No. 3 UConn holds off Florida State to win opener

Connecticut's Natalie Butler eyes the basket and waits for a high flying Brittany Brown of Florida State to pass before taking the shot in the second quarter of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, in Tallahassee, Fla. UConn won the game 78-76. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
Connecticut's Natalie Butler eyes the basket and waits for a high flying Brittany Brown of Florida State to pass before taking the shot in the second quarter of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, in Tallahassee, Fla. UConn won the game 78-76. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Napheesa Collier had 28 points and big block down the stretch to help No. 3 UConn open its season with a 78-76 win over No. 12 Florida State on Monday night.

Saniya Chong scored 16 points and Katie Lou Samuelson added 14 as the Huskies (1-0) extended their winning streak to 76 games, which is the third-longest streak in college basketball history.

The Seminoles trailed by 65-59, but had a chance to tie it with 13.7 seconds left when Brittany Brown was fouled on a 3-point attempt by Kia Nurse. She made the first two to get within 77-76, but missed the third. The Huskies could not secure the ball and FSU (1-1) retained possession when it went out of bounds.

Shakayla Thomas then drove the lane, but her shot was blocked by Collier. Crystal Dangerfield made the first free throw, but missed the second. Imani Wright missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Wright led Florida State (1-1) with 25 points while Brown added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Florida State led 34-30 at halftime and led by as many as seven early in the third quarter before the four-time defending champions started chipping away.

UConn’s winning streak sits only behind the team record of 90 straight set from 2008-10 and the UCLA men’s record of 88 consecutive victories.

BIG PICTURE

UConn: Geno Auriemma said before the game that this was a new world they were entering too after the graduations of Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson. He also said he wasn’t going to judge this team based on what happened in November, but considering they were able to hold on to win at the road, that has to give his team a little bit of confidence.

Florida State: The Seminoles hung tough without starting point guard Leticia Romero, who missed her second straight game with a hamstring injury.

UP NEXT

UConn: The Huskies will have their home opener on Thursday against No. 2 Baylor. UConn is 53-10 against teams in the top 10 since the start of 2008-09 season.

Florida State: The Seminoles continue a string of four straight home games to start the season on Thursday against Jacksonville.