Memorable Connecticut swan song for UConn's Saniya Chong
"It was pretty amazing," Chong said. "What made it really amazing was how we played together, we played as a team. I am really sad but I am excited to go to the Final Four and finish it off."
Chong fittingly enough was replaced with 1:47 to play by fellow senior Tierney Lawlor since the two have the distinction of being the winningest class in women's college basketball history with a record of 152-1.
The roof might have blown off of Webster Bank Arena had Lawlor connected on an open 3-pointer with 29 seconds to play but still, going four years without losing a game in the state of Connecticut and losing one game overall is quite the legacy.
"I wanted to be on the court, contribute and just help my teammates in any kind of way," Chong said. "If you just have confidence, keep being persistent and hopefully the end result is pretty good.
It gets everybody excited right away, it gives everybody this edge of, 'we can do this, we've got this and keep focused.'"
Chong and the other four starters were having the time of their lives watching the final seconds tick off the clock. Although UConn, as is its custom, will wait until the national title game before cutting down the nets it was emotional for them to clinch a berth in the Final Four.
"In the beginning of the season we had a lot of doubters," Chong said. "Each and every day, we challenged each other. Throughout the season we just got better and better and just proved everybody wrong. It was just a feeling of happiness and how we made it here, we did it because we all came together.
"Throughout the season, you hope to win, you don't expect the end result yet. We had this one goal each and every day to challenge each other and get better and it will go from there so keep focused, keep being consistent."
Chong played a team-high 35 points and had 11 points, four assists and two steals in the 90-52 victory. It was Chong's 144th career game and with a 143-1 record, she is tied for seventh most wins in program history.
Maya Moore 150-4
Moriah Jefferson 150-5
Kalana Greene 148-9
Tiffany Hayes 147-7
Breanna Stewart 147-5
Tina Charles 144-6
Saniya Chong 143-1
Stefanie Dolson 143-11
Kelly Faris 143-11