STORRS, Conn. – Prairie View A&M’s sixth NCAA Tournament run came to an early end as Connecticut stormed out to a big first half lead en route to an 87-44 loss on Sunday night at Gampel Arena in Storrs, Conn.
The Lady Panthers struggled from the field to open the game as they missed their first nine shots prior to the first media timeout. On the opposite end, UConn hit half of its shot attempts as they led 15-0. Gabrielle Scott ended the shooting drought for the Lady Panthers with a jumper at the 14:27 mark but UConn continued to score at ease with a variety of transition baskets off of missed PVAMU buckets.
After a less than stellar start, the Lady Panthers began to settle down as sophomore Taylor Overshown nailed a trey followed by a jumper from Larissa Scott for a 25-7 margin. UConn’s Breanna Stewart scored a basket but freshman Alexus Parker kept the mini-run going with a trey to draw within 27-10 with 5:53 remaining.
Following the run, the momentum went back to UConn the remainder of the way as they outscored the Lady Panthers 17-2 from that point for a 44-12 halftime lead.
“Well, I want to first compliment UConn on a great job. I think they did a good job overall as far as frustrating our offense in the first 20 minutes, but overall I think it was something we were lacking and that was the confidence in the first twenty minutes,” said head coach Dawn Brown.
The Huskies opened the half on a 16-0 run before PVAMU’s Shaneece Stephens recorded a three-point play the old-fashioned way with 16:25 left. From that point, PVAMU senior LaReahn Washington, playing in her collegiate finale, went on a tear as she scored 13 of the next 17 points. The Lady Panthers put forth a spirited second half as they more than doubled their output and went to toe-to-toe by outscoring the top-seeded Huskies over the final 16 minutes.
“I let the young ladies know at halftime that this was a milestone, that the last sixteen minutes, the last really twenty minutes, it wasn’t about the sixteen minutes,” said Brown. “It was really about the last half, the last twenty minutes of the game. This was a milestone for us compared to where we were thirty games ago to where we are today.”
Prairie View A&M returns nearly its entire roster in 2014-15 as they only lose two seniors in LaReahn Washington and Tonisha Lacey.
Courtesy: Prairie View A&M Athletics