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Originally published March 10, 2014 at 9:20 PM | Page modified March 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

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UConn women win conference tournament

Top-ranked Connecticut beat No. 3 Louisville 72-52 to win the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament in Uncasville, Conn.


The Associated Press

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UNCASVILLE, Conn. – New league, same result. It is another championship for UConn.

Breanna Stewart scored 20 points and top-ranked Connecticut beat No. 3 Louisville 72-52 on Monday night to win the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament.

“You have a goal on October 15 when you start and the whole process is about that. New league, new coaches, new venue, that was all exciting for us,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “I don’t know how many conference championships the American is going to host in their lifetime, but we won the first one and there’s something special about that.”

It is the 19th conference-tournament championship for the Huskies, who won their first 18 in the Big East Conference.

With the victory, UConn (34-0) becomes the 14th team to enter the NCAA women’s tournament without a loss. It is the sixth time the Huskies have accomplished that feat and they have gone on to win the national championship four of those years. UConn has won 40 straight games.

UConn got off to a quick start, scoring the first eight points of the game, and led 40-22 at halftime.

Louisville (30-4) scored the first five points in the second half, but got no closer.

Shoni Schimmel led the Cardinals with 20 points on 7-for-25 shooting.

“It’s going to take 40 minutes of very, very good basketball in order for anybody to beat them,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said of the Huskies. “That’s one thing I’ve been preaching to our players the entire time. You can’t play for 20, can’t play for 30. It takes 40 minutes of basketball.”

Other Top 5 women

No. 7 Baylor 74, No. 5 West Virginia 71

Odyssey Sims overcame an ankle injury and scored 19 points to help the Bears (29-4) beat the Mountaineers (29-4) in the Big 12 final in Oklahoma City.

Niya Johnson had 19 points and made four free throws in the final minute for Baylor, which has won 15 of its past 16 games.

Note

• In men’s conference-tournament finals with automatic NCAA tournament bids going to the winners, Delaware edged William & Mary 75-74 for the Colonial Athletic Association title in Baltimore; Manhattan beat Iona 71-68 for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship in Springfield, Mass.; and Wofford defeated Western Carolina 56-53 to take the Southern Conference title in Asheville, N.C.



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