Walker, Collier lead UConn to rout of USF in AAC semifinals

Walker, Collier lead UConn to rout of USF in AAC semifinals
Connecticut's Napheesa Collier, right, shoots over South Florida's Tamara Henshaw during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the American Athletic Conference tournament semifinals, Sunday, March 10, 2019, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Megan Walker scored 24 points and Napheesa Collier added 23 to lead No. 2 UConn to an 81-45 rout of South Florida on Sunday and move Huskies into their sixth straight American Athletic Conference championship game.

Crystal Dangerfield added 11 points and Christyn Williams chipped in 10 for Connecticut (30-2), which has never lost to an AAC opponent and has won 30 games for a 14th consecutive season.

The Huskies, playing their third straight game without All-American Katie Lou Samuelson, never trailed.

Collier, who sat out the fourth quarter, had six points in the Huskies’ opening 12-2 run. She added 12 rebounds for her 19th double-double this season.

UConn led 19-5 after a quarter and 25-7 after a 3-pointer by Collier that moved her past Samuelson and into fourth place on the school’s career scoring list.

Her second 3-pointer of the game gave the Huskies their first 20-point lead at 33-11, part of a 12-0 run that blew the game open.

A jumper by Williams at the halftime buzzer gave the Huskies a 41-15 lead and steal and layup by Dangerfield gave the Huskies a 40-point lead at 64-24 in the third quarter.

Sydni Harvey had 13 points for USF (18-15), which shot just 26 percent from the floor (16 of 61) and falls to 0-29 against the Huskies.

BIG PICTURE

South Florida: The Bulls have lost to UConn in five straight AAC tournaments, the previous four in the finals. They have lost three games to the Huskies this season, including a 57-47 defeat at home on Monday.

UConn: The Huskies have been in a conference final every year since 2004, when they were part of the Big East. They are 12-2 in those championship games.

UP NEXT:

South Florida: The Bulls may be in line for a WNIT or other postseason bid.

UConn: The Huskies will face the winner of Sunday’s second semifinal between Cincinnati (21-9) and UCF (25-5). The Huskies have never lost to either program. They are 21-0 against Cincinnati and 10-0 against the Knights.

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