Samuelson reaches 2,000 points as UConn beats South Florida

STORRS — Katie Lou Samuelson scored 19 points to reach the 2,000-point milestone and No. 3 UConn overcame a sluggish start to beat South Florida 63-46 on Sunday.

Megan Walker added 14 points and Napheesa Collier had 12 for the Huskies (14-1, 3-0 American), who have never suffered a conference loss in the AAC.

Samuelson is the 10th UConn player to reach 2,000 points.

Enna Pehadzic had 17 points and 12 rebounds for injury-plagued USF (10-7, 1-2), which led for much of the first half and trailed by just six points at the half. Tamara Henshaw added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

USF led 6-4 early when UConn coach Geno Auriemma decided to pull all five of his starters, resulting in an audible gasp and then applause from the crowd.

The Bulls built that lead to 14-6, after a 3-pointer Pehadzic.

UConn’s starters returned in the second quarter. The Huskies retook the lead at 20-18 on a layup by Walker and never trailed again.

A third-quarter steal by Christyn Williams led to a fast-break layup from Samuelson, which put her over 2,000 points and gave UConn a 44-24 lead.

USF is 0-27 against UConn, going back to its days in the Big East. The Bulls are far from alone. UConn is 104-0 against the rest of the American Athletic Conference since its formation in 2013, including 89-0 in the regular season.

BIG PICTURE

The Bulls, who have lost three players for the season with injuries, dressed just eight players for the game. Senior Laura Ferreira, who had been scoring just under 16 points, missed her second straight game and is listed as out indefinitely with an undisclosed illness.

UConn: Samuelson joins Maya Moore, Breanna Stewart, Tina Charles, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Nykesha Sales, Kerry Bascom, Diana Taurasi, Kara Wolters and Rebecca Lobo with at least 2,000 points.

UP NEXT

USF: The Bulls are off until Saturday, when they host Tulane

UConn’s next opponent also is Tulane. UConn will play the Green Wave on the road Wednesday night.