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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

UConn commit Samuelson lights it up in U17 opener

After missing the three tune-up exhibitions due to illness, UConn commit Katie Lou Samuelson returned to the court in a major way for the U.S. U-17 team.

Samuelson had a game-high 22 points aided by four 3-pointers and six rebounds as the U.S. defeated China 69-41  in the opening game of Group D play at the FIBA U17 World Championship for Women.

Fellow UConn commit De'Janae Boykin started and finished with two points and three rebounds while UConn recruiting targets Lauren Cox and Sabrina Ionescu led the U.S. with 12 rebounds and five assists respectively. The U.S. will face France, the team which beat the Samuelson-less U.S. in an international friendly, tomorrow before wrapping up pool play against Mali on Tuesday.

Here are quotes from Samuelson and Cox courtesy of USA Basketball

Katie Lou Samuelson
On getting back in the lineup after missing the USA's three exhibition games due to illness:
It felt awesome. It's been such a long time because I had to sit out our exhibition games. It's just a great feeling to finally get out on the floor.

On the game:
I think the first half, we could have played a lot better defensively. But coming out in the second half, we definitely stepped it up and put pressure on them and played just overall a lot better.

On her 22 points:
I just was trying to score within the flow of the game without forcing anything. My teammates got me the ball. I was hitting in the second half, and they really found me. I think I can give the credit to them for finding me and coach leaving me in the game.

On the USA's poor first-half shooting:
At halftime we all knew we weren't shooting well, so we didn't want to force it. Coach's emphasis was on going inside-out, and we tried to get the ball in the paint so we could get our game going. I think we did that, and the shots started falling.

Lauren Cox
On her 12 rebounds:
I think that is part of my role on this team is to get in there and get offensive and defensive rebounds, so I really try to do that every game.

On leading by just seven points at halftime:
I don't think we were worried, we just needed to fix a few things. And we did that. We came out strong in the third quarter. We picked up our defensive intensity, which really helped. We were able to control the tempo.

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