelson can't do, and that apparently that includes coaching the Huskies.

Samuelson scored a season-high 32 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out seven assists as No. 3 UConn routed Memphis 102-45 on Wednesday to remain unbeaten in six seasons of American Athletic Conference play.

She also asked coach Geno Auriemma if she could run the huddle during a fourth-quarter timeout with UConn's second unit on the floor.

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson
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Feb 11, 2019; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) drives the ball against South Carolina Gamecocks guard Destanni Henderson (3) in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Feb 11, 2019; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) drives the ball against South Carolina Gamecocks guard Destanni Henderson (3) in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS -- Plenty has been made over this year's UConn women's basketball team possibly not being weaker than some in the past. But one advantage this year's squad has over last season's? Health.

As the 2017-18 season wore on, more and more Huskies found themselves limited with injuries. Katie Lou Samuelson hurt her left ankle in the home opener, and played with the injury all year before having an operation in the offseason. Crystal Dangerfield dealt with shin splints for much of the second half of the season that frequently kept her out of practice. Migraine issues hampered Gabby Williams. Batouly Camara never seemed to recover from a preseason knee injury. Mikayla Coombs sat out the NCAA Tournament because of a pulmonary embolism.

It's a long list of injuries, one that looks even longer when compared to this season's bill of health.

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Points in the Paint: Collier 00:00:50
UConn's Napheesa Collier with a beautiful finish against UCF finishing off a 78 - 41 victory, presented by Ring's End.

UConn's Napheesa Collier with a beautiful finish against UCF finishing off a 78 - 41 victory, presented by Ring's End.

Watch the video above.

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Collier leads UConn blowout 00:01:27
Napheesa Collier scored 18 points and Christyn Williams added 12 as UConn dominated a chippy UCF team, 78-41

Naphessa Collier had 18 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals to help No. 4 UConn rout UCF 78-41 on Sunday.

She led five Huskies in double figures, including Christyn Williams who had all 12 of her points in the second half.

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Jan 19, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Alterique Gilbert (3) shoots against the Tulane Green Wave in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 19, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Alterique Gilbert (3) shoots against the Tulane Green Wave in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

If losing star guard Jalen Adams for 4-6 weeks wasn't enough, head coach Dan Hurley has also been unable to deploy G Alterique Gilbertwho missed his fifth game in a row in Thursday night's loss to No. 9-ranked Houston. 

Gilbert has been out nearly three weeks now with a sore left shoulder that came after a collision during the Huskies' win over Wichita State on Jan. 26. And, of course, it had to be the same shoulder that Gilbert has had surgery on twice in his freshman and sophomore seasons at UConn. 

So, naturally, that type of injury would cause a player -- along with coaches and staff -- to be extra careful about rushing back onto the court. And while Gilbert has been sitting stagnant on the pine, he had to watch Adams, who is a senior, go down when the team needed him most. 

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Feb 14, 2019; Hartford, CT, USA; Houston Cougars forward Cedrick Alley Jr. (23) drives the ball against Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) in the second half at XL Center. Houston defeated UConn 71-63. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Feb 14, 2019; Hartford, CT, USA; Houston Cougars forward Cedrick Alley Jr. (23) drives the ball against Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) in the second half at XL Center. Houston defeated UConn 71-63. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Houston guard DeJon Jarreau believes he's gotten his basketball career back on track and expects to be a factor as the Cougars make a run at a conference title and perhaps something bigger.

The sophomore transfer from Massachusetts had 18 points and seven assists to help No. 9 Houston beat UConn 71-63 on Thursday night for its ninth straight victory.

Armoni Brooks added 12 points for the Cougars (24-1, 11-1 American Athletic Conference). They opened the second half with a 17-4 run to take control.

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Geno inspired by Mickey Donovan? 00:01:52
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma tells a story about how a quick conversation with Jon Voight at the Dulles airport had tremendous impact.

Worn out from all the chatter -- the "nonsense," as Geno Auriemma puts it -- surrounding his UConn women's basketball team, Auriemma says a random meeting with actor Jon Voight at Dulles airport gave Auriemma perspective.

Auriemma appreciated the brief, cordial exchange he had with the man who portrays Mickey Donovan on Showtime's "Ray Donovan," a chat that has Auriemma more upbeat with his 22-2 team entering the final stage of the regular season.

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Connecticut Huskies guard Christyn Williams dribbles in the first half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Purcell Pavilion. (Matt Cashore/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Christyn Williams dribbles in the first half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Purcell Pavilion. (Matt Cashore/USA TODAY Sports)

HARTFORD -- Christyn Williams looked like she was going to be different than most freshman. Not only did she step into a starting role with UConn women's basketball from day one, Williams thrived early in her career, scoring in double-figures in 10 of her first 14 games, including a breakout 28-point performance against Notre Dame. Williams seemed like she was going to be above the typical struggles that plague many of the Huskies' freshmen.

Then Williams ran head-first into the dreaded "freshman wall".

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 (David Butler II )
(David Butler II )

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.

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Memphis Tigers forward Kyvon Davenport moves to the basket against Connecticut Huskies forward Tyler Polley during the first half at FedExForum. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)
Memphis Tigers forward Kyvon Davenport moves to the basket against Connecticut Huskies forward Tyler Polley during the first half at FedExForum. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)

Kyvon Davenport scored 26 points, Tyler Harris and Jeremiah Martin added 12 each and Memphis held off a late push to defeat UConn 78-71 on Sunday.

Tyler Polley led the Huskies (13-11, 4-7 American Athletic Conference) with 20 points, while Sidney Wilson finished with 16. Christian Vital and Tarin Smith added 13 apiece for UConn, which lost its second straight and third in the last four.

The Huskies were playing their first game since leading-scorer Jalen Adams (17 points per game) suffered a left knee injury that will keep him out of action for 4-6 weeks.

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Points in the Paint: Collier 00:00:26
UConn's Napheesa Collier with a beautiful finish against Temple finishing off a 109 - 74 victory, presented by Ring's End.

UConn's Napheesa Collier with a beautiful finish against Temple finishing off a 109 - 74 victory, presented by Ring's End.

Watch the video above.

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Collier leads UConn blowout 00:01:27
Napheesa Collier poured home 30 points as UConn eclipsed the 100-point mark for the second game in a row, beating Temple 109-74

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Napheesa Collier tied a season-high with 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds on Saturday, leading No. 5 UConn to a 109-74 rout of Temple.

Collier, who had 30 points in a win over the Owls last month, recorded her 12th double-double of the season and 36th of her career. She hit 12 of her 16 shots, dished out six assists and blocked three shots.

Crystal Dangerfield added 22 points and nine assists for UConn (21-2, 10-0 American), which tuned up for Monday's meeting with No. 12 South Carolina by shooting 63 percent and breaking the 100-point barrier for a second straight game. >> Read more

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Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams reacts after a break in the action against the UCF Knights in the second half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams reacts after a break in the action against the UCF Knights in the second half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

UConn men's basketball star guard Jalen Adams will be out 4-6 weeks with a Grade-2+ MCL sprain, the school announced on Friday.

If Adams can recover in four weeks, that would mean he could return for the final week of the regular season. Should it take six weeks, he wouldn't be back until after the American Athletic Conference tournament.

Adams injured the knee in Tuesday's loss to Temple when an opposing player dove into his left leg chasing a loose ball. Adams needed to be helped off the court.

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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson dribbles against Louisville Cardinals guard Mykasa Robinson during the first half at KFC Yum! Center. (Jamie Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson dribbles against Louisville Cardinals guard Mykasa Robinson during the first half at KFC Yum! Center. (Jamie Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Despite falling to its lowest ranking the AP Poll since 2007 this week, the No. 5 UConn women's basketball team insisted ahead of its game vs. the East Carolina Pirates that it didn't look or care about its ranking. But Wednesday night at XL Center, the Huskies played like they had something to prove.

UConn reached triple digits for the first time this season, smoking ECU 118-55, thanks to a total effort from its squad and Katie Lou Samuelson's game-high 31 points.

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Points in the Paint: Samuelson 00:00:30
UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson with a beautiful finish against ECU on February 6th topping off a 118 - 55 victory, presented by Ring's End.

UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson with a beautiful finish against ECU on Feb. 6 topping off a 118 - 55 victory, presented by Ring's End.

Watch the video above.

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UConn cruises vs. ECU, 118-55 00:01:08
The Huskies were never in trouble Wednesday night against ECU. With the victory, UConn secured its 26th consecutive 20-win season.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) All-American Katie Lou Samuelson broke out of her shooting slump, scoring a season-high 31 points to lead No. 5 UConn over East Carolina 118-55 on Wednesday night.

Napheesa Collier hit all 10 of her shots and added 21 points for the Huskies (20-2, 9-0 American Athletic Conference), who reached 20 wins for the 26th straight season.

Christyn Williams scored 15 points, Megan Walker 14, and Crystal Dangerfield had 12 points and 12 assists...

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