basketball-women-d1 flag

Pat Eaton-Robb | The Associated Press | November 10, 2017

UConn women aren't dwelling on April's Final Four loss

  Katie Lou Samuelson and the Huskies won't look back in anger once the new season tips off.

STORRS, Conn. โ€” The UConn women's team hasn't watched the Final Four loss to Mississippi State.


Follow @ncaawbb
The players say they don't need a film session to remind them how their 111-game winning streak ended, along with a chance for a fifth straight national championship.

The Huskies come into this season carrying that chip on their shoulders, despite being ranked No. 1 for the 12th time in school history.

UConn women's basketball: Why Kia Nurse is a matchup nightmare for opponents

"If anyone told you they forgot about the ending of last year, then I'd be disappointed in them as teammates," said senior guard Kia Nurse. "It's something that you have to use in the right way โ€” as a fire, as a way to motivate you, a reminder of what you need to do to get better."

The Huskies roster, at the very least, appears to have improved.

Guard Saniya Chong graduated from last season's record-setting squad and center Natalie Butler transferred. But the Huskies will start an unprecedented three preseason All-Americans in Napheesa Collier, Katie Lou Samuelson and Gabby Williams.

They also have former Kentucky forward Batouly Camara and 6-foot-6 Azura Stevens from Duke, both of whom sat out last season after transferring.

Coach Geno Auriemma expects Stevens to be one the team's biggest weapons, a threat both in the paint and beyond the 3-point line.

MORE:ย Breaking down the 2017-18 UConn women's basketball schedule

"I hope we can get her a lot of shots," Auriemma said. "Even without breaking a sweat, she's capable of getting 25 every night, easy."

UConn added another top recruiting class, bringing in four blue-chip freshmen, including national high school player of the year Megan Walker.

Here are some things to watch for as UConn attempts a new streak and quest for a 12th national title when it opens the season against No. 10 Stanford on Sunday:

Running the gauntlet

UConn again has one of the toughest schedules in the nation. They play the Cardinal at the Countdown to Columbus Tournament in Columbus, Ohio.

The Huskies will play non-conference games against No. 8 UCLA, No. 20 Cal, Michigan State, No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 25 DePaul, No. 22 Oklahoma, No. 2 Texas and defending national champion South Carolina, currently at No. 4.

Samuelson said they know that most of the country will be rooting for the Huskies to lose in those games. She said the team uses that as motivation.

"There's kind of a knowing that it's UConn against the world right now and all we really have is each other," Samuelson said.


UConn's smallest player, 5-5 sophomore Crystal Dangerfield, will be running the offense from the point this season. She told reporters the Huskies will come into the season angry and looking to be bullies.

UConn women's basketball:ย After a shocking loss, how will the Huskies bounce back?

"Crystal wants to be a bully?" Auriemma said. "I guess if there's a remake of the Smurf movie, she might bully them. I don't know who else she's going to bully. But we have talked about having a certain aggressive mentality. We're a little older. I think we're a little smarter to do some things we haven't done in the past. I think it's a natural progression for some of these guys."

Still streaking

Not every streak ended with last season's loss in the national semifinals. UConn currently has a 65-game home winning streak and has not lost two games in a row since the 1992-93 season, a span of 886 games. They are 57-0 following a loss during the streak. They also have won 135 straight games against unranked opponents.

This article was written by Pat Eaton-Robb from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

UConn earns women's basketball Team of the Week honors after top-10 wins

UConn improved to 3-0 on the season and moved up two spots in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll to No. 3 overall after beating then-No. 3 Texas and 10th-ranked NC State last week.

11 impact juniors in men's college basketball, ranked by Andy Katz

Andy Katz ranks the juniors he predicts will have the biggest impact in DI men's college basketball for the upcoming 2022-23 season.

The longest overtime games in FCS college football history

The longest games in FCS history feature many multiple-overtime classics, including Rhode Island's 2022 win over Monmouth in seven overtimes.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners