TAMPA — So much for Geno Auriemma and Pat Summitt duking it out for the national title.
Second-seeded Stanford, having knocked off one No. 1 seed to reach the Final Four, took out another one Sunday night, upsetting Connecticut 82-73 in the St. Pete Times Forum.
Senior guard Candice Wiggins, the four-time All-American who put the Cardinal on her back to get to Tampa, had a game-high 25 points and got strong support from 6-foot-4 teammates Jayne Appel and Kayla Pedersen as the Cardinal won its 23rd game in a row.
Down seven at the half, Connecticut made its run early, scoring six straight points to pull within one at 47-46. Wiggins, who hadn't scored in 14 minutes, answered with a 3-pointer on the wing, then another on the next possession, and Pedersen's basket capped an 8-0 run to put Stanford up 55-46. Connecticut wouldn't get closer than five points the rest of the way.
Appel and Pedersen were consistent scorers in the low post, scoring 15 and 17 points, respectively. When Connecticut cut Stanford's lead to five with less than three minutes to play, Pederson hit a huge 3-pointer with 2:17 left.
Connecticut freshman phenom Maya Moore was held scoreless in the opening 12 minutes as Stanford built a 27-20 lead early, but finished with 20.
Stanford, in its first Final Four since 1997, will play the winner of Sunday night's LSU-Tennessee semifinal on Tuesday night. The Cardinal won national championships in 1990 and 1992. Connecticut goes home empty after reaching the Final Four for the first time in four years.