UNCASVILLE, Conn. — New league, same result. It's another championship for UConn.
Breanna Stewart scored 20 and top-ranked Connecticut beat No. 3 Louisville 72-52 on Monday night to win the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament.
"You have a goal on Oct. 15 when you start and the whole process is about that. New league, new coaches, new venue, that was all exciting for us," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "I don't know how many conference championships the American is going to host in their lifetime, but we won the first one and there's something special about that."
It's the 19th conference tournament championship for the Huskies, who won their first 18 in the Big East.
UConn (34-0) becomes the 14th team to enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated. The Huskies have done it six times and won the national championship in four of those years.
UConn scored the first eight. Louisville got within 28-20 with six minutes left in the first half before Stewart took over.
Her three-point play started a 12-2 run to close the half. Stewart, the tournament MVP, had seven points during the burst as UConn led 40-22 at the break.
"We always try to go on a run," Stewart said. "We wanted to go into halftime on a good note and stepped up our game."
Louisville (30-4) scored the first five in second half but got no closer.
"It's going to take 40 minutes of very, very good basketball in order for anybody to beat them," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said.
NO. 7 BAYLOR 74, NO. 5 W. VA. 71: Odyssey Sims overcame an ankle injury to score 19 as the Bears (29-4) defeated the Mountaineers (29-4) in the Big 12 championship game in Oklahoma City.
NO. 18 GONZAGA 68, ST. MARY'S 60: Haiden Palmer scored 16 for the Bulldogs (28-4), who advanced to the championship game of the West Coast Conference tournament in Las Vegas.
NO. 23 DEPAUL 100, MARQUETTE 90: Jasmine Penny made 10 of 11 shots and scored 26 for the top-seeded Blue Demons (26-6), who will face No. 2 seed St. John's in the Big East tournament title game in Chicago.
AMERICA EAST: Shereesha Richards had 26 points, Sarah Royals added 19 points and eight assists and top-seeded Albany (28-4) beat second-seeded Stony Brook 70-46 in Albany to win the tournament title.
MAAC: Sydney Coffey scored 23 as Marist (25-6) rallied past Quinnipiac 70-66 in Springfield, Mass., giving the Red Foxes their ninth straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title.
SOUTHERN: Alex Black scored 22 and second-seeded Chattanooga (29-3) beat top-seeded Davidson 71-45 to win the championship in Asheville, N.C.
AP POLL: No. 25 Bowling Green entered the poll for the first time since 2009. Rutgers fell out.
COLONIAL: Carl Baptiste scored a career-high 24, including a go-ahead layup with 10 seconds left, and top-seeded Delaware (25-9) squeezed past William & Mary 75-74 to earn its first NCAA Tournament berth in 15 years.
MAAC: George Beamon scored 16 as second-seeded Manhattan (25-7) held off top-seeded Iona 71-68 in Springfield, Mass., for the conference title.
SOUTHERN: Karl Cochran scored 23 and third-seeded Wofford (20-12) beat Western Carolina 56-53 in Asheville, N.C., to capture the conference title.
NO. 10 KANSAS: Center Joel Embiid is expected to miss the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament with a stress fracture in his lower back.
APPalachian ST.: Coach Jason Capel was let go after going 53-70 in four seasons.
ALL-ACC: FSU forward Okaro White, a former Clearwater High standout, was named to the coaches' all-defensive team.
AP POLL: Kentucky dropped out from 25th, and VCU returned at No. 23.