Collier, Dangerfield help No. 2 UConn women top Temple 88-67
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Crystal Dangerfield did it all for UConn.
Dangerfield had a career-high 26 points with nine assists and no turnovers to help lead No. 2 UConn to an 88-67 victory over Temple on Saturday.
“I would like to think that could be a typical game for Crystal, creating a lot of points for us and knocking in her share of points,” Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said. “I think she was on her game tonight. She made shots, she got people shots and she managed the game. That about says it all.”
Dangerfield broke out of a shooting slump by hitting 10 of 14, including 3 of 7 on 3-pointers. She entered having missed 21 of her last 28 shots over three games.
“When you get a couple of them to drop right away, it kind of opens up the floodgates,” Auriemma said. “You just need a couple of them to go and when they go, they go.”
Said Dangerfield, “It’s definitely a confidence boost.”
Napheesa Collier added a season-high 30 points and 12 rebounds for the Huskies (16-1, 5-0 American), who have won five in a row since their lone loss, 68-57 at Baylor on Jan. 3. UConn remained undefeated in league play since joining the American Athletic Conference, improving to 106-0.
Megan Walker added 11 points and Katie Lou Samuelson had 10 for UConn.
Aliya Butts had 17 points to lead the Owls (4-13, 0-5), who lost their sixth straight.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” Temple coach Tonya Cardoza said.
The game originally was scheduled for Sunday but pushed up a day due to the expected winter storm for the Northeast.
Temple got within 66-52 early in the fourth quarter, but UConn methodically pulled away.
The Huskies, who entered leading the country with an average margin of victory of 27.8 points, won easily despite a sub-par shooting performance from long range. UConn was 7 for 25 (28 percent) on 3-pointers. The Huskies led 42-25 at halftime despite missing 10 of 13 3-point tries.
Dangerfield shot 6 for 8 in the opening 20 minutes, and finished the half with a coast-to-coast layup after a UConn defensive stop to make it a 17-point game at the break.
“When she’s really being aggressive and she’s really attacking, good things are going to happen,” Auriemma said.
It was the 12th straight victory over Temple for the Huskies, who improved to 12-2 all-time against the Owls. Cardoza, who helped UConn to five national titles as an assistant coach there from 1994-2008, fell to 0-12 against the Huskies.
UConn: The Huskies return home for a pair of conference games before a highly anticipated matchup at No. 4 Louisville on Jan. 31.
Temple: The Owls will look to finish with three wins in the Philadelphia Big 5 on Wednesday at Penn. Villanova, which handed Temple its lone loss in the city series on Dec. 9, already has claimed the Big 5 title.
UConn: Host SMU on Wednesday.
Temple: At Penn on Wednesday.