Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

UConn routs Notre Dame for women's basketball title

NASHVILLE — Geno Auriemma and Connecticut stand alone in women's college basketball, and they reached the top in unprecedented fashion.

The Huskies routed Notre Dame 79-58 Tuesday night in the first championship game featuring undefeated teams, winning their record ninth national title. Auriemma, the Huskies coach, broke a tie with Pat Summitt and Tennessee for most women's titles all time.

Breanna Stewart scored 21 to lead the Huskies (40-0) and Stefanie Dolson added 17 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists.

The UConn men's and women's teams took the championship in the same year for the second time.

"We beat a great, great team," Auriemma said. "Notre Dame is a great team. For them to have the season they had … I can't say enough about their players, coaching staff and it took everything we have. I knew if we played great we'd have a chance to win."

Auriemma has won his titles in 20 seasons — including the past two. He never has lost in a national championship game.

Summit, who once named her two goldfish Pat and Geno after the fish tried to devour each other, said in an emailed statement: "Congratulations to the UConn Huskies for winning the 2014 NCAA National Championship! My compliments also to coach Geno Auriemma for winning his ninth national title. He has accomplished this feat in record time."

John Wooden holds the men's record with 10 titles while at UCLA. Auriemma, 60, has laughed off comparisons with the men's game, once saying there were no men's coaches telling anyone, "If I win eight or nine, I'll catch Geno Auriemma."

It was the fifth unbeaten season for Auriemma and UConn and the first time the Huskies went 40-0, matching Baylor as the only schools to accomplish that feat. The victory was their 46th straight dating to last season. It's the third-longest streak in school history — they hold the NCAA record of 90 straight, from 2008-10.

The loss was Notre Dame's third in the title game in the past four years. Kayla McBride finished her stellar career with 21 points to lead the Irish.

Even with the loss, it was a record-setting season for the Irish. They won by an average of 25.6 points while taking both the ACC regular-season and tournament championships.

Stewart, Dolson and Kiah Stokes dominated the interior as the Huskies outrebounded the Irish 54-31 and held them to a season low in points.

After the teams traded shots early, Stewart fueled a 16-0 run over nearly five minutes. Stewart's layin with 11:02 left made it 22-8.

The Irish stayed in the first half thanks to hot 3-point shooting by Michaela Mabrey and Jewell Loyd. Trailing 37-25 with 4:09 left in the first half, the pair sparked a 13-6 run, hitting three 3-pointers.

UConn led 45-38 at the half, shooting 57 percent and having 16 assists on its 21 baskets.

"I'm probably one of the luckiest people in the coaching profession because I get to coach players like Stefanie and Bria" Hartley, Auriemma said, fighting back tears. "Yeah, I get to coach guys like that and that's why we can do what we do."

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw congratulated Auriemma after the game.

"I said something like, 'I thought we were playing the Miami Heat for a while you guys are just that good.' What a great season, you know things like that," McGraw said. "I thought … LeBron (James) was the only thing they were missing."

UConn routs Notre Dame for women's basketball title 04/08/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 12:07am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …