Even on an off night, Samuelson finds a way to chip in for UConn women's basketball

Published on Thursday, 6 December 2018 21:06
Written by Carl Adamec

Journal Inquirer

Katie Lou Samuelson’s five 3-pointers Tuesday at Saint Louis broke a tie with Maya Moore for third place on UConn’s all-time list. The Huntington Beach native trails only fellow Californians Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (398) and Diana Taurasi (318) with her 316 treys.

But while she finished with 20 points, her effort was just the latest example of how much the two-time All-American gets it done. She added six rebounds and eight assists, with her best pass a back-and-forth with Crystal Dangerfield that led to a layup and brought a roar from the UConn contingent in the crowd of 7,105.

Huskies coach Geno Auriemma turned back the clock 48 hours to when Samuelson went without a first-half field goal at Notre Dame as another example of how Samuelson continues to mature.

“Early in her career if you think about it, if she would go 0-for-whatever in the first half it would impact her demeanor the whole second half and she would not have accomplished anything that first half anyway,” Auriemma said. “The other day she didn’t score in the first half but she had five assists.

“She’s grown up, obviously. There are still some things that I’m harping on her about. She sees the value of doing other things other than shooting the ball. I’ve always said it’s a blessing and a curse to young kids when they start making shots at a young age. They start to think that nothing else in basketball matters. ‘As long as I shoot the ball and it goes in, I’m happy and everyone should be happy with me.’ That’s not the way the world works. She’s starting to see how much fun basketball is besides scoring the ball. Being healthy has a lot to do with it.”

Samuelson missed five games due to injuries as a junior and last April had surgery on her left ankle to repair shredded ligaments and a torn tendon. The tendon was torn in the second game of the season against California at Gampel Pavilion.

She is second in the AAC in scoring (19.4), tied for 15th in rebounds (6.0), sixth in assists (4.0), and tops in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.6). On Tuesday, she passed three-time All-American Svetlana Abrosimova for 12th on the Huskies’ all-time scoring list. She has 1,867 points.

Husky bites

When UConn guard Christyn Williams was named AAC Player of the Week Monday, she became the second freshman in the league’s six seasons to take the honor. South Florida’s Kitija Laksa was selected as a freshman on Jan. 11, 2016. Williams added the USBWA national Player of the Week honor Tuesday … Napheesa Collier made it four straight double-doubles with 22 points and 11 rebounds in the win at Saint Louis. It’s the longest run for a Huskies’ player since Breanna Stewart had four in a row in wins over UC Davis, Duke, California, and Cincinnati Dec. 5-29, 2013 ... Kyla Irwin’s 10 rebounds against the Billikens doubled her previous career high.

Posted in New Britain Herald, UConn on Thursday, 6 December 2018 21:06. Updated: Thursday, 6 December 2018 21:08.