By PAT EATON-ROBB
1 hour ago
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Napheesa Collier and Kia Nurse each scored 24 points as top-seeded UConn routed Albany 116-55 on Saturday for the program’s 108th straight win and 25th straight in the NCAA Tournament.
Gabby Williams added 20 points for UConn. She and Collier each pulled down 10 rebounds for the Huskies (33-0), who are going for their fifth consecutive NCAA title. They haven’t lost in the first round since 1993.
Imani Tate had 19 points and Jessica Fequiere scored 16 to lead Albany, which ends the season at 21-12.
The Great Danes, who upset Florida in the opening round of last year’s tournament, were never really in this game
UConn opened each of the first three quarters with 9-0 runs. The Huskies hit 62 percent of their shots and outscored Albany 52-18 in the paint.
Collier had 13 first-quarter points and hit a layup and foul shot that gave the Huskies their first double-digit lead at 23-12. UConn led 37-18 after 10 minutes, with 20 points coming in the paint. Collier had 18 points by halftime and Williams added 16 and to extend the lead to 58-32.
The Huskies had 34 assists on their 43 baskets.
Crystal Dangerfield scored 16 points and added six assists for the Huskies and Katie Lou Samuelson had 15 points and nine assists.
This was the 13th time since 1997 that UConn’s first-round margin of victory has exceeded the number of points put up by its opponent.
UConn: The Huskies 24th straight first-round win improved their record in opening NCAA Tournament games to 25-2. Their loss to Louisville in 1993 followed a loss to Providence in the Big East Tournament, and was the last time UConn dropped two straight games. They have since gone 882 games without back-to-back losses. This was their 37the straight NCAA Tournament win at Gampel Pavilion. They are now 92-9 as a No.1 seed.
Albany: The Great Danes were making their sixth straight NCAA appearance, and fall to 1-6 over that stretch. They came into the game on a six-game winning streak and had won and 12 of their previous 13, including their run through America East Tournament. Their senior class of Cassandra Edwards, Aubrey Hernandez, Bailey Hixon and Tate finish their careers with a record of 101-31.
UConn: The Huskies face the winner of Saturday’s game between Iowa State and Syracuse in the second round on Monday.
Albany’s season is over.