The University of Connecticut’s Napheesa Collier scored 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds as UConn beat the University of Central Florida 66-45 to win its sixth straight American Athletic Conference (AAC) Tournament championship on Monday at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Christyn Williams had 13 points and Crystal Dangerfield added 12 for the Huskies (31-2), who improved to 120-0 against AAC opponents since the league was formed in 2013.
Olivia Nelson-Ododa, who started her fourth straight game in place of injured All-American Katie Lou Samuelson, had seven points and 11 rebounds. Collier was named tournament MVP.
For UCF, which has won more games than any other team in program history, Lawriell Wilson scored 12 points off the bench. All-conference guard Kay Kay Wright, who had scored 41 points in UCF’s first two tournament games, was held to just four points, a basket in each half.
The Huskies led from the beginning of the game, holding the Knights to just 35 percent shooting, including five field goals on 26 shots in the first half. UCF played much better in the second half, outscoring UConn 30-27, but could not bridge the gap.
Collier set an AAC record by scoring 85 points during the Huskies’ three tournament games. The double-double was her 20th this season and the 44th of her UConn career.
This was the first time UCF has played for a conference championship since losing in the Conference USA finals in 2013. The program’s last conference championship came in 2011, which also was the last time the program made the NCAA Tournament field. UCF awaits an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
UConn improved to 11-0 all-time against UCF. The Huskies won the two regular-season meetings by 36 and 37 points.
UConn is expected to be named the top seed in the NCAA’s regional in Albany, and would open at Gampel Pavilion on campus in Storrs.