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Final Four for UConn, Moore

PHILADELPHIA — Maya Moore is headed to the Final Four with a chance to pad perhaps the most impressive resume ever in women's college basketball with another championship.

Moore had 28 points Tuesday, including the 3,000th of her career, to lead the top-seeded Huskies (36-1) to a 75-40 win against Duke and a fourth straight trip to the Final Four.

"I don't think about it right now," Moore said about becoming the seventh Division I player to hit 3,000 points. "Of course it's really exciting to be at a program where I've been able to flourish as an offensive player."

Coach Geno Auriemma wasn't surprised by his star's game in the Philadelphia Region final.

"We did talk in the locker room that this was going to be a big night for Maya," Auriemma said. "You could just sense it."

Next up is Notre Dame on Sunday in the semifinals. The Big East rivals have met three times this season. UConn won all of those matchups including 73-64 in the Big East tournament final.

It's the third time in seven years that the UConn men and women have both advanced this far, with 2004 culminating in dual titles. Plus the football team reached a BCS Bowl, the Fiesta, after winning its first Big East title. That makes Connecticut the first school to reach all three events in one academic year.

"Take that!," Auriemma said.

Earlier Tuesday, Moore became the second four-time AP All-American. She was a unanimous choice for the third straight year.

Duke (32-4), the No. 2 seed, trailed 17-14 midway through the first half but UConn led 30-20 at halftime then blew it open by starting the second half on a 22-3 run. Moore reached 3,000 points on a jumper with 3:45 left.

Senior guard Jasmine Thomas had 17 points to lead Duke, but was 7-for-22 from the field.

"Jasmine Thomas has been incredible," coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "She was left a little bit on an island today with not much help offensively."

Texas A&M tops rival to reach Final Four

DALLAS — Sydney Carter and Texas A&M finally beat Baylor, when it mattered most.

The Aggies are going to the Final Four for the first time after a 58-46 victory over the Bears in the Dallas Region final.

Top seed Baylor (34-3) and Brittney Griner, the 6-foot-8 All-American center who played in the Final Four last year as a freshman, will have to settle for the Big 12 regular season and tournament trophies.

A&M (31-5) had lost eight straight to its Big 12 rival, including three times this season.

This time, coach Gary Blair's team lead start to finish as Carter had 22 points.

"Tonight was our night, we didn't back into it," Blair said. "We won the game fair and square."

Sydney Colson added 12 points for Texas A&M, including some important scores after Griner's two free throws got Baylor within 48-41 with 4½ minutes left.

Colson blew by Griner and missed, but was fouled and made both free throws. Right after, Colson had a steal and took it all the way for a layup and was fouled again. With the A&M bench going wild, Colson finished the three-point play to make it 53-41.

Griner had 20 points and nine rebounds but made only 6-of-18 from the field and 8-of-15 from the free-throw line.

"Just my shots wasn't falling," Griner said. "It wasn't anything A&M did. Just poor shooting."

ALL-AMERICANS: UConn's Moore and Baylor's Griner were joined on the first team by Stanford's Jeanette Pohlen, Texas A&M's Danielle Adams and Ohio State's Jantel Lavender. Moore and former Oklahoma star Courtney Paris are the only four-time recipients. Miami junior Shenise Johnson made the third team (see complete list, below).

MAINE: Cindy Blodgett, who led the Black Bears to four NCAA Tournaments as a player in the 1990s, was fired as coach after going 25-94 in four years including 4-25 this season.

.fast facts

Women's Final Four at Indianapolis

• Stanford vs. Texas A&M, 7 p.m. Sunday

• Notre Dame vs. Connecticut, 9:30 p.m. Sunday

• Championship: 8:30 p.m. Tuesday

All games on ESPN

Men's Final Four

at Houston

• Butler vs. VCU, 6:09 p.m. Saturday

• UConn vs. Kentucky, 8:49 p.m. Saturday

• Championship: 9 p.m. Monday

All games on Ch. 10

Final Four for UConn, Moore 03/29/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 12:24am]
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