“If Pheesa doesn’t get a double-double, I think there’s something wrong with her, and I ask our trainer if she’s OK,” Auriemma joked. “If she’s not getting a double-double, then I feel there’s something’s not right with the world, because that’s how hard she works, that’s how relentless she is.”
Collier picked up her second double-double of the tournament and her third this season. She made 7 of 11 shots and 5 of 6 free throws in 23 minutes, and sat out most of the fourth quarter with UConn holding a comfortable lead.
“I’m not really worried about the stats when I go in the game,” Collier said. “I’m just worried about what I have to do to guard my man and what we’re doing on offense, and staying active on defense and on offense. I think about those things more than what my stat line is.”
Dominique Oden and Kayana Traylor scored 12 points each for the Boilermakers (5-2), who shot 24.6 percent (16 of 65) in suffering their worst defeat on a neutral court since a 44-point loss to Louisiana Tech on March 22, 1990.
The Huskies took control early, as Samuelson hit three straight 3-pointers and had 13 points in the first quarter. UConn led 28-8 after the opening 10 minutes.
The Huskies took their biggest lead, 50 points, late in the fourth quarter when Batouly Camara hit a layup with 2:32 left.
“You’ve got to make shots against UConn to compete, and we didn’t make shots early and they got us in transition pretty quick,” Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. “I knew they were going to cause some problems. They took us out of some things, but you’ve got to knock down shots … and they hit everything.”
UConn: It’s been a long time since the Huskies have lost a regular-season game — to be precise, 1,469 days (and counting) since then-No. 6 Stanford won 88-86 in overtime on Nov. 17, 2014.
Purdue: Even with the loss, the Boilermakers are off to their best start since the 2015-16 season, when they went 5-1 in November.
STATS OF THE DAY
The Huskies moved the ball around, with a season-high 24 assists (eight by Crystal Dangerfield) on 34 baskets made.
PERFECT IN PARADISE
Saturday’s win gave the Huskies their third Paradise Jam division title (the others came in 2007 and 2012), and improved UConn’s record to 9-0 all-time in the tournament.
Collier also became the third UConn player to earn the tournament’s MVP award, joining Maya Moore (2007) and Breanna Stewart (2012).
The Huskies’ winning run through the tournament should solidify their hold on No. 2 and serve as good prep for their matchup at No. 1 Notre Dame on Dec. 2.
Purdue: The Boilermakers face No. 24 Miami on Thursday.
UConn: The Huskies host DePaul on Wednesday.
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