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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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UConn Huskies overwhelm Houston Cougars 95-35

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Posted: January 13, 2018 -- 9:50 pm CST.

HOUSTON, TX (H&PE Arena) -- The Houston Cougars have improved. The UConn Huskies stand alone at the top of Mount Everest. Saturday afternoon, UConn showed the Coogs how far the difference between ground level and Mount Everest is in terms of the two basketball programs. UConn won 95-35. The game was over within the first one or two minutes of the first quarter.

UConn dominated all the major categories: 48-39 in rebounds; 16-7 in assists; 50-16 points in the paint; 38-8 points off turnovers; 22-13 2nd chance points; 10-0 fast break points; and 33-11 bench points.

Both teams attempted 64 shots. UConn made 34. Houston made 13.

UConn's Azura' Steven scored a game-high 19 points. Katie Lou Samuelson and Kia Nurse each scored 17 while Crystal Dangerfield scored 11. Houston's Jasmyne Harris scored 15 points; but, she made only 5 of 21 field goal attempts and committed 5 of Houston's 28 turnovers.

Final stats: UConn 95, Houston 35.

The Huskies began the game in a zone defense which disrupted Houston's offense. The Coogs struggled against the zone; and, the Huskies' length forced 8 turnovers and the Coogs missed 13 of 15 field goal attempts. Houston trailed 23-4 at the end of the first quarter.

"I thought defensively we were really active. We did a lot of things," UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma said after the game. "The energy we played with. It was difficult to find any easy openings against us.

"They're a team that likes to shoot a lot of threes. They traditionally do and make a bunch. And, we were pretty spread on defense and forced them to do things that they're not comfortable with and that's what happened."

"Congratulations, again, to Geno," said Houston Head Coach Ronald Hughey in his post-game press conference. "Year after year, he continues to set the standard for what we all want to achieve: just by having a team that plays hard; understand their role; and do the things necessary to be successful.

"I think we were a little shell-shocked coming out at the beginning just with the length. We expected man. They came out and zoned us a little bit. After we struggled with, they continued to stay in it. We had a hard time finding rhythm. Had a hard time moving the basketball. Just didn't, overall, play well today."

Houston trailed 45-13 at halftime. The Coogs had more turnovers (16) than points in the first half.

The third quarter was more of the same: Houston turned the ball over 8 times in the third quarter and scored just 8 points on 3 for 16 field goal shooting. Through three quarters, Houston had 24 turnovers and 21 points.

Houston trailed 72-21 after three quarters.

With the loss, Houston has a 14-5 record overall (3-2 in the American Athletic Conference) and its first two-game losing streak of the season.

UConn improves to 15-0 and 5-0 in the AAC.

Houston's next game is Tuesday, January 16, at Temple. Tip is set for 6 p.m.

UConn's next game is Monday, January 15, at Texas. Tip is also set for 6 p.m. on ESPN2.

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