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Connecticut Huskies beat Florida State Seminoles 90-50 to reach Final Four of women's NCAA Tournament

Florida State senior Jacinta Monroe, who scored a team-high 15, watches from the bench in the waning seconds of the loss.

Associated Press

Florida State senior Jacinta Monroe, who scored a team-high 15, watches from the bench in the waning seconds of the loss.

DAYTON, Ohio — The Connecticut Huskies swear they're not perfect. Their past 76 opponents might disagree.

Maya Moore scored 22 to lead UConn past Florida State 90-50 Tuesday night, sending the defending champion back to the Final Four and stretching its unprecedented winning streak to 76 games.

"It's the time of the year when you want to play your best," said Moore, selected as the Dayton Region's most outstanding player. "We're on a roll right now. We're confident. That's what you guys are seeing. We still have some things we need to improve. We're not perfect."

Really? Good luck to any opponent if they ever are.

Tina Charles controlled the paint with 20 points and 14 rebounds for the top-seeded Huskies (37-0), who advance to their eighth Final Four since 2000. They face Baylor on Sunday.

The 40-point win was the largest margin ever in a region final.

"Boy, they make you play ugly," Florida State coach Sue Semrau said, shaking her head. "We missed a ton of shots, but that's because they did such a great job in every area."

The Huskies are dominating unlike any team ever. No team has come within 12 points all season. They have won their first four games of the tournament by a record 188 points — a margin of 47 a game.

Coach Geno Auriemma was humbled by this mastery.

"We get on this run and … I don't know how to explain it," he said, sighing heavily. "We're good, though."

His team's defensive intensity mixed with remarkable talent can turn a close game into a lopsided one quickly.

"I was happy the way the first half ended. We were up 14 and we didn't play great, and Maya hasn't played at all," Auriemma said. "Then I look up and we're up 25, 30.

"When we start defending you and you start getting a little quick and start losing your composure and the ball starts flying all over the place … all of a sudden we're up 40 points. You get caught up in this, and there's nothing you can do about it."

Jacinta Monroe had 15 points for the third-seeded Seminoles (29-6), who set a school record for wins while going deeper in the tournament than ever before.

Kalana Greene added 15 points and Tiffany Hayes had 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds for UConn. The Huskies shot 61 percent in the second half to pull away while limiting the Seminoles to 25 percent.

"They don't like it when people score against us," Auriemma said. "They hate it."

Only two teams have shot even 40 percent in a game against the Huskies this year. The Seminoles came in shooting a respectable 45 percent; they made just 18 of 63 shots (28.6 percent) against that tenacious, cloying defense of the Huskies.

Moore had 11 points early then watched from the bench with foul trouble as Charles and her supporting cast stretched the lead.

"My teammates say as long as I do my part, they'll deliver it to me," said Charles, who had 16 points and 11 rebounds at the half.

"They just get it," Semrau said of the Huskies. "Their mentality is so good it's almost second nature."

UConn 90

FSU 50

Connecticut Huskies beat Florida State Seminoles 90-50 to reach Final Four of women's NCAA Tournament 03/30/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 12:12am]
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