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    UConn Women's Basketball
    Monday, April 15, 2024

    Knock, knock ... who's there? ... it's Louisville's Asia Durr

    Louisville's Asia Durr breaks up laughing as Sam Fuehring tries to get the media to laugh at Durr's joke during a press conference on Saturday in the NCAA Albany Regional at the Times Union Center in Albany. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    Albany, N.Y. — Louisville has a star in Asia Durr, who was both the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and ACC Kay Yow Student-Athlete of the Year this season. Durr has 2,464 points in her distinguished career, second all-time at Louisville and fifth in the league.

    Durr has jokes, too.

    "Are you all ready? Y'all don't seem excited," Durr said to a room full of media members early Saturday afternoon. "What do you call flying bread? ... A plane bagel. ... Come on guys, that was funny. Boom!"

    Durr then fist-bumped interview moderator Kevin Beattie on her way off the podium.

    "Asia's growth from her freshman year to when she first stepped on campus until now, it's really been a joy to watch," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "Her confidence just in herself outside of basketball, getting up here in front of the media, her interaction with our fan base, it's really been fun to watch as she's grown throughout her four years.

    "Now I heard the joke she told the other day and I'm not sure it was a very good one. She has some work to do on those."

    Walz said Durr is a model teammate because it's never about her. She averages 21.2 points per game, but also 3.2 assists, leading the team in assists nine times this season. He said it is remarkable to see how genuine Durr, from Douglasville, Ga., is.

    "You know, when the WNBA Draft comes up," Walz said, "I tell people all the time, to me, she's a top pick in the draft. And the reason I say that is she's going to do whatever you ask her to do. ... It's never been about her. It's been about what she needs to do to help our team win.

    "I think that's why she's so liked in our locker room."

    Inspiration by Lou

    UConn senior Katie Lou Samuelson hasn't talked much about her sore back since returning to the team for the NCAA tournament. Samuelson missed the American Athletic Conference tournament with her injury.

    "At this point in the season, it's all mind over matter," Samuelson said Saturday. "There's people all over the country that are playing still that have injuries and have little things that are bothering them. Stuff that's going on with me, I'm not letting it affect me."

    Samuelson played 40 minutes for the second straight game in Friday's win over UCLA and didn't appear to have the mobility that she's used to, according to UConn coach Geno Auriemma.

    Samuelson did ignite the Huskies' comeback in the game, however, after she was knocked to the floor on a flagrant foul by UCLA's Lajahna Drummer with 2 minutes, 3 seconds to play in the third quarter. UConn trailed 46-41 at the time and Samuelson hadn't scored.

    Samuelson hit one of two technicals. UConn got the ball back and she hit two more foul shots after being hit hard once again. Then, with 5:19 to play in the game, Samuelson cut in front of a UCLA pass for a steal and scored off a layup on the front end of the fast break. She was fouled and completed the three-point play for a 65-54 lead.

    "I think so," UConn junior point guard Crystal Dangerfield said, asked whether the flagrant foul call pumped the team up. "There are times in the game where you have a play that can change the momentum of the game and that was definitely one of them.

    "Another one was where she stole the ball and got the and-one. I think that was really the one that shifted the game in our favor. It's plays like that that Lou has made all year long."

    Quotable

    Freshman Christyn Williams, on diving after a loose ball and landing on a chair on the other side of press row during the game against UCLA:

    "Coach is always on us about our effort and our hustle. That was the perfect time to go after that ball. I'm kind of bummed I didn't get it, but that's OK."

    v.fulkerson@theday.com

    UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson battles for rebounding position off a free throw in Friday's NCAA Albany Regional game against UCLA at the Times Union Center in Albany. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    Louisville head coach Jeff Walz answers a question during a press conference at the NCAA Albany Regional on Saturday at the Times Union Center in Albany. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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