A day full of accomplishment for Maya Moore
Philadelphia - Maya Moore doesn't usually let too many big games go by without putting her stamp on them, UConn coach Geno Auriemma was saying Tuesday night after Moore secured her fourth straight trip to the Final Four.
In case Moore's contributions to March were ever in question, which isn't likely, she put her stamp all over March 29, 2011.
Moore was named an Associated Press All-American for the fourth time in her career earlier in the day, only the second player ever to earn that distinction along with former Oklahoma star Courtney Paris.
Later, she was named Philadelphia Regional Most Outstanding Player for her 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals in a 75-40 victory over Duke which propelled the Huskies to their fourth straight Final Four, all under her watch.
And the jump shot Moore hit with 3 minutes, 44 seconds remaining in the game gave her 3,000 points for her career, only the seventh player in Division I women's basketball history to reach that milestone and the first since Missouri State great Jackie Stiles did it in 2001.
"I don't really think about it right now," said Moore, a senior forward looking for her third straight national championship, speaking of her prolific scoring record. "It's really exciting to be in a program where you've been able to flourish."
Moore finished the first half with 13 points, hitting a shot at the buzzer after sidestepping a defender. She added eight more points in the first 5:39 of the second half, getting her to 21. She hit a 3-pointer with 8:52 to go, leaving her four for the 3,000-mark and scored again at 8:23 to give her 26.
Then the unthinkable happened. Moore said she banged knees with a Duke player and she hit the floor hard. Auriemma called a timeout, removed her from the game and Moore was seen riding a stationary bicycle courtside.
Auriemma was made aware by his assistant coaches that Moore needed two for 3,000 and, rather than have her answer questions about the plateau for another week, he put her back on the floor for one more basket, the first time he said he's ever done something like that for a player to achieve a personal goal.
Moore knocked in a line drive to make the score 69-35, sending the UConn fans at the Liacouras Center into a frenzy. The ovation lasted through a television timeout with 3:25 to go, when Auriemma removed the star from the game for the last time.
"I think I was the only one who didn't realize we were cheering for that," UConn's Kelly Faris said with a laugh.
Moore joined Baylor's Brittney Griner, Stanford's Jeanette Pohlen, Texas A&M's Danielle Adams and Ohio State's Jantel Lavender on the All-America first team. She was also named ECAC Player of the Year on Tuesday.
Moore is averaging 22.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game and has 832 points this season, a UConn single-season record. She is a finalist email@example.com