No. 1 UConn rolls past Temple 97-69 for 96th consecutive win
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 02, 2017 06:35 PM
Connecticut's Napheesa Collier, right, goes up for the shot with Temple's Donnaizha Fountain, left, defending during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, in Philadelphia. Connecticut won 97-69. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson helped UConn put together nearly a flawless first half.
The top-ranked Huskies rolled from there to their 96th consecutive victory with a 97-69 win over Temple on Wednesday night.
Collier had 25 points and Samuelson 24 for the Huskies (21-0, 9-0 AAC). UConn made 20 of its 26 shots in the first half, including missing just 2 of 21 shots from inside the 3-point arc. Samuelson and Collier were a combined 11 for 12 in the opening 20 minutes.
"That was probably the best first half of the season," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "That and the South Florida game was probably the best halves of basketball we played this year."
The victory was also the 35 straight on the road, breaking the Huskies' own NCAA record. UConn's last road loss came against Stanford on Nov. 17, 2014. That was also the last time the Huskies lost any game.
"We try not taking anyone for granted," Auriemma said. "We don't look at the opponent and say tonight because it's a great team, we're going to play great. ... We try to treat everyone the same."
Temple (16-5, 6-2) only trailed 6-5 before UConn scored the next 13 points to blow the game open. The Huskies had seven consecutive layups in that run. Alliya Butts' 3-pointer with 2:08 left in the first quarter stopped the Huskies spurt briefly before they closed the period with the final six points to go up 25-8.
UConn kept it going as Samuelson scored 10 points during a second quarter burst to extend the lead to 52-18 at the half and the rout was on.
The Huskies cooled off in the second half and finished the game shooting 61 percent (38 for 62) from the field. Temple actually won the second half outscoring the Huskies 51-45.
"The first 20 minutes we were caught up in the hype allowing them to do what they wanted," Temple coach Tonya Cardoza said. "Second half we just threw that out the window and played with them and competed with them. Found some success. I thought when we did that the game turned around a little bit for us."
Tanaya Atkinson scored 20 points and Butts added 13 for the Owls.
UConn: The Huskies won 34 consecutive games on the road from 2001-04.
Temple: The Owls have lost two straight games after a 12-game winning streak. ...Temple also outscored the Huskies 29-22 in the third quarter. That equals the most points UConn has given up in a quarter this season. The Owls won the second half 51-45.
DANGER-OUS: UConn freshman guard Crystal Dangerfield returned after missing the last five games with a stress reaction in her left foot. She played a few minutes each quarter and finished with six points.
"Considering she hasn't practice except a day or two and hasn't played in a long time I thought there were some good signs there," Auriemma said. "Her being out there helps out, gives us a chance to rest a couple players."