Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published April 6, 2014 at 6:05 PM | Page modified April 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (3)
  • Print

Women’s Final Four: Undefeated teams UConn, Notre Dame to meet for title

Connecticut, which beat Stanford, will square off against Notre Dame, an 87-61 winner over Maryland, on Tuesday night in the title game.


The Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
I'd love to see both Uconn Men and Women as champs the same year! MORE
Don't follow women's hoops very closely, but often wonder why there are so many blow... MORE
wooderson92; You don't follow women's BBall very closely, yet you often wonder why... MORE

advertising

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Connecticut Huskies are back in a very familiar position, undefeated and playing for a national championship.

They’ll be going for an unprecedented ninth national championship after Breanna Stewart scored 18 points and the Huskies advanced to another title game with a 75-56 win against Stanford on Sunday night.

It wasn’t easy early, though the Huskies (39-0) did their part in setting up the highly anticipated championship showdown of undefeated teams.

They will square off against Notre Dame, an 87-61 winner over Maryland, on Tuesday night in the title game. It will be the first women’s national title game between unbeaten teams.

“It wouldn’t be any fun if you didn’t beat teams that were any good,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said of the matchup with Notre Dame (37-0). “I think women’s basketball needs rivalries like this, teams that aspire to be great and want to win championships.”

Now the Huskies have joined the UConn men’s team in playing for the national title. The men play Kentucky on Monday night in Texas.

“I think it’s awesome,” senior guard Bria Hartley said. “Our men are excited for us, and we’re doing the same for them. All the fans in Connecticut are really proud right now. Both teams have worked hard this year. Now the time has come, and we want to make sure we finish on a good note.”

The Huskies won their 45th straight game after overcoming another sluggish start. Stewart, the Associated Press player of the year, missed her first four shots and UConn was up just 28-24 at halftime.

But Connecticut settled down and put the Cardinal away in the second half. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis found her shooting stroke, scoring all of her 15 points in the second half.

“I think that at times we were a little jumpy and excited,” Stewart said. “Had to settle down and get into right rhythm of the game. ”

Stanford (33-4) lost its third national semifinal since reaching the 2010 championship against UConn, which the Huskies also won. All-American Chiney Ogwumike finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Amber Orrange scored 16 points, and Lili Thompson had 12.

“It’s been an amazing remarkable experience to have Stanford on my jersey one last time,” Ogwumike said.

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer had promised the Cardinal wouldn’t go down easy, and her team never stopped competing.

“We knew that biggest challenge for us was to score,” VanDerveer said. “We worked hard defensively, had a lot of good stops. Their size, when they went big, their size is really disruptive. Probably more than anything, they have very skilled players, play very well together.”

Thompson, a freshman, hit four of her first five shots for 10 quick points, helping the Cardinal get off to a good start early. The Cardinal led by as much as six a couple times, the last at 22-16 with 12:32 left when Mikaela Ruef banked in a jumper just before the shot clock expired with 5:39 to go.

Notre Dame rolls

Kayla McBride wouldn’t let Notre Dame’s pursuit of a perfect season end.

The All-American senior guard had one of the most impressive games of her career in Sunday’s first semifinal, scoring 28 points to lead Notre Dame to an 87-61 win over Maryland.

She seemingly did whatever she wanted, shedding defenders with behind-the-back dribbles and quick cross-overs before scoring. She set the tone for Notre Dame and her Irish teammates followed her lead into Tuesday night’s title game.

The Irish are looking for their first title since winning it all in 2001.

Notre Dame played without senior Natalie Achonwa, who suffered a torn ACL in the regional final victory over Baylor. The entire team wore shirts in warmups with Achonwa’s No. 11 and the 6-foot-3 forward’s nickname “Ace” on the back.

Muffet McGraw, who was The Associated Press coach of the year, was concerned coming into the game about her team’s ability to rebound against the bigger Terrapins without Achonwa. Her team practiced all week on boxing out and not allowing second shots.

It worked. The Irish dominated the Terrapins (28-7), outrebounding them 50-21, including a 19-4 mark on the offensive end. It was the widest rebounding margin ever in a Final Four game,



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Bad email habits to break today


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►