KOPER, Slovenia - What started out as a close game between the UConn womenâ€™s basketball team and the Slovenian pro team Celje ended in a one-side affair.
And as they have done throughout the trip, taking it all in along with the team is a group of fans that includes Plainvilleâ€™s Bob and Sue Oâ€™Dea, Newingtonâ€™s Pauline Kruk and New Britainâ€™s Natalie Campbell, Judith Ryiz and Kent Carlson.
Despite a slight one-point lead at the half, the Huskies closed out their four-game exhibition tour with a 79-59 loss Sunday afternoon local time. In the second half Celje â€śturned it onâ€ť and beat UConn in almost every facet of the game, according to Carlson.
Celje is coming off Slovenian League and Adriatic League titles. UConn finished their exhibition games with a 3-1 record.
The Huskies jumped out to a 22-17 lead after the first quarter, but never led another quarter. They were outscored 19-15 in the second and 47-22 after the break. UConn shot 32 percent from the floor, Celje 54. The Huskies were also outrebounded 51-32.
Katie Lou Samuelson led the way for UConn with 17 points on 7-for-14 shooting, but was just 1-for-6 from long range. She missed the second half with an injury. Freshman Megan Walker finished with a double-double, scoring 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting and pulling down 10 boards. Gabby Williams had 12 points and five assists. Those were the only three Husky players to reach double-figures. Crystal Dangerfield had six points and six assists.
Celjeâ€™s top two scorers, meanwhile, dropped 41 and 34 points respectively.
UConnâ€™s trip continues with a return to Italy where the team will spend a couple of days in Venice before returning state side on Wednesday.