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UConn Huskies win and fans keep marching on

STORRS -- The UConn Huskies defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats by a final score of 71 to 46 at the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in Storrs.

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

Azura Stevens added 14 points and Kia Nurse chipped in with 13 for the Huskies (34-0), who found themselves in a much slower-paced game than their 140-52 first-round rout of Saint Francis (Pa.).

But Connecticut was not threatened in this one either. They opened with a 9-2 run and never trailed.

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 percent, held Quinnipiac to just 17 baskets on 56 shots (30 percent), and led 33-18 at halftime.

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 player on the court over 6-foot tall.

They 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.

Lines began to form outside Gampel about an hour before tip-off. Eager fans flew in from all over the world, packing the arena and showing off their Huskies pride.

"Birmingham, Alabama - all the way to see my girls," exclaimed one eager fan, waiting impatiently to see his Huskies play.

Thousands filled the arena, but several were interested in showing their pride elsewhere.

"I think it just has like, a relaxed vibe," explains Hadley Lloyd as she sips her green beer inside Grill 86, a local bar in Storrs. Several fans decided to skip the crowds at Gampel and catch the game at one of the local sports bars for calmer atmosphere and good food choices.

At the end of the day, the Huskies won and fans came pouring out of Gampel with a simple message:

"Go Huskies!"

Harry A. Gampel Pavilion