A Perfect Ending

By FRED GOODALL AP Sports Writer

 

 

 

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Napheesa Collier had a career-high 39 points and 12 rebounds to help No. 1 UConn wrap up another undefeated regular season and extend its NCAA record winning streak to 104 games with a 96-68 rout of South Florida on Monday night.

Katie Lou Samuelson became the 44th player in program history with 1,000 career points and finished with 16 despite a cold shooting night.

With the Huskies’ star going 6 of 19 from the field, including just 3 of 12 on 3-point attempts, Collier dominated inside while making 15 of 19 shots on the way to topping 30 points for the second time in three games.

Gabby Williams had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Huskies, who played without injured guard Kia Nurse (right ankle) for the fourth straight game.

UConn (29-0, 16-0 American Athletic Conference) completed its ninth undefeated regular season and moved within one victory having 12 consecutive 30-win seasons. The four-time defending national champions won an earlier meeting against South Florida by 65.

USF (22-7, 11-5) trailed by as many as 21 in the opening half. The Bulls pulled within 62-48 midway through the third quarter before Samuelson made a long 3-pointer to begin an 18-9 spurt that hiked UConn’s lead to 23 heading into the final quarter.

Ariadna Pujol led USF with 16 points. Kitija Laksa had 15 and Lala Flores added 13 for the Bulls.

     BIG PICTURE

UConn has rebounded from its first scare in months _ a three-point victory over Tulane _ to win its next three games by 45, 43 and 28. Despite playing the Huskies tough for stretches of games in recent seasons, USF is 0-22 all-time against them. The Bulls have played the four-time defending national champions eight times during UConn’s winning streak, losing by an average of 29 points.

     UP NEXT

Top-seeded UConn begins postseason play Saturday in the quarterfinals of the AAC tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

As the No. 3 seed, USF also has a first-round bye in the conference tournament, beginning play in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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