Behind 39 points from Napheesa Collier, the top-ranked UConn Huskies extended their record winning streak to 104 with a 96-68 win over the USF Bulls on Monday night at the Sun Dome.
Collier was 15-19 from the floor, and also led all players with 12 rebounds in a dominating performance. “Our guys don't usually score a lot of points. That was a lot of points,” said Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma. Collier’s 39 was the most by a Huskies player this season, and she went to the bench with four minutes remaining.
Forward Gabby Williams added 18 points and nine rebounds, and point guard Crystal Dangerfield added 12 points and nine assists against zero turnovers, and was a bright spot defensively versus the Bulls Laia Flores.
"Definitely much better performance than the game up there," said Bulls head coach Jose Fernandez, whose team lost 102-37 in Storrs, CT on January 10th. On Senior Night, the Bulls were led by senior forward Aridana Pujol with 16 points and seven rebounds. USF’s other three seniors in Paige Cashin, Nancy Warioba, and Katelyn Weber saw only end-of-game action.
USF was able to score reasonably efficiently at 1.00 points per possession on 28-65 from the field (43.1%) and 6-13 from three-point range (46.2%). But the Bulls were unable to get stops, allowing 1.41 PPP to the nation’s best team. "We cut it to 14-15, but those nine offensive rebounds we gave up in the 3rd quarter... we could never get back in the game,” said Fernandez.
During UConn’s NCAA record 104-game win streak, USF’s nine losses is the most of any team. The Huskies moved to 80-0 all-time in American Conference play.
Always looking for flaws during this remarkable stretch that’s lasted into four seasons, Auriemma said "our starters had 94 of 96. That's the difference between our starters and our bench.”
Both teams are off to the AAC Tournament at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut that begins Friday, but neither will play until Saturday due to byes. As the tournament’s #3 seed the Bulls will face the winner of #6 SMU and #11 East Carolina, while #1 UConn will play the #8 Memphis & #9 Tulsa victor.