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    UConn Women's Basketball
    Wednesday, April 17, 2024

    UConn plays Texas Monday night with a Final Four berth on the line

    UConn's Moriah Jefferson pokes the ball away from Mississippi State's Morgan Willam (2) in an NCAA women's tournament regional semifinal game on Saturday at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    Bridgeport – Past performance, as investors are warned, does not necessarily predict future results. The women’s basketball team at the University of Texas better hope that disclaimer is true Monday night at Webster Bank Arena.

    It was a year ago that the Longhorns played UConn in the NCAA Tournament. The result: a flaming pile of burnt orange. The Huskies, the top seed at the time, sent Texas home with a 105-54 loss.

    Asked what she remembered of her last experience with the Huskies, Texas’ Imani Boyette said Sunday, “I remember losing. That’s pretty much it.”

    Second-seeded Texas (31-4) gets another chance tonight against the Huskies in the regional final (7 p.m., ESPN). A victory delivers UConn (35-0) to its record ninth straight Final Four.

    “We're one game away from the Final Four, and I think any time you get to this point in the season, it's exactly where every player wants to be from the time school starts in September to today,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “Everything you work for is to put yourself in this situation and to be able to play for a national championship.

    “And in order to do that you got to win this game (tonight). And it's one of those things that no matter how many years you are in this situation, it's maybe even more exciting. You're more anxious for this game than you are for any of the games in the Final Four, because this is the game that puts you in that situation.”

    Texas coach Karen Aston knows the scope of the assignment, especially considering UConn’s near perfection in Saturday’s victory over Mississippi State in the Sweet 16.

    “We fell short last year. I think it was a big step for us to get to the Sweet 16 last year, but our team fell short. And it was something that we repeatedly talked about, once we set the goal, we really never looked back on that being a true goal of our team, which was to take one more step and get to the Elite 8. And we have done that,” she said.

    “And I can't say enough about these guys, in particular our senior class, that has helped us build this program back to where it belongs. I'm extremely proud. You almost get sentimental as a coach when you start to see the end wind down with the group of players that went through this process with you completely. And I really enjoyed coaching these guys and appreciate what they have done for our program.”

    The winner plays in the Final Four on Sunday night in Indianapolis.


    Regional Semifinals

    Saturday's Results

    UConn 98, Mississippi State 38

    Texas 72, UCLA 64

    Regional Championship

    Today's Game

    UConn (35-0) vs. Texas (31-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

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