March Madness: Canada's Kia Nurse helps UConn shut down Quinnipiac

Napheesa Collier scored 23 points and top-seeded UConn beat in-state neighbour Quinnipiac 71-46 on Monday night to advance to a 25th straight Sweet 16.

No. 1 seed tops No. 9 to advance to 25th straight Sweet 16

Aryn McClure, front, and Kia Nurse fight for a loose ball during the second half of UConn's 71-46 win over Quinnipiac on Monday. (Jessica Hill / The Associated Press)

UConn's opponents in this NCAA Tournament have tried to speed up the Huskies and they've tried to slow them down.

Neither approach has worked.

Two days after running up and down the court in an 88-point win over Saint Francis (Pa), UConn beat in-state neighbour Quinnipiac 71-46 in a half-court game.

Napheesa Collier scored 23 points to lead the Huskies (34-0) into a 25th straight Sweet 16 on Monday night. Azura Stevens added 14 points and Kia Nurse, from Hamilton, Ont., chipped in with 13.

"I think it's good of us to have one of each [style] this weekend, so we can prepare as much as we can for now the next round that we're going to," Collier said.

Bobcats miss open looks

Jen Fay had 12 points to lead the ninth-seeded Bobcats (28-6), who saw their school-record 23-game winning streak snapped.

Quinnipiac got plenty of open looks, but hit just four of 24 shots from 3-point range, including just one of 12 from in the first half.

UConn shot 59 per cent and held Quinnipiac to just 17 baskets on 56 shots (30 per cent).

"The first half we were taking shots with under 10 seconds left on the shot clock, so they were a little bit more rushed I guess and maybe that led us to not hitting as many 3s as we are used to," said Quinnipiac guard Carly Fabbri.

The Huskies never trailed. They opened with a 9-2 run and led 33-18 at halftime.

Huskies size a big factor

A pair of free throws by Stevens gave the Huskies their first 20-point lead late in the third quarter and it was 54-31 going into the fourth.

The Huskies were too big for the Bobcats, who had no players on the court over six feet tall.

Connecticut outrebounded Quinnipiac 33-21 and outscored them 28-14 in the paint.

It was just the second meeting between the two programs. The first, a 117-20 UConn win, came almost 20 years ago after Quinnipiac made the jump from Division II.


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