UNCASVILLE, CT. 3/6/2017 – UConn forward Katie Lou Samuelson rewrote much of the record book in the game. She set an NCAA record for consecutive made three-pointers shooting a perfect 10 – 10 from beyond the arc. It was also a tournament mark for made three-pointers. Samuelson also set the mark for most points in a tournament game with 40 breaking the record of 30 set by Feyonda Fitzgerald of Temple two nights earlier. For the game Samuelson made 12 of 14 field goals, was a perfect 6 for 6 from the line, got 2 rebounds, 5 assists, and played good defense.
“The thing was I didn’t focus on threes, I tried to focus on just playing,” said Samuelson. “They kept going in and I kept shooting it. I was getting open shots.”
The result, Connecticut keeps its perfect record in the title game with a 100 – 44 blitz over USF. With the win in the Frontier Communications American Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship at the Mohegan Sun Arena, UConn claims the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. More streaks? The Huskies are 32 – 0 and have won 107 consecutive games, the longest in NCAA history.
Samuelson was named the tournament Most Outstanding Player.
“She was special,” USF Coach Jose Fernanadez said about Samuelson. “She was in rhythm. She didn’t force shots. She let the shots come to her and knocked them down.”
In the four year history of this tournament the UConn Huskies appeared in every championship game. Three consecutive times the opponent has been the USF Bulls. It was UConn and Louisville in the first title tilt in case you’re interested. Also, the Huskies are now 82 – 0 in the American.
The issue was decided early. Eight minutes into the game the top-seeded Huskies lead 22 – 7, forced 8 Bulls turnovers, and had a 15 – 0 edge in points off turnovers.
By the half the lead extended to 62 – 23. Connecticut shot 24 of 34 and made 10 of 14 from beyond the arc. Points off turnovers grew to a 25 – 2 on 14 Bulls miscues. Samuelson had 29 points in the half. It took the California native less than 30 seconds to break the record with a three-pointer at the 7:32 mark.
“There is not much you can say when you see something like that, the way it transpired,” said UConn Coach Geno Auriemma. “We just had something going on that was hard to capture. We want to capture and hold on to it for a long, long time. It started in the first four possessions. We made hardly any mistakes at all on defense and that got it going on the other end.”
Napheesa Collier added 15 points for the Huskies to go along with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Gabby Williams scored 12 points and took down 3 rebounds and handed out 4 assists. Saniya Chong scored 11 points. Natalie Butler had 10 for a UConn team that went 38 of 61 (62.3%) from the field and were an incredible 16 of 27 (59.3%) from three-point land.
USF were led by Dorottya Nagy who scored 15 points. Kitija Laksa counted for 13 points.
Williams and Collier were named to the All-Tournament team along with Jespersen and Laksa. Fitzgerald was also named to the team.