UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Katie Lou Samuelson scored 17 points and Morgan Tuck added 15 to help No. 1 UConn rout Tulane 82-35 in the American Athletic Conference women’s basketball tournament semifinals Sunday for the Huskies’ 68th consecutive victory.
Kia Nurse added 12 points for UConn (31-0), which will play South Florida, a 64-56 victor over Temple, in the championship game Monday night.
The Huskies scored the game’s first 14 points as the Green Wave (21-11) missed its first seven shots. Courtnie Latham finally got them on the scoreboard hitting a 3-pointer with 4:43 left in the first quarter. Tulane only had one other basket in the period, missing 10 of their 12 shots. UConn led by 23 points after the first quarter and 50-14 at halftime.
It didn’t get much better as UConn extended the lead in the second half, leading by as many as 53 points at the end of the third quarter. Coach Geno Auriemma rested his starters in the final quarter.
Latham paced the Green Wave with 11 points, connecting on three 3-pointers.
“I don’t feel like we came out with the same aggressiveness like we had at their place a week ago, but their intensity was tremendously high,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “Connecticut is a team you can’t make a lot of mistakes against. UConn can overwhelm you with their length and their intensity.”
UConn finished with a 55.2 shooting percentage, including a 65.5 percent mark in the first half, compared to Tulane’s 30.4 percent shooting overall from the floor. The Huskies also nearly scored half of their points in the paint, enjoying a 40-10 differential in said category.
The Wave did outscore UConn 13-10 in the fourth quarter, thanks to a season high eight-point showing from junior Shakira Harding, all in the final 10 minutes. In addition, for the third straight game against the Huskies in the state of Connecticut, Tulane did not go to the free-throw line a single time, as UConn was only tagged for four fouls.
Up next, the Green Wave await their postseason fate on Selection Monday, taking place a week from now on March 14.
“We’ve played a really good schedule and our RPI is good,” Stockton added. “I certainly told the team that we’re going to have an opportunity in the postseason. We want to now take that opportunity and see how much better our group can get.”