UConn still perfect
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 Cardinal beat Oklahoma 73-66 in the first semifinal.
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 Connecticut, which has won every game during its streak by double digits.
Stanford handed UConn its last loss back in the 2008 national semifinals.
Tuesday’s championship game will be the sixth time that the top two teams in the final Top 25 poll will meet for the title, with the last coming in 2002 when UConn beat Oklahoma in San Antonio.
Most of the pregame attention focused on the enticing matchup at center between Griner and Charles, The Associated Press player of the year. The 6-foot-8 Griner finished with 13 points and five blocks.
“She just did what every other post does,” Griner said. “She was just a lot better than most other posts. I won’t say I got frustrated or upset. It was just a battle. She has more experience.”
But the Lady Bears (27-10) had no answer for Moore, the three-time All-American tormented Baylor.
The Lady Bears cut a 13-point halftime deficit to 41-38 nearly 5 minutes into the second half, drawing huge cheers from an Alamodome crowd that was a sea of yellow and green. Baylor’s campus is only a 3-hour bus ride away in Waco, and the Lady Bears were the first team to reach the Final Four in their home state since Missouri State made it to St. Louis in 2001.
With the score 45-40, Moore quickly ended any chances of a monumental upset, scoring six of the next eight points to restore the Huskies’ double-digit lead.
Her jumper made it 53-40.