Home College BasketBall UConn Beats Cincinnati In The AAC Championship

UConn Beats Cincinnati In The AAC Championship

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UConn Christyn Williams goes for two against Cincy. (Photo: Christopher Winslow)

Mohegan Sun — This time of year it seems like UConn plays its best brand of basketball and gets locked in for a National Championship run.

Megan Walker scored 26 points and Christyn Williams chipped in 22 to lead Connecticut over Cincinnati 87-53 in the conference tournament title game on Monday night, finishing off a perfect run for the Huskies over their seven years in the AAC.

The Huskies are 139-0 in the AAC after it was formed in 2013, winning all but two games by double-digits. UConn is leaving the AAC at the end of the postseason to rejoin the Big East Conference.

“We don’t expect to win every game,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “We’re not arrogant thinking that we deserve to win every game. We just prepare to win every game.”

Angel Rizor scored 16 points, Antoinette Miller added 15 and IImar’I Thomas chipped in with 14 for third-seeded Cincinnati (22-10), which had upset the No. 2 seed, UCF in the conference semifinals

Rizor kept the Bearcats close in the first 10 minutes of the game, scoring 10 of the team’s 15 points.

The Huskies led just 19-15 after one period, but opened the second quarter on a 13-3 spurt and shot 65% from the floor in the frame (13 of 20) to take control of the game.

“We wanted to get it done for our coach and the people who came before us,” said Walker, who was honored as the tournament’s most outstanding player. “It’s something that we do. It’s understood.”

The Bearcats fought and clawed their way back but couldn’t close the sizable margins created by the large runs by the Huskies during the game.

Williams stole the ball and sent the Huskies into halftime with a 48-26 lead.

Williams and Walker each had 15 points in the first half and they were setting the tone for the second half.

The Huskies outscored Cincinnati 23-16 in the third quarter and went into the fourth with a large 71-42 lead after a put-back by Crystal Dangerfield at the horn.

Dangerfield finished with 14 points and Olivia Nelson-Ododa had her eighth double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. She also blocked four shots.

STATS

UConn outscored Cincinnati 48-18 in the paint, 17-6 on the break and outrebounded the Bearcats 51-31.