After rough start, UConn reaches Final Four
ALBANY, N.Y. — Getting to the Final Four never gets old for Geno Auriemma and his UConn Huskies.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 27 points to help UConn beat Dayton 91-70 on Monday night to advance to the national semifinals for an eighth straight season.
"I love going to the Final Four. I don't care how many times it is, what the total number is. I love it for the fact that some of my players have never been there," Auriemma said.
"When you get a chance to go, you feel like you did something pretty significant. We did it over and over again. Some kids don't get to go once."
Now the Huskies stand two wins away from a third straight national championship. They accomplished that same feat from 2002-04.
Unlike the first three games of the tournament when UConn won by an average of nearly 48 points, the Huskies got all they could handle from the seventh-seeded Flyers, who weren't intimidated by the top seed for the game's first 20 minutes.
"When we're challenged, sometimes that's when we're at our best, and that's what we talked about in the locker room and I couldn't be prouder of them and happier for them ... especially tonight against a great, great team," Auriemma said. "Boy, I'm glad we don't have to play them again."
Trailing at the half for the first time in two seasons, UConn scored the first nine points of the second half during a 15-3 run to take a 58-47 lead with 13:56 left.
A little more than a minute later, Mosqueda-Lewis hit her fifth 3-pointer of the game giving her 393 in her career to break the NCAA record for 3s. That made it 62-49.
Dayton (28-7) couldn't get within seven the rest of the way thanks in a big part to Mosqueda-Lewis, who finished the game with seven 3-pointers.
"It eases my mind a lot," Mosqueda-Lewis said of getting the record. "Now I only have one thing to worry about — a national championship."
Breanna Stewart added 23 points and 16 rebounds while Morgan Tuck had 23 points for the Huskies (36-1). Stewart was selected as the most outstanding player of the region.
UConn will play Maryland in the national semifinals Sunday night.
MARYLAND 58, TENNESSEE 48: At Spokane, Wash., Lexie Brown scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half, Brionna Jones added 14 points and nine rebounds and top-seeded Maryland advanced to its second straight Final Four.
Brown hit three 3-pointers in the second half as the Terrapins (34-2) overcame their lowest-scoring first half of the season to knock out Tennessee from the NCAAs for the second straight year.
It's the fifth Final Four appearance for the Terrapins and third under coach Brenda Frese.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 12 points for the Terrapins, who held Tennessee to one field goal over the final 5 minutes. Maryland has won 28 straight games.
Ariel Massengale led Tennessee (30-6) with 16 points, but the Lady Vols missed their chance at reaching the Final Four for the first time since 2008.