Samuelson's record performance leads UConn to fourth conference championship - Mar 8, 2017
Katie Samuelson (6'3''-G/F-97) had a record-breaking night, scoring 40 points and hitting all 10 of her 3-point shots to lead top-ranked UConn to a 100-44 win over USF in the 2017 Frontier Comunication American Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Championship on Monday. Samuelson set a Division I record for consecutive 3-pointers in a game and also set the tournament's single-game scoring mark. Napheesa Collier (6'1''-G/F-97) added 15 points as the Huskies won their 107th straight game and extended their conference winning streak to 82 games. UConn has not lost to an AAC opponent since the league was formed four seasons ago. And this one was never in doubt. Samuelson scored eight points and hit her first two 3-pointers during an opening 12-0 run for the Huskies. South Florida coach Jose Fernandez used three of his four timeouts in the first quarter in an attempt to slow UConn down, but Collier's buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the left corner made it 30-11 after one. Samuelson gave UConn its first 40-point lead with her eighth shot from behind the arc in the second quarter. She had 29 points in the first half, and the Huskies, who did not trail at any point during the tournament, led 62-23 at the break. Samuelson played just eight minutes in the second half. Dorottya Nagy (6'2''-F-97) had a season-high 15 points and Kitija Laksa (6'0''-F-96) added 13 for South Florida (24-8). The Huskies have beaten the Bulls in all 23 of their meetings, including the last three conference title games. UConn has won 22 conference titles, dating to the program's days in the Big East. UConn has played in a conference tournament final in 27 of the last 29 years. Exhaustion may have been a factor in this one for South Florida. Laksa, Laia Flores (5'7''-PG-96), Maria Jespersen (6'0''-F-94) and Ariadna Pujol (6'1''-G/F-95) played every minute of the team's first two tournament games. In this blowout, Flores played 36 minutes, Laksa and Pujol each played 33 and Jespersen played 29. The Huskies will host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Storrs and are expected to be in the Bridgeport regional. That would mean the Huskies won't have to leave the state before the Final Four, should they advance that far. South Florida is expected to be one of three AAC teams to receive an NCAA bid, joining UConn and Temple, which lost to the Bulls in the semifinals.
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