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Huskies pitch shutout in second quarter, destroy Cincy 75-21 in AAC Semi's. Face USF in finals Tuesday.

POSTED March 06, 2018
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

UNCASVILLE: Zero, a goose egg, nada, zippo, none.

Not your usual start to a story but on Monday night in the American Athletic Conference Tournament semi-finals, those words applied, especially during a sureal 16:02 time frame when one team, the Cincinnati Bearcats, owned those words.

For the better part of two quarters, the Bearcats failed to score a point against the number one team in the land, the University of Connecticut Huskies, in an eventual 75-21 loss that puts the top seed in the finals on Tuesday night against USF.

The win marks the 100th straight win for the Huskies over AAC opponents, with no end in sight, not if the number one team in the land plays like they did over that 16-plus minute stretch.

Sure, the Bearcats had an awful night shooting (8-58, 13.8%) but some of it had to do with the UConn defense which played clamp down “D” for three quarters.

The score at the end of those 30-minutes of Division I basketball?

66-11. Not a misprint.

How remarkable is the 100-game win streak?

Geno Auriemma spoke about that after the game.

“In the locker room before the game,” Auriemma said. “I asked Kia (Nurse) and Gabby (Williams) how many games they had lost in their college careers. They said two. I told them some lose two games a week at times. I asked Lou (Katie Lou Samuelson) how many she had lost, and she said one.”

Unheard of numbers indeed but it’s certainly not luck, right?

“We must be doing something right,” Auriemma said. “That’s not easy yet sometimes we make it look that way.”

Williams did not play in the semi-final game and it didn’t matter much. What might matter in a good way is that after Tuesday nights final against the Bulls, the senior star will get 10 or 11 games to rest up before the NCAA Tournament gets underway.

UConn destroyed the Bearcats on the boards by a 55-28 margin and distributed 19 assists on 31 baskets.

Heck, the Huskies didn’t have their sharpest shooting night, they shot just 47.7 from two-point land and an even worse 26.1 (6-23) from three-point land.

Azura Stevens led the way with 21 points on 10-13 shooting, including a long ball in the third quarter.

Napheesa Collier was next with 13 while Samuelson added 11 but was just 4-9 shooting, 1-6 from downtown.

It is just truly remarkable to witness the Huskies total domination over AAC teams, it’s complete and it’s unreal to watch.

The Bulls got past UCF 74-59 in the opener and come to the championship game a confident bunch even though they lost both matchups with UConn this season (100-49 at home, 82-53 in Storrs).

NOTES: The Huskies tied a team mark by holding the Bearcats to those five points at the half.

Earlier this season, UConn held SMU to just one point in a 32-1 second quarter on the way to an 80-36 win.


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