Geno Auriemma’s Huskies win 40th straight behind Breanna Stewart double-double

Freshmen Samuelson and Collier impressive in win

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Nebraska hung with UConn for the first quarter, but couldn’t keep pace for the other three.
Breanna Stewart, the two-time national player of the year, scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead top-ranked UConn to its 40th consecutive win, 88-46 over Nebraska on Saturday.
Stewart hit her first nine shots and finished 10 of 11 from the floor with three 3-pointers. It was her first double-double of the season, and the 26th of her career.
Rachel Theriot had 12 points and six assists to lead the Huskers (4-1).
Nebraska had not given up more than 47 points in any of its first four games. But NU trailed by 16 at halftime Saturday and was outscored 23-6 in the third quarter.
The Huskies shot 58 percent against a defense that had held each of its previous opponents to under 30 percent.
The Huskers, who shot 50 percent from the floor in their first four games, were held to 34.5 percent by UConn. NU freshman Jessica Shepard, who had been averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds, was held to 10 points and five rebounds.
“Just like a lot of freshmen, she has a lot to learn,” coach Connie Yori said. “She needs to continue to learn how to play hard and be consistent doing that.”
The Huskers got 11 points from sophomore guard Natalie Romeo, who added five assists, four steals and three rebounds.
Nebraska stuck with UConn through the first quarter, leading by as many as four early. But UConn took a 19-14 lead at the end of the quarter after a 3-pointer by Stewart, who had 18 points and six rebounds by halftime.
“You watch her now and there’s this really, really deliberate way she goes about what she wants to do,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “And she comes from different spots on the floor to do what she wants.”
Stewart scored 24 points in UConn’s opener against Ohio State, and has since added consecutive 25-point games.
“I’m shooting the ball better,” she said. “My shot feels better than last year, when it was a little suspect at times. That helps a lot.”
Morgan Tuck hit a 3-pointer to open the second quarter, and the Huskies put together a 14-2 run that made it 30-16.
Yori used three of her four timeouts in the first half, trying to stop UConn. But the Huskies led 40-24 at halftime.
Nebraska is the 85th consecutive unranked opponent to lose to UConn, which has not been beaten by anyone outside the Top 25 since falling to St. John’s in February 2012.
The Huskers return home to face North Carolina State on Thursday.
Katie Lou Samuelson had 14 points for UConn. Napheesa Collier added 10, making all five of her shots for the three-time defending national champions (3-0).
The two touted freshmen said Stewart has been a great role model.
“We really need to learn from her and just keep watching her,” Samuelson said.

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