Katie Lou Samuelson’s 29 leads No. 2 UConn past Dayton, 98-65

Photo: UConnHuskies.com
Photo: UConnHuskies.com

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Katie Lou Samuelson was expected take on more of the scoring load for UConn this season and is meeting those expectations.

The sophomore put up a career-high in points for the second consecutive game Tuesday night. Her 29 led the nation’s second-ranked team to a 98-65 win over Dayton.

Samuelson, who had 28 points on Sunday against LSU, hit 10 of her 17 shots and was 4 of 8 from 3-point range. She also had six assists and pulled down six rebounds.

”I know I got a lot of 3s against LSU and I’m not going to get that every game,” she said. ”So I just tried to do more than just stand on the 3-point line.”

Gabby Williams tied her single-game high with 19 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and had a career-high five assists for the Huskies (4-0). Napheesa Collier chipped in with 22 points to help extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 79 games.

Jenna Burdette and Lauren Cannatelli each scored 15 for Dayton (2-2), which had won two straight.

The Flyers led 10-5 midway through the first quarter. Burdette had five points during that run. But the Huskies scored the next 15 and led 22-13 going into the second quarter.

Samuelson had 20 points by intermission and it was 51-31 at halftime.

UConn made 48.7 percent of its shots and outscored the Flyers 50-30 in the paint.

”We got some easy buckets, which we didn’t get at LSU or Baylor ,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. ”We got a couple tonight and that really helped. And once again, if you shoot the ball well, everything looks good.”

THE BIG PICTURE

UConn: The Huskies streak seems almost certain to reach at least 80 games, but after that things could get interesting again. UConn began the season with wins over two top-12 opponents in Florida State and Baylor. They play Chattanooga next, but face No. 18 DePaul, No. 14 Texas, top-ranked Notre Dame, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 6 Maryland, all before January. UConn’s winning streak is the third longest in college basketball history, behind only its own program record of 90 straight from 2008-10 and the UCLA men’s record of 88 consecutive victories from 1971-74.

Dayton: The Flyers had bounced back nicely after a season-opening loss at home to Quinnipiac, with road wins over Wisconsin and Princeton. First-year coach Shauna Green’s team was picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10 and believed a trip to Storrs could help prepare them for the conference season. She was pleased with the effort.

”I don’t care about the score; I don’t look at the scoreboard,” said Green, who was an assistant until Jim Jabir resigned for personal reasons in September. ”That’s all we’ve been preaching – you have to fight. It doesn’t matter, just continue to play hard and with some energy and some passion.”

STAT OF THE GAME

The Huskies had 27 assists on 37 baskets, with four players dishing out four or more. Freshman Crystal Dangerfield led the way with nine assists, followed by Samuelson (6), Williams (5) and Kia Nurse (4).

OTHER STREAKS

The 79-game streak isn’t the only run UConn is on. The Huskies have won 111 games against unranked opponents, 51 straight home games and 23 straight regular season non-conference games (116 of 120). They’ve also gone 853 games without losing back-to-back contests.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

UConn’s ranking likely won’t be affected by this game. Barring any upsets, they should stay where they are until the Dec. 7 showdown with top-ranked Notre Dame in South Bend.

UP NEXT

UConn: After playing four games in nine days, the Huskies are off for the Thanksgiving holiday before hosting their first game off campus in Hartford on Nov. 29 against Chattanooga.

Auriemma said the team won’t practice again until Saturday . Most of the players will be traveling home. The others, he said, are invited to his house for turkey and lasagna.

”We’ve been traveling a lot and I think the kids are tired,” he said.

Dayton: The Flyers are off to Bimini in the Bahamas for the Junkanoo Jam, where they will face Georgia Tech on Friday and then either Missouri or Creighton.

”That’s three great teams from Power Five conferences,” Green said. ”If we can get two wins down there, that just builds your resume for later on in March. I really want to see how we respond to this and see our mental toughness, see how we take this and use it to get better.”

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