Katie Lou Samuelson's Senior year was going very well despite two road losses at Baylor and Louisville. That was until senior day against Houston when diving for a loose ball, accidentally got kneed in the back by Julia Blackshell Fair. No Regular season finale, no AAC Tournament and iffy for the NCAA's. Like she'd not play in March Madness. 11p-6a in her return against Towson, against Buffalo 4/12 from the field, but 8 of 10 from the FT line.Then against UCLA, she was shut down by the Bruins. Just 1 of 6 but played and battled all 40 minutes as Naphessa Collier and Crystal Dangerfield helped a 4th quarter rally to get a second chance at Louisville at the Times Union Center.
Lou's first three capped a game opening 7-0 run before the Cardinals mounted a 9-0 run mid first to take a 16-12 advantage...But the Huskies, respond with a 10-0 run to take a 22-16 lead after one. The lead went to ten when Megan Walker hit a pair of three's and Lou drained another one at 33-23 before the Huskies maintained a solid advantage and led 41-34 at halftime.
Lou again was clutch in the 3rd. Back to back threes re-established the 10 point lead at 55-45 before the Cards scored the final six points of the quarter and it was game on heading to the 4th at 57-53...66-62 with 4:10 left off a screen on the baseline, just got free enough on the left wing and made her 6th three at 67-62...And it looked as if the Huskies had nailed the coffin when Lou off a screen on the right, buried her 7th three and was fouled by Sam Fuehring where she completed the four point play to put the Huskie up 11 with 1:47 left.
But the Huskies made some poor decisions and Louisville capitalized to the point of a 10-1 run in 1:25 that turned teh game into gut wrenching tension at 75-73. But Lou and Collier went 4-4 from the line and Walker 1 of 2 to help secure an 80-73 win in Albany and UConn's12th straight Final Four appearance.
Katie Lou was 7 of 12 from three and scored 29 in what I called a gutty comeback after the win. Christyn Williams scored 16 and hauled down 7 big rebounds...a few key ones on the offensive end. Walker 13p-11r made four threes and despite a 4/13 day, Collier hauled in 13r to go along with 12p and 6 assists. All American Asiha Durr scored 21 for the Cardinals.
Lou and Phee would end their career as the greatest scoring senior duo in UConn WBB History. Sadly the run ended in the Final Four for a third straight season. Only this time it wasn't a buzzer beater...But painful enough. In a season where UConn was thought they may not get to a Final Four, this group did. A special team with a memorable performance in Albany on this date last season....
See the game at UConnHuskyGames.com