03/22 21:21 CDT Collier's double-double leads No. 2 UConn to rout of Towson
Collier's double-double leads No. 2 UConn to rout of Towson
By PAT EATON-ROBB
AP Sports Writer
STORRS, Conn. (AP) --- UConn wanted to make a statement after failing to get a
No. 1 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament.
Napheesa Collier scored 23 points and UConn, in the unusual position of being a
No. 2 seed, got off to its usual NCAA tournament start with a 110-61 rout of
15th-seeded Towson on Friday night.
Collier added 14 rebounds in putting up her fourth straight double-double and
21st this season.
Freshman Christyn Williams scored 21 points and Crystal Dangerfield added 20
for Connecticut (32-2), which had five players in double figures and scored
more than 100 points for the fourth time this season.
"We wanted to come out with a bang and I thought we came out swinging, which is
what we wanted to do," Collier said.
Kionna Jeter had 20 points for Towson, which was making its first trip to the
NCAA Tournament and finishes the season 20-13.
UConn, in its 31st consecutive tournament appearance, put this one away early.
Megan Walker (16 points) began the scoring with a jumper and her 3-pointer from
the right baseline capped an opening 11-1 run.
It was 31-7 after a three-point play from Collier to close the first quarter.
She had 12 points and six rebounds after 10 minutes and 18 points and nine
rebounds by halftime.
A 3-pointer from Dangerfield gave the Huskies their first 30-point lead at
46-14. The team, which led 64-24 at the half, hit 59 percent of its shots and
"It's simplistic right? Your really good players have to play really well and
if they do then you have a chance to win and play again," UConn coach Geno
Auriemma said. "Our best players played really well today. And when they do,
we're a hard team to contend with."
Connecticut has won 26 straight first-round games by an average of almost 50
points since a loss to Louisville in 1993. The top-seeded Cardinals and the
Huskies have chance of meeting this season in the Albany Region final.
Towson: The Tigers posted their first 20-win season since 2007-08, first
winning season since 2011-12 and their first Colonial Athletic Association
"We're going to take it into next year, working hard, trying to get back where
we came," Jeter said.
UConn: All-American Katie Lou Samuelson, playing for the first time since
suffering a back injury in the penultimate game of the regular season, got her
first points on a 3-pointer from the top of the key that made it 36-12. She
played 22 minutes and finished with 11 points.
"I'm definitely tired but it's easy to push through," Samuelson said. "I'm glad
I played today and got that first game back."
Williams hit eight of her 12 shots in her first NCAA Tournament game and was 4
of 8 from 3-point range. The freshman also had four assists. three rebounds and
said she never felt nervous.
"It's just crazy, because last year at this time I was at home watching all the
games on TV," she said. "So, to actually be here, I was really excited to play
HE SAID IT
Auriemma said he's had teams he knew would not be beaten if they played at the
top of their game. This team, he said, is not one of those.
"The difference in this year is that we know, even if we play our best game, we
can lose," he said. "We just don't have enough pieces. Which is OK. Because
then the goal becomes, let's see how close we can come to playing a great game
and then take our chances, because the other team still has to play great, and
there is no guarantee of that."
The Huskies face 10th-seeded Buffalo, which beat Rutgers 82-71 earlier Friday.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/WomensNCAATournament and