NEW ORLEANS - Napheesa Collier had 26 points and 12 rebounds and top-ranked Connecticut held off Tulane 63-60 on Saturday night to push its record winning streak to 101 games.
Katie Lou Samuelson scored 15 consecutive UConn points in a second-half spurt and finished with 17. Gabby Williams added 14 rebounds for the Huskies (26-0, 13-0 American Athletic).
Kolby Morgan led Tulane (16-11, 7-7) with 19 points. Leslie Vorpahl had 16, and Tene Thompson 14.
The Green Wave pulled within two points three times late, but could never get a defensive stop. Finally, they got the ball with four seconds left, but Thompson's desperation 3-pointer fell short.
Senior Leslie Vorpahl hit a three-pointer with 15 seconds left to cut the deficit to 62-60 before a UConn free-throw put the Huskies back up by three. Tulane had a chance to tie but couldn't get open on the in-bounds play as UConn picked off the pass and was fouled immediately.
Crystal Dangerfield missed both free-throws, allowing the Wave a chance to tie once more but the deep attempt from three didn't fall as the Huskies escaped New Orleans with the win streak in-tact.
"I'm just so proud of this group. We played everybody and everyone gave us something," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton stated. "This team was really focused and didn't let anything get them down. We shot 20 percent in the first half and kept battling. Really proud of how tough we played. Disappointing because when you get that close you get a little greedy so it sure would have been nice to get that win."
Trailing 18-11 after the first, the Wave defense made a statement in the second as they kept the Huskies off the board for a seven minute stretch, while Tene Thompson and Kayla Manuirirangi combined for a 7-0. UConn's Crystal Dangerfield ended the drought with 26 seconds left, giving the Huskies a 28-18 halftime lead.
The Huskies then jumped out to its largest lead of the game in the third quarter, up 38-21 at the 7:35 mark. However, Tulane did not fold, fighting back with a 9-0 run. Fast forward to the end of the period and a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Vorpahl made it a 48-42 game with one quarter to go.
Tulane cut it to a two-point game three different times down the stretch, as a Courtnie Latham lay-up made it a 55-53 game with 4:20 to play, a Maddison Wells jumper made it 59-57 with 1:14 remaining and the Vorpahl three cut it to 62-60 with 15 seconds to go.
In the end, the Green Wave defense held UConn to a season low in both points and shooting percentage. However, a big difference maker tonight came at the free-throw line, where the Huskies enjoyed a 28-6 attempt differential.