Jazzed up Huskies dispatch Kentucky, 83-53, for record-setting trip to New Orleans
Bridgeport — There have been occasional tremors of angst for the UConn women and their fans this season, creating some doubt whether making the Big Easy would be possible, let alone easy.
But they made it look quite easy Monday night.
The Huskies took to their annual rite of spring, otherwise known as making the Final Four, with an 83-53 win over Kentucky in the Bridgeport Regional final at Webster Bank Arena. They are headed to the national semifinals this weekend at New Orleans Arena.
UConn (33-4) will play the winner of tonight's Duke-Notre Dame game at the Final Four at either 6:30 or 9 p.m. Sunday.
It is the sixth straight trip to the Final Four for the Huskies and the 14th time overall in coach Geno Auriemma's 28 seasons. UConn is the first program in NCAA history to make six Final Four apperances in a row.
"I don't know what I can say on behalf of these players, how hard they've worked and how much they've come together in the last month," Auriemma said. "Holly (Rowe of ESPN) asked me what's the common thread of making six straight Final Fours. I said that my coaching staff does a great job of recruiting the best players in the country. Other places say they want to win the national championship every year, but at UConn we live it every day."
Freshman Breanna Stewart, named the regional's Most Outstanding Player, led the Huskies with 21 points, and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 17. Kelly Faris had 12 points, while freshman Moriah Jefferson, treated to several ovations, had 10 points. Bria Hartley also scored 10.
Norwich Free Academy graduate Kastine Evans, a junior guard for the Wildcats, had two points on 1-for-8 shooting.
UConn trailed 23-22 with 9:07 remaining in the first half before embarking on a 17-0 run. UConn held Kentucky scoreless for nearly seven minutes.
The game wasn't in doubt after that.