women’s basketball Consistent Collier records another double-double
WICHITA, Kan. — UConn locked up its sixth straight American Athletic Conference title, hammering Wichita State 84-47 Tuesday at Charles Koch Arena.
The second-ranked Huskies improved 26-2 on the season, including 14-0 in conference play.
Head coach Geno Auriemma missed his second straight game with a stomach virus, once again leaving associate head coach Chris Dailey in charge.
Here’s five takeaways on the win:
What else is new?: Another day, another smooth, methodical, almost effortless outing by No. 24.
Napheesa Collier delivered the type of performance the Huskies have come to expect: 32 points (season-high) and 12 rebounds. No flair. No drama.
“If anybody else is doing it,” guard Crystal Dangerfield said, “it’s like, ‘Wow.’ ”
Collier is currently averaging a double-double (20.0 points and 10.5 rebounds) — something no UConn player has done since Rebecca Lobo in 1993-94.
Block party: Olivia Nelson-Ododa may not be a finished product, but she’s at least making the effort to get there.
“She’s a little bit more of a fighter than I would expect,” Dailey said.
Lacking an intimidating presence in the paint, the Huskies have been waiting for the 6-foot-5 freshman to play with a mean streak. She ramped up her intensity against Wichita State, recording a career-high six blocks.
Sorting out roles: With March just around the corner, the Huskies’ rotation is becoming clearer. Nelson-Ododa (19 minutes) and guard Mikayla Coombs (18 minutes) have begun to carve out more defined roles off the bench.
“Right now,” Dailey said, “both Olivia and Mikayla have put themselves in those positions, based on how they’ve practiced and then how they’ve performed in the games.”
While neither will contribute much offensively, the Huskies like the energy they bring on defense. Coombs has eight steals over the last three games, while Nelson-Ododa is averaging 1.2 blocks per contest.
Ups and downs: Megan Walker followed up her stellar 21-point, 10-rebound effort against Tulsa with a goose egg from the floor. The sophomore, who shot 0-for-4 and scored both of her points at the free-throw line, failed to hit a field goal for the first time since last year’s second-round win over Quinnipiac.
Elite company: Katie Lou Samuelson grabbed four rebounds, including the 600th of her career. That puts the senior alongside Maya Moore, Breanna Stewart and Diana Taurasi as the only players in UConn history to record at least 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 400 assists.