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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

UConn headed back to Final Four

It wasn't always pretty and for the members of the UConn women's basketball team, that made it all the more sweeter when the Huskies clinched a spot in the Final Four for an unprecedented seventh straight year.

UConn came into the regional semifinal and final having trailed for less than 40 minutes in the first 36 games of the season. After BYU led for more than nine minutes in Saturday's regional semifinal, Texas A&M held the lead for 4:10 in the first half before the Huskies took command and posted a 69-54 victory.

“BYU and Texas A&M both came out fighting,” UConn senior center Stefanie Dolson said. “We give a lot of credit to them. Texas A&M was very physical down low and they made us work and it just kind of shows that although we weren't making a lot of shots, this whole weekend we can still win games.”

As they did in the regional semifinal against Brigham Young, the Huskies got off to a sluggish start offensively missing eight of their first 10 shots to enable the Aggies to take an 11-4 lead, matching the largest deficit the Huskies have faced this season.

The Huskies had a 26-6 run to go up 30-17 and took a 34-23 lead into the locker room.

Jordan Jones, who came into the game averaging seven points per game, had eight points early in the second half as Texas A&M pulled within three points.

UConn proceeded to score the next 10 points en route to punching a ticket to Nashville for the Final Four.

“I think this time going to the Final Four was really special,” said Mosqueda-Lewis, the Lincoln Regional’s Most Outstanding Player. “We had to fight for these wins. Each team we played came out hard and aggressive. We wanted to stay in it and it feels so special that we were able to overcome it.”

Mosqueda-Lewis had 17 points and seven rebounds, Hartley had 14 points, Dolson had 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots for UConn. She became the 12th player with eight blocks in a NCAA Division I women’s basketball tournament. Breanna Stewart had 13 points and Moriah Jefferson 11 points, six rebounds and seven assists as UConn improved to 38-0.

UConn moved by the Brittney Griner-led 2011-12 Baylor team to set the single-season record for blocked shots in a season. Baylor had 310 in 40 games during their run to the national title while the Huskies have 313 in 38 games.

Stewart moved into third place on the single-season scoring list at UConn. She trails on Maya Moore who had 868 points as a senior and 754 as a sophomore.

Stewart moved into fifth place in UConn history in field goals made in a season with 277 and by going 6 for 6 from the foul line, she moved into seventh on the single-season list for free throws made. Maya Moore is the only UConn player to rank in the top 10 on UConn's single-season list but if Stewart makes two more free throws she will become the first Husky to be in the top five in both categories in the same season.

It will be Auriemma’s 15th Final Four appearance which is second only to the 18 by former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt. Auriemma is currently tied with Summitt for the women’s Division I record of eight national titles and he can break that mark in the state of Tennessee as UConn will face the winner of the Stanford/North Carolina in the national semifinals with a potential showdown of undefeated teams waiting in the national title game.

Mosqueda-Lewis was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Dolson and Hartley as well as the Texas A&M duo of Courtney Walker and Courtney Williams.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

UConn seems to be feeling the pressure to go 40-0. Having 4 legitimate All Americans is a great thing but the expectations are they will play positive at the start of games and hit their shots.

UConn cannot afford sluggish starts in the first half in the Final Four, especially if they play Notre Dame. I hope we do not see another 12 point half like the 77-0 UConn team, trying to win their 78th and the 7th NC for UConn.

McBride was a no show more than half the game against Baylor but Notre Dame more than held their own.

It was extremely sad to see Achonwa get injured with about 5 minutes left in the game. She has been amazing lately and withstood the body punishment that Baylor dished out.

9:04 AM 

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