Stevens scores 25 points, balanced UConn tops Michigan St

Connecticut's Azura Stevens, center, shoots over Michigan State's Jenna Allen, right, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game during the Phil Knight Invitational tournament in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez)

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Azura Stevens recorded one of three UConn double-doubles and reached 1,000 points for her career as the top-ranked Huskies beat Michigan State 96-62 at the PK80 Invitational on Saturday.

Stevens had 25 points and 16 rebounds for the Huskies (5-0), who won their 136th consecutive game against an unranked opponent. Kia Nurse added 20 points for UConn, Napheesa Collier had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Crystal Dangerfield had 10 points and 10 assists.

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Stevens started for the third straight game in place of injured preseason All-American Katie Lou Samuelson, who wore a protective boot on her sprained left foot. Stevens was 10-for-15 from the field, including a 3-pointer, and had five assists.

Sidney Cooks led the Spartans (4-1) with 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench, and Branndais Agee scored 10 points, giving her 1,001 for her career.

The Huskies built a 46-21 lead at the half by dominating inside with a 30-2 edge in points in the paint, which grew to 56-24 by game’s end. They also had a 46-28 rebounding edge after Michigan State came in leading the nation in rebound average (57.0) and margin (plus-28).

The Spartans missed their first six shots and trailed 16-2 after Collier blocked three of their first nine attempts. UConn scored the first 17 points of the second quarter to go up 36-9.

The only glitch for the Huskies came from the 3-point line, where they were 1-for-13 in the first half after shooting 46.9 percent through their first four games. UConn finished 7-for-24 (29.2 percent) beyond the arc.

BIG PICTURE

UConn has won 40 consecutive games away from the XL Center in Hartford, where it has won 67 games in a row with No. 6 Notre Dame visiting next on Dec. 2.

Michigan State, playing its first No. 1 opponent in 10 years, saw its fast start grind to a halt on the second leg of a three-game trip.

UP NEXT

Michigan State: Heads east across three times zones to play Miami on Thursday night.

UConn: Finishes its three-game western swing against Nevada in Reno on Tuesday night.

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