By Marvin Chambers: 4.0 Sports Media
Liacouras Center–These UConn Huskies do things a little differently these days, they can dazzle you with their supreme athleticism and length, then they can have you wondering and scratching your head. Tonight game gave you a little of both, the first half the Huskies played like a NCAA defending champions and the second half they had you wondering who they are.
The Temple Owls (16-5) overall with a 6-1 in the American Athletic Conference play had a 12-game winning streak before it was snapped on Sunday against #23 USF (55-51). #1 UConn enters the game 20-0, 8-0 in the American Conference.
The first quarter the Huskies served up a little home cooking on their own with Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson both shooting a 100 % from the field (3-3) and (2-2) respectively. UConn had the hi-lo game going on early scoring 20 points in the paint. Turnovers and rushed shots from the Owls resulted in transition baskets for the Huskies.
The 97-69 win, UConn’s 96th in a row, it was over by halftime. The Huskies played one of their best halves of the season, opened a 34-point lead before the break with stunning performances at both ends of the floor. UConn left the crowd of 4,371 at the Liacouras Center in disbelief.
UConn started out of the gate clicking on all cylinders they are now 21-0 overall, 9-0 American Athletic Conference. This was a different team a 360 eclipse of what we saw last Saturday against Houston, missing open looks to a subpar opponent.
“It was flawless the first half”, UConn Coach Geno Auriemma said.
Temple’s leading scorer, Feyonda Fitzgerald 17.9 points per game, and 6th in DI in assist per game, was 0-for-9 in the first half. She finished with seven points on 3-16 shooting. UConn guarded the perimeter, was great with their help defense and switches, with their length being a problem for the Temple smaller guards to penetrate in the paint in the first half.
“Now there’s no guarantee you’re going to get it a stellar performance from everybody on the team. We’re trying to make it a habit to come out like that every single game. We want that to be normal for us.” Said UConn Gabby Williams.”
Connecticut is 56-10 against teams ranked in the top 10 since the start of the 2008-09 season. The Huskies had won 16 games in a row against teams ranked in the AP top 10 until the 79-59 loss at Stanford on December 30, 2010.
It was a collective effort from the Huskies Napheesa Collier led UConn with 25 points on 12-for-14 shooting and added 10 rebounds. Katie Lou Samuelson had 24 points, while Williams had 14 points and six assists. Saniya Chong had 12 points and six assists.
UConn guard Crystal Dangerfield returned to action been sideline for a few weeks with an ankle injury. Crystal didn’t miss a beat logged in 18 quality minutes with 6 points for the game. It
Dangerfield first came off the bench late in the first quarter and fit seamlessly into the flow of the game and didn’t show any sign of rust, as UConn scored in transition and off its defensive pressure at Dangerfield at the helm. On offense, UConn had great ball movement and took their time finding quality shots.