It's becoming a given that the UConn Huskies women's basketball team will make the Final Four. We've come to expect that here in the state of Connecticut.
We also expect them to win the National Championship every season. While that hasn't happened since 2010, they will be going to their sixth straight Final Four.
Led by the Bridgeport Regional Most Outstanding Player Breanna Stewart's 21 points, the Huskies beat the Kentucky Wildcats 83-53 in front of 8,594 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT on Monday night.
UConn improves to 33-4 while Kentucky finishes the season at 30-6.
Stewart also had four rebounds and three blocked shots. Despite battling foul trouble, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis finished with 17 points. Kelly Faris added 12 points and seven rebounds. Stefanie Dolson led the Huskies with 11 rebounds and four assists to go along with her two points.
Bria Hartley and Moriah Jefferson both had nice games of the bench with 10 points a piece.
A'dia Mathies led Kentucky with 14 points while Jennifer O'Neill had 13 points. DeNesha Stallworth had nine points and a team-high eight rebounds. Former Husky Samarie Walker struggled against her former team ending up with two points and three rebounds.
This game was close for the most part of the first half. But with the score 23-22 Kentucky and 8:49 remaining in the half, the Huskies turned up the jets and batten down the hatches defensively.
Using a 26-3 run to close out the first half, the Huskies took a 48-26 lead at break and never looked back in the second half.
With her struggles in the rearview mirror, Stewart looks the player we've expected to have seen all year. The good thing is she's gotten past those bad moments and has helped the Huskies get where they are now.
With some of the top teams out and a possible matchup looking with Notre Dame in the semis, there's no telling what will happen. But with Stewart playing the way she has been in the NCAA Tournament, anything can happen.
UConn will find out their opponent on Tuesday night, either Notre Dame or Duke. Then those two teams will meet in New Orleans on Sunday, April 7 in the Final Four.
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photo credit: cloe poisson – hartford courant (no. 22 in gallery)