UConn, Katie Lou too much for Seton Hall
HARTFORD - Move over `D’, Lou is now two.
Katie Lou Samuelson came to UConn as a shooter. A wiry 6-foot-3 smooth-stroking slinger out of Mater Dei High School in Hunting Beach, California who could find the bottom of the net with the regularity of a change of seasons.
How good of a shooter? Good enough to move past Huskie legend Diana Taurasi and into the No. 2 spot on the all-time list for 3-pointers made Saturday in a 99-61 UConn frolic over Seton Hall at the XL Center.
Samuelson needed three bombs to pass Taurasi and despite an erratic day from distance (4-for-12) drained four in the hoop to give her 320 for her career, passing Taurasi’s 318. Kaleena Mosqueada- Lewis is the Huskies and the NCAA all-time leader with 398 three-pointers.
Samuelson made a day of it adding a career-high 16 rebounds to go with a 26-point effort, making it her first double-double ever that included rebounds. Passing Taurasi on the all-time list was not lost on Samuelson who grew up watching her play.
“It’s funny because (Taurasi ) is from California too,” said Samuelson. As a shooter and a player I’m proud of this and excited I’ve gotten the opportunity not only to play here and kind of upped myself up with these players (Taurasi and Maya Moore (4th on the list with 311).
I don’t think I ever thought I would be in this situation but to be even mentioned among that and even break that record, I’m just grateful to be a part of that. I still look up to Diana And Maya. Still look up and watch them and want to strive to be like them So to be doing that well, they are still such role models to me. That’s pretty cool.”
If the 3-point total was just more validation of what everybody already knows, the all-around game was validation of the mature All-American senior. Her board work was tenacious and much needed for the Huskies.
“It’s obvious that Lou is really involved in the game. She’s involved in so many plays,” said UConn coach Geno Auriemma She is really enjoying this role she has a rebounder and somebody who is getting us out on the break. She’s just making herself into a really, really complete player. Little by little it’s evolved. She is in a really good place right now. “
A lot of the No. 1 ranked and undefeated Huskies (9-0) showed they are in a really good place right now. Nepheesa Collier scored 18 points followed by Crystal Dangerfield with 16, Christyn Williams with 15 and Oliva Nelson-Ododa with 13. The Huskies also got a solid performance from Kayla Irwin who started in place of Megan Walker who missed her second straight game due to strep throat. Maybe none were feeling better than Williams.
Once again the freshman exploded out of the gate with 15 points that included a trio of 3-pointers. She outscored the Pirates on her own as the Huskies grabbed a 35-13 lead. At one time UConn hit eight straight shots.
“I just come out and go with the flow of the game and it always starts like that, get out in transition,” said Williams “Crystal (Dangerfield) does a really good job of getting the ball up court in transition. It just starts like that.”
Seton Hall entered the game with a 7-1 record but had no answer for the Huskies ability to move the ball up the court and end up with baskets or foul shots. UConn outscored Seton Hall from the line, 19-2.
UConn continued its surge in the second quarter, adding another 10 points to the lead which was stretched to 61-29 by the half. Seton Hall coach Anthony Bozzella was a believer before and more of a disciple after.
“When we scheduled Connecticut we wanted to play the best and they showed why they are,” said Bozzella. Just the way they are, their togetherness and unselfishness. For us a great learning experience. We were just outmanned. The way the UConn staff gets them to play transitionally really accentuates all their abilities. That’s coaching to get them to do that. Their transition is fantastic. They are unselfish and run their spots correctly.
The Pirates received a big effort from Nicole Jimenez who tossed in 23 points on 9-of-20 shooting.
UConn travels to Oklahoma for a Dec. 19 game and is at Call on Dec. 22 before the Christmas break. The Huskies do not return home until Jan. 9 when they play Cincinnati at Gampel Pavilion.