Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Sports

UConn breezes, stands one win from record 11th championship for Geno Auriemma

INDIANAPOLIS — Breanna Stewart said she wanted to win four titles in her remarkable time at Connecticut.

Now, after a record rout, the Huskies are one victory from a fourth consecutive national championship, never accomplished in women's basketball.

Morgan Tuck had 21 points and Stewart added 16 to help UConn beat Oregon State 80-51 Sunday night in the women's Final Four.

"I think it sunk in when we were going back to the locker room all excited," Stewart said. "One game left, and we're exactly in the position we want to be in. Now it's practice (today). National championship game Tuesday."

If UConn beats former Big East rival Syracuse, coach Geno Auriemma will have an 11th championship, passing vaunted UCLA men's coach John Wooden for the most in college basketball.

Syracuse, a No. 4 seed, defeated No. 7 seed Washington 80-59 in the other semifinal.

"I don't know what I can do to help them except keep reminding them all the time, 'This is your spot, you've owned this spot for the last three years,' " Auriemma said.

The Huskies (37-0) set a record for the biggest margin of victory in a women's Final Four, surpassing the 28-point win by Tennessee over Arkansas in 1998. It was UConn's 74th consecutive victory, the second-longest streak in NCAA and school history.

Stewart, the three-time AP player of the year, picked up two quick fouls and didn't score until a turnaround jumper with 3 minutes left in the half. That came in the middle of a 15-2 run.

She quashed any thoughts of an Oregon State rally with 14 points in the second half.

Oregon State (32-5), a No. 2 seed, ended a season in which the Beavers won their first Pac-12 tournament title and reached the Final Four for the first time.

"Hats off to UConn. They played a phenomenal game tonight," coach Scott Rueck said.

UConn freshman Katie Lou Samuelson broke the third metatarsal bone in her left foot in the first half. She returned to the bench early in the third quarter wearing a boot.

Sydney Wiese scored 13 to lead Oregon State, which had as many turnovers as baskets (18).

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Published: 02/19/18