STORRS, Conn. – As the Huskies prepare for their 12th consecutive Elite Eight appearance, sophomores Napheesa Collier (O’Fallon, Mo.) and Katie Lou Samuelson (Huntington Beach, Calif.) were named to Associated Press All-America First Team, as announced on Monday. Junior Gabby Williams (Sparks, Nev.) earned All-American Second Team honors while junior Kia Nurse (Hamilton, Ont.) received Honorable Mention.
This marks the first time all four have received All-America nods in their UConn careers. In total, the UConn program boasts 15 First Team selections by nine different players.
Collier, a finalist for the 2017 Naismith Trophy and Wade Trophy, is currently second in the nation in field-goal percentage (69.0). The American Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Year, Collier has scored the third-most points of any UConn sophomore in program history. The O’Fallon, Mo. native registered a career-high . Collier is just 28 points away from hitting the 1,000-career point milestone.
A finalist for the Naismith Trophy and Dawn Staley Award, Samuelson shared American Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Year honors with Collier. Earlier this month, Samuelson was crowned the Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 AAC tournament after . She shot a flawless 10-10 from three-point range in the final, establishing a new NCAA record for most three-pointers made in a game without a miss. After joining UConn’s 1,000 point club this season as only a sophomore, Samuelson is just five three-pointers shy of the UConn single-season record held by
Williams, who was named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, currently leads the team in assists (185) and steals (94) and is second in rebounds (8.4) and blocks (48). Williams recorded the fifth triple-double in UConn history at East Carolina on Jan. 24 when she put up 16 points and tied her career-highs in rebounds (16) and assists (10). The Sparks, Nev. native became the 43rd Husky to join UConn’s 1,000-point club after she shot a perfect 7-7 from the floor for 15 points against Temple on Feb. 22. Williams earned a spot on the National Ballot for the 2017 John R. Wooden Award along with teammates, Collier and Samuelson.
Nurse received All-America Honorable Mention honors. The American Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year, Nurse tied an NCAA tournament record by hitting nine three-pointers in the Second Round against Syracuse to lead the team with 29 points. The Hamilton, Ont. native took home CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team honors earlier this month. On the court, Nurse averages 13.0 points per game and is third on the team in assists, dishing out 120 helpers this season. Nurse became the 42nd member of UConn’s 1,000-point club after recording 15 points at East Carolina on Jan. 24.
UConn will compete for its 10th-straight trip Final Four on Monday, March 27 when the Huskies take on Oregon in the Elite Eight at Webster Bank Arena at 7 p.m.