ROME - The UConn womenâ€™s basketball teamâ€™s final full day in Rome on Tuesday was another busy and enjoyable one, featuring the return of Kia Nurse, a walking tour of some famous attractions and another victory over the Dutch National Team.
And continuing to take it all in along with the team is a group of fans that includes Plainvilleâ€™s Bob and Sue Oâ€™Dea, Newingtonâ€™s Pauline Kruk and New Britainâ€™s Natalie Campbell, Judith Ryiz and Kent Carlson.
â€śThis is history,â€ť Carlson said from Italy. â€śItâ€™s just wonderful.â€ť
In their second exhibition game of the trip, the Huskies picked up a 85-66 victory over the Dutch National Team, the second straight win in as many nights for the Huskies. It was a game of runs, according to Carlson.
The Huskies jumped out to a 24-6 lead in the first seven minutes of the game, led the Netherlands 50-26 at the break, then started the third quarter with a 20-3 run. The Dutch squad, however, outscored UConn 23-6 in the fourth quarter. The physical game saw 44 fouls called, according to Carlsonâ€™s count.
Katie Lou Samuelson led the way for UConn with 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting and 3-for-5 from long range. Nurseâ€™s first game back was a solid one, as she scored 18 points on 5-for-7 shooting and connected on all five of her attempts from 3-point range. Gabby Williams had seven points, six rebounds and five assists, while Crystal Dangerfield added six assists on the night.
The Huskies were set to spend Tuesday night in Rome and leave for Florence early Wednesday morning.
Nurse rejoined the team Tuesday morning as the team was touring the famous Trevi Fountain. She had been competing with the Canadian National Team in Argentina at the FIBA Americas Championship, where she helped lead Team Canada to a gold medal and a spot in the 2018 World Championship.
Prior to experiencing the Trevi Fountain, the Huskies and the group of fans toured the Colosseum and visited the Spanish Steps. Following the Trevi Fountain, which included a Clint Eastwood sighting, the group walked to and toured the Pantheon.
UConn will arrive in Florence late Wednesday night, but will make a stop in Siena during the day to take in the famous Palio di Siena horserace.
The third game of the tour will take place Friday against a team of Italian all-stars and UConn will finish Sunday in Koper, Slovenia, against Celje.