Archive for Monday, April 5, 2010

UConn stays perfect, eliminates Bears

Stanford’s Ogwumike overwhelms Oklahoma with 38 points in 73-66 victory

April 5, 2010

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No. 1 Connecticut 70, No. 4 Baylor 50

San Antonio — As soon as Connecticut was challenged, Maya Moore and the Huskies showed exactly why they’ve won 77 games in a row.

One more and they’ll be the first women’s team to go undefeated in consecutive seasons.

Behind 34 points and 12 rebounds from Moore, UConn beat Baylor and freshman phenom Brittney Griner, 70-50, on Sunday night to advance to the national championship game.

“I’m so excited. It’s what we work for all season,” Moore said. “I’m almost speechless.”

Tina Charles added 21 points and 13 boards for UConn (38-0), which plays Stanford on Tuesday night for the title.

The Huskies defeated Stanford, 80-68, when the teams met Dec. 23 in Hartford.

That’s the closest any team has come all season to taking down Connecticut, which has won every game during its streak by double digits.

Stanford handed UConn its last loss back in the 2008 national semifinals.

No. 1 Stanford 73, No. 3 Oklahoma 66

San Antonio — Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike was having one of the greatest performances ever at a women’s Final Four, yet her team was ahead by only three points with 16 seconds left.

So how in the world did she break free for an uncontested layup?

Slipping away from the Oklahoma defenders she’d befuddled all night, Ogwumike took a long inbounds pass near midcourt and strolled in for an easy basket that sent the Cardinal to a victory and into the national championship game.

“I didn’t think I would actually be open,” Ogwumike said. “I thought it was an awesome play to run. It was definitely spur-of-the-moment. A great coaching decision. We executed it right, and it worked.”

Ogwumike scored Stanford’s first eight points and the final seven — in the last 51.3 seconds — on the way to a career-high 38 points. It was the second-most in women’s Final Four history, behind the 47 scored by Texas Tech’s Sheryl Swoopes in the 1993 championship game.

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