Heading into the NCAA women’s “Final Four” on Easter Sunday (April 3), many fans were wondering how the undefeated Connecticut Lady Huskies were going to contain Baylor’s 6-foot-8-inch star freshman Brittney Griner.
By halftime, that mystery had been solved and replaced with a new riddle: how can Baylor, or anyone for that matter, stop UCONN’s Maya Moore?
Moore scored 34 points with 12 rebounds to lead the Lady Huskies to a cruising 70-50 victory against Baylor (27-10) at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. UCONN (38-0) now advances to the NCAA title game to face Stanford (36-1) for the championship on April 6.
The Huskies have won an amazing 77 consecutive games, beating every team by double-digits during the historical run.
No. 4 seed Baylor tried its best to spoil UCONN’s streak and came close Sunday night when they only trailed, 41-38, near the halftime mark of the game.
But then Moore made a couple of tough baskets to extend the Lady Huskies’ lead to double-digits.
“Maya made, obviously, some huge shots,” said UCONN coach Geno Auriemma, who told reporters during the post-game conference that he enjoyed coaching this game because of the challenge Baylor posed.
“I liked coaching tonight. We’ve played a lot of basketball this year and there haven’t been a lot of opportunities where we’ve been challenged and pushed to that extent as we were tonight. We like the challenge and the competitiveness of the game. Makes you feel like you really accomplished something.”
Lady Huskies’ senior star Tina Charles successfully accomplished the task of guarding Baylor’s Griner, holding the freshman sensation to just 13 points and six rebounds.
Charles also recorded a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds against the defensive-savvy Griner.
“She just did what every other post does,” said Griner, who recorded five blocks on the night “She was just a lot better than most other posts. I won’t say I got frustrated or upset; it was just a battle. She has more experience.”
Connecticut will need to use its experience to win the championship against the Stanford Cardinals, which may not be an easy task.
The last time UCONN lost a game was in 2008 against the Cardinals, but Charles told reporters her team doesn’t care about revenge, they just want to win the title.
“The matchup doesn’t matter to us,” Charles said. “It’s nothing personal or anything like that. Whoever is going to be in the way, that’s who we’re going to have to go up against.”