Women’s College Basketball Roundup: No. 1 UConn rallies past Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Connecticut fell behind Oklahoma by 12 points in the second half, and Huskies coach Geno Auriemma couldn’t have been happier.

The challenge, he believes, snapped his players back into reality.

Napheesa Collier had 23 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, and the top-ranked Huskies rallied to beat Oklahoma 72-63 on Wednesday.

“I told them in the locker room they live in a fantasy world,” he said. “This is the way most of the world lives. Tough games, you have to suck it up. You have to make big plays towards the end. You guys just aren’t in that situation enough because you live in a make-believe world.

“Today they lived in the real world, and I was proud of them because they got tested and came out with flying colors.”

Collier, a senior, played all 40 minutes. In the fourth quarter, she scored nine points on 4-for-4 shooting and had four rebounds to help the Huskies outscore Oklahoma 24-11.

“You know, Napheesa Collier is the hardest working player in America,” Auriemma said. “I don’t think there’s any player in the country that competes harder on every play than she does. She was like a one-man wrecking crew inside. She didn’t get much help.”

Katie Lou Samuelson added 20 points and 11 rebounds to help the Huskies (10-0) win their 125th consecutive regular-season game and 57th straight nonconference regular-season game.

Taylor Robertson scored 23 points, Shaina Pellington had 16 and Madi Williams added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma (3-7).

No. 2 Notre Dame 94, Western Kentucky 53

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Marina Mabrey scored 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting and No. 2 Notre Dame shot a blistering 69.8 percent to rout Western Kentucky.

Arike Ogunbowale added 16 points, Jessica Shepard had 12, and Brianna Turner finished with 10 for Muffet McGraw’s Irish (10-1), who visit No. 19 Marquette on Saturday.

Shepard, who made all six of her field-goal attempts, has made 15 straight over three games going back to her final shot in a 72-56 victory at Toledo on Dec. 8. That’s two off Carey Poor’s school record of 17 in a row during the 1994 season.

As a team, Notre Dame twice shot 70.2 percent in victories over Xavier in 1985 and Mercer in 2011. The Irish made 37 of 53 against the Lady Toppers.

Raneem Elgedawy and Dee Givens scored 10 points each to lead the Lady Toppers (5-8) They shot 30.4 percent (21 of 69) and had 21 turnovers.

No. 23 Texas A&M 71, USC 51

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Kayla Wells had a career-high 26 points, Chennedy Carter added 23 points and 11 rebounds and Texas A&M handed Southern California its first loss of the season.

N’dea Jones had 17 rebounds for the Aggies (9-2).

Desiree Caldwell led the Trojans (9-1) with 10 points. USC shot 30 percent (19 of 64), including 5 of 26 from 3-point range.

By Paul Wager

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