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80 for 80: No. 2 UConn tops Chattanooga, 80-43, for 80th straight win


Nov. 29, 2016

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - UConn eased past Chattanooga to stretch its winning streak to 80 games - and that has coach Geno Auriemma concerned.

Napheesa Collier scored 23 points to lead the nation's No. 2-ranked team to an 80-43 rout of the Mocs on Tuesday night.

Katie Lou Samuelson added 19 points for the Huskies and the two sophomores combined to hit 19 of their 30 shots from the field.

UConn has won 127 of its last 128 games and 52 straight at home.

But Auriemma said he hopes those streaks will be tested when the Huskies face No. 15 DePaul on Thursday and four other top-25 teams in December.

'''Cause we need to get our ass beat and soon and bad, so that some of our guys will come to realize that this is not as easy as they think it is,'' Auriemma said.

UConn (5-0) led by just 12 points at halftime, before holding Chattanooga scoreless for more than 8 minutes during an 18-0 third quarter run. That gave the Huskies a 61-33 lead and put the game out of reach. The Mocs had just 12 points after intermission.

Collier said she agrees with her coach that the Huskies didn't play tough enough in the first half, something that could come back to bite them in the coming weeks.

''Hopefully it doesn't take a loss to wake us up,'' she said.

Gabby Williams scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds, the second straight game she has reached double figures in both points and rebounds and the 11th double-double of her career.

Four players finished with nine points for Chattanooga (3-6), including Chelsey Shumpert, who sat out the Mocs' last two games with an ankle injury.

UConn dominated underneath, outscoring Chattanooga 48-16 in the paint, and outrebounding the Mocs 44-32.

The Huskies played without freshman point guard Crystal Dangerfield, who missed the game with concussion-like symptoms after bumping her head in UConn's win over Dayton a week ago. Auriemma said she still needs to pass several parts of her concussion protocol before being cleared to play against DePaul.

THE BIG PICTURE

UConn: Without Dangerfield, the Huskies had to rely more on senior guard Sanaya Chong and junior Kia Nurse to run the offense. Nurse had 12 points and dished out four of UConn's 21 assists. Chong finished with three points and five assists.

UConn's winning streak is just the third 80-game streak in Division I 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.

Chattanooga: Coach Jim Foster has put his team through a tough non-conference schedule that included losses to teams such as Florida, Indiana and Louisville. The Mocs play top-ranked Notre Dame next month and must guard against losing confidence while dropping games to the bigger names in women's college basketball.

''I think in the long run it has to help because you have to learn to play hard every night,'' Foster said. ''The program has had success within of the framework of our conference and getting to the NCAA Tournament, but it hasn't had success winning in the NCAA Tournament. Playing more teams that are going to be playing in March, you get an idea of what you have to be like.''

POLL IMPLICATIONS:

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

HE SAID IT:

Auriemma said he's coached several teams that had the ability to dominate all competition and others that won because they refused to back down from anyone under any circumstances.

''We gave up like eight layups in the first five minutes of the game, so we're not that,'' he said. ''And yet we don't have that kind of talent that blows you away, like we've had in the past. So, that means that every single minute of every day, every practice, every game, they've got to be tough, hard-nosed and I mean really tough. And that's hard to do.''

UP NEXT:

UConn: The Huskies begin their December gauntlet of games against ranked teams when they face No. 15 DePaul on Thursday. The Huskies then travel to face No. 14 Texas on Dec. 4 before their Dec. 7 showdown with No. 1 Notre Dame. UConn also faced No. 9 Ohio State and No. 5 Maryland before January.

Chattanooga: The Mocs visit Tennessee-Martin on Saturday, before returning home to face Stetson.

 

 

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