By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Sports Writer
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WTIC and AP) – Napheesa Collier scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and top-ranked Connecticut routed Memphis 93-36 Wednesday to remain undefeated.
UConn (19-0, 8-0 American Athletic Conference) trailed only briefly in the opening minutes before beating Memphis for the ninth time overall and second time this season.
The Huskies routed Memphis 97-49 when the Tigers visited Dec. 31. The venue changed, but not the final result with UConn winning in a more smothering fashion despite coach Geno Auriemma pulling all but one starter in the third quarter. The Huskies held Memphis to fewer points in each of the first three quarters.
Azura Stevens added 18 points off the bench for UConn. Katie Lou Samuelson, who missed the Huskies’ win at Temple last weekend because of an injured ankle, scored 17 points in 25 minutes. Crystal Dangerfield, a native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, added 12.
Brea Elmore led Memphis (7-13, 2-5) with 13 points, well below the 21 she had been averaging in league play. Jada Stinson had 10.
They tipped off at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse with a nearly packed crowd at the gym seating 2,565 on campus.
Memphis hit four straight, including a pair of 3-pointers, to grab a 10-6 lead on Elmore’s 3 with 5:49 left. That’s when UConn shut the Tigers down and took over. The Huskies finished the first quarter on a 20-0 run, forcing six turnovers that they turned into 12 points.
The Tigers simply couldn’t handle UConn’s length as Alana Davis tried to pass over the 6-foot-6 Stevens to a teammate only to throw it out of bounds.
UConn led 26-10 at the end of the first quarter and outscored Memphis 22-7 in the second for a 48-17 halftime lead. The biggest questions were whether UConn would top its scoring average of 89.1 points a game and if Memphis could score double figures in a quarter after being held to five in the third. The Tigers did _ against the Huskies backups in the fourth.
UConn: The Huskies outrebounded Memphis 47-24. … They won their 47th straight road game dating back to their overtime loss at Stanford on Nov. 17, 2014. Better yet, they won their 115th straight on the road against unranked opponents dating back to Dec. 21, 2004, and a loss at Arizona State. They’ve won 148 straight home or away against unranked teams.
Memphis: The Tigers rank 302nd nationally in field goal defense, and they had no answer for the speed and accuracy of the nation’s best shooting and highest-scoring team in UConn. Luckily for coach Melissa McFerrin, her starters included Stinson, a freshman guard, and sophomore guard Taylor Barnes.
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