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Megan Walker first Div. I player since 2002 to outscore league opponent

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UConn's Walker outscores Tulane by herself, dropping 34 (1:57)

Megan Walker beats Tulane by herself outscoring them 34-33 in UConn's 75-33 rout. (1:57)

NEW ORLEANS -- Megan Walker has been playing well this past month.

On Wednesday, she single-handedly outscored Tulane by one point in No. 2 UConn's 75-33 rout.

Walker, whose 34 points were a career high, is the first UConn player in the past 20 seasons to outscore her opponent, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

According to STATS, she is the first Division I player -- male or female -- to outscore the entire opposing team in a conference game since Cincinnati's Steve Logan outscored Southern Miss 41-37 on Feb. 15, 2002.

"I think since we got back from Christmas, Megan has had a different approach to the game," Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said. "Her effort is different. Her intensity level is different. Just her whole mannerisms are different. It's obviously showed up in the way she's played in games. These are the kind of games where you just need one person to step up because everyone else is struggling to make any kind of shot. Today, it was her."

Walker, a sophomore who averages 11.0 points game, scored 15 in the first half on 6-of-11 shooting and finished 11-of-16 from the floor. With Tulane concentrating on stopping UConn's leading scorers, Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier, Walker took command, driving to the basket with ease.

She said she was just having fun and trying to play with more confidence.

"This is just the second year [for me] now," she said. "I've got a year under my belt, and I want to make an impact, so I'm just focusing on that and being really aggressive the whole time."

That aggressiveness -- helping hold an opponent to four points over 10 minutes -- is something Walker hopes is contagious.

"It was good tonight," Walker said. "Coach keyed in on that at shootaround and pregame. I feel like we did our job tonight on the defensive end."

UConn (15-1, 4-0 American Athletic Conference) pounded the Green Wave (13-4, 3-1) with its size and strength, holding Tulane to 18.3 percent shooting and forcing 22 turnovers.

The Huskies held the Green Wave to a season-low four points in the first quarter and allowed just six points in the third quarter to coast to the victory.

"I thought we played great defensively for the entire 40 minutes," Auriemma said. "Sometimes the defensive effort wanes as the game goes on, but I thought this was a really, really good defensive effort, coming off the last game [a 63-46 win over South Florida] when our players were a little disappointed with the way we came out."

UConn dominated from the opening tip, holding Tulane to 15 percent shooting (2-of-13) in the first quarter. Tulane had won six consecutive games but could not overcome UConn's relentless ball pressure. UConn led 38-14 at the half, and the Huskies' defensive pressure forced Tulane into 12 first-half turnovers.

"It certainly was a tough day for us," Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. "We couldn't shoot the ball very well, but most of all, I was disappointed in our defensive effort. Twenty-two points in the paint in the first half was way too easy."

Kaila Anderson led the Green Wave with seven points.

BIG PICTURE

UConn: Including tournament victories, the Huskies are 105-0 in American Athletic Conference play. The previous low for a UConn opponent this year was 38 by Cincinnati on Jan. 9. The Huskies have allowed 39.0 points per game in their past three games, against Cincinnati, USF and Tulane.

Tulane: The 33 points were by far a season low for the Green Wave, who lost 56-48 to Old Dominion on Dec. 21 in their previous scoring low.

CAN SOMEONE HIT THE BARN?

Each team struggled from the perimeter. UConn was 7-of-24 from long range, but Tulane was much worse, going 2-of-22.

"We were lousy, and they were lousier," Auriemma said. "We rushed [Tulane] in the beginning, so the shots they normally get, they didn't get too many of those today."

UP NEXT

UConn: The Huskies play at Temple on Sunday.

Tulane: The Green Wave travel to face South Florida on Saturday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.