UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Morgan Tuck and her UConn teammates remembered their poor start against Tulane on senior day. They wouldn't let it happen again.
Katie Lou Samuelson scored 17 points and Tuck added 15 to help No. 1 UConn rout Tulane 82-35 in the American Athletic Conference semifinals on Sunday for the Huskies' 68th consecutive victory.
"We really wanted to make a point to have a good first five to 10 minutes," Tuck said. "As starters we didn't do a great job of that on senior night so we wanted to do that today."
In that game on Feb. 27, Tulane got off to a great start, going up 13-2, the Huskies' biggest deficit during their current winning streak. UConn went on to win that game by 40 points.
The Huskies picked up where they left off from that game Sunday. They scored the game's first 14 points, including seven by Kia Nurse, and didn't look back.
"We talked a lot about that," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "When you make shots it all looks like 'wow, you guys are really ready to play.' When shots don't go in, you came out flat. Today was the fact that we just made a lot of shots and played great defense."
Nurse finished with 12 points for UConn (31-0), which will play the winner of Temple and South Florida in the championship game on Monday night.
The Green Wave (21-11) missed their first seven shots. Courtnie Latham finally got them on the scoreboard hitting a 3-pointer with 4:43 left in the first quarter. Tulane only had one other basket in the period, missing 10 of their 12 shots. UConn led by 23 points after the first quarter and 50-14 at halftime.
It didn't get much better as UConn extended the lead in the second half, leading by as many as 53 points at the end of the third quarter. Coach Geno Auriemma rested his starters in the final quarter.
Latham scored 11 points to lead the Green Wave.
"I felt last game we competed very well, hoped we could build on that tonight," Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. "We couldn't get it going. You can't start the game flat against them."
Tulane: It's the second straight season Tulane made the semifinals of the AAC. ... The Green Wave had more turnovers (18) than baskets (14).
UConn: The Huskies need two more wins to catch the UConn teams that won 70 in a row between November 2001 and March 2003. ... UConn is 10-0 all-time at Mohegan Sun.
LACK OF CHARITY
For the third time in the last two seasons, Tulane didn't attempt a free throw against UConn. All three of those games occurred in the state of Connecticut. The Green Wave did attempt five free throws in their home loss on Feb. 3. UConn only committed four fouls on Sunday.
Tulane: waiting for postseason brackets.
UConn: AAC championship game Monday night.
- Karen Preato
- Pualani Spurlock-Welsh
- Bryan Brunette