Connecticut's Katie Lou Samuelson, top and Houston's Julia Blackshell-Fair fall to the court chasing a loose ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Storrs, Conn. Samuelson left the game injured after the play. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Collier scores 29, Samuelson hurt in UConn win over Houston

March 02, 2019 - 3:31 pm

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Napheesa Collier celebrated senior day by scoring 29 points and grabbing nine rebounds to lead No. 2 UConn over Houston 83-61 on Saturday.

Fellow senior Katie Lou Samuelson scored 11 points for UConn (27-2, 15-0 American) before injuring her back diving for a loose ball in the second quarter. She returned to start the second half but struggled to run and was pulled after the first minute.

Jasmyne Harris, Octavia Barnes and Dorian Branch each had 14 points for Houston (15-13, 9-6), which opened a 17-7 lead and led by a point after the first quarter.

UConn trailed 25-22 early in the second. But with Kobe Bryant watching from behind the UConn bench, Collier and Samuelson led the Huskies on a 13-2 run to grab control. The spurt ended after Samuelson was injured and had to be assisted off the court, holding her lower back.

The Huskies led by 10 points at halftime and stretched that to 62-45 after three quarters.

Crystal Dangerfield had 19 points and eight assists for UConn, which has never lost an American Athletic Conference game and received its sixth regular-season AAC championship trophy after the game.


Houston: The Cougars came into the game getting just under 10 steals and forcing 20 turnovers per game. They forced 13 turnovers and had five steals on Saturday.

UConn: The Huskies retired Rebecca Lobo's No. 50 at halftime. The Huskies' first real star, she led the team to an undefeated season and the first of 11 national titles in 1995. She is the first UConn player to receive the honor, which is reserved for those inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

"The entire country knew who Rebecca Lobo," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "The entire country, through her, knew who UConn women's basketball was."


Houston: The Cougars finish up the regular season Monday night by hosting UCF, which has already clinched a first-round bye.

UConn: UConn travels to USF on Monday. The Bulls are battling Houston for the final by in the conference tournament.


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