The Connecticut Huskies are top of the women’s college basketball pile, and it looks like they could stay there for a while too.
UConn [35-4] recorded a 93-60 rout over Louisville [29-9] in New Orleans, the largest margin of victory for a women’s national championship game, comfortably passing Tennessee’s 27-point win in 1987. And after missing out on the title game for the last two years, the Huskies were simply making up for lost time.
For legendary UConn coach Geno Auriemma, he is now in a very select group of NCAA basketball coaches to have won at least eight national titles, alongside Pat Summitt. Only John Wooden has won more national titles than Auriemma but what the two coaches have in common is that neither of the has lost a title contest. Wooden was 10-0, Auriemma is now 8-0.
Summitt issued a statement shortly after UConn’s win via her son, Tyler.
“Congratulations to Geno Auriemma and the Connecticut Huskies on a remarkable season and an eighth national title,” she said. “Geno is a proven champion and a leader in our game. My best to him, his family, his team and staff.”
Freshman Breanna Stewart led the way with 23 points and nine rebounds in a dominant display, earning her the Most Outstanding Player award. Senior Kelly Faris finished with solid numbers of 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
With Louisville coach Rick Pitino in attendance, fresh off his side’s national title win in Atlanta, 24 hours earlier, the Cardinals got off to a decent start, leading 14-10 and making life difficult for the Huskies.
Stewart though had other ideas, as she inspired a 19-0 burst with her scoring seven points in that run to lead 29-14 with 8:44 left in the first and the lead ballooned as the half wore on. By the end of the first half buzzer, UConn led 48-29 and the contest was as good as over.
For Louisville, the Cinderella story that included an upset win over Brittney Griner’s Baylor unfortunately did not have a happy ending, but the Cardinals on the whole can look back at a phenomenal season of college basketball where the men won a national title and the women finished an unlikely second.
Sara Hammond led Louisville with 15 points, the only player to reach double-digits for her side.