UConn cruises with hot start

No. 2 Connecticut 85, Ohio State women 53

Pat-Eaton Robb
The Associated Press
Ohio State's Carly Santoro (10) tries to get a shot off against a strong Connecticut defense in the second half of a women's NCAA college basketball game on Sunday in Storrs, Conn. Santoro was the game's high scorer with 20 points. UConn won 85-53. [Stephen Dunn/The Associated Press]

STORRS, Conn. — Katie Lou Samuelson scored 19 points and No. 2 Connecticut opened its quest for a 12th national title on Sunday with an 85-53 rout of Ohio State.

Crystal Dangerfield had 18 points, Napheesa Collier added 17 and Megan Walker chipped in with 15 as the Huskies won their season opener for the 23rd straight year.

Carly Santoro scored a season-high 20 points and Makayla Waterman recorded her first career double-double for Ohio State (1-2).

The Buckeyes' two losses have both come to top 25 teams. They dropped their opener at home to No. 22 South Florida 71-47. Coach Kevin McGuff said it's been a good measuring stick for his team.

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"Rather than playing some teams that maybe wouldn't challenge us like these are, we're getting a good picture of ourselves and the areas we have to get better," he said.

Santoro scored 14 of her 20 points in the second half and made three three-pointers. Waterman also made a three-pointer as part of her 11 points and she grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds.

Adreana Miller scored 10 points for the Buckeyes and Dorka Juhasz added six points.

It was clear early the Buckeyes were overmatched.

Walker stole the ball and went the length of the court for a layup to open the scoring and the Huskies never trailed, shooting 52 percent from the field.

UConn forced three of Ohio State's 21 turnovers in the first 2 minutes on a 9-3 run.

Dangerfield's layup to open the second quarter pushed the Huskies' lead to 32-12 and a pass from Samuelson to Collier gave the Huskies their first 30-point lead in the second quarter.

They went into halftime up 49-19.

The Buckeyes head to the West Coast for a game Friday against Sacramento State and Sunday at Stanford.