UConn’s Moore hits 3,000 points
PHILADELPHIA Maya Moore is headed to the Final Four with a chance to pad perhaps the most impressive resume in the history of women’s college basketball with yet another championship.
Connecticut’s latest star is already a four-time All-American with 3,000 career points. Nice personal milestones for sure, but far from the biggest prize.
To her and the rest of the Huskies it’s all about cutting down those nets in Indianapolis and locking up a third straight national title.
Moore scored 28 points, including the 3,000th of her career, to lead top-seeded UConn to a 75-40 win Tuesday night against Duke and a fourth straight trip to the Final Four.
“I don’t think about it right now,” Moore said about becoming the seventh Division I player to reach the 3,000-point mark. “Of course it’s really exciting to be at a program where I’ve been able to flourish as an offensive player.”
Coach Geno Auriemma wasn’t surprised by his star’s huge game.
“We did talk in the locker room that this was going to be a big night for Maya,” Auriemma said. “You could just sense it.”
The Huskies are two victories away from winning their third straight national title, matching the school’s own run from 2002-04 and Tennessee’s from 1996-98.
Next up for Auriemma’s current juggernaut is Notre Dame on Sunday in the national semifinals.
The two Big East teams are plenty familiar with each other, having played three times this season already. UConn won all of those matchups including a 73-64 victory in the Big East tournament championship game.
Once again Storrs, Conn., is the center of the college basketball world as both the men’s and women’s teams are in the Final Four. It’s the third time in the past seven years that both programs have advanced this far with 2004 culminating in dual titles.
Earlier in the day, Moore became only the second four-time AP All-American. She was a unanimous choice for the third straight year and has helped Connecticut to an unprecedented 149 victories while losing only three times.
Tuesday night she became the first D-I player to reach 3,000 points since Southwest Missouri State star Jackie Stiles in 2001.
The Huskies (36-1) are back in the Final Four for the fourth straight season and 12th time in the last 17 years.
-- Texas A&M 58, Baylor 46—At Dallas, Sydney Carter 22 points and Texas A&M finally beat Baylor—when it counted the most.
The Aggies are going to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history after their victory over the top-seeded Lady Bears in the Dallas Regional final.
Baylor and All-American Brittney Griner, who played in the Final Four last year in the 6-foot-8 center’s freshman season, will have to settle for the Big 12 regular-season and tournament trophies the still-young Bears (34-3) already won this season.
Texas A&M (31-5) had lost eight straight games against its Big 12 rival, including the previous three this season.
This time, coach Gary Blair’s team led from start to finish.
Sydney Colson added 12 points for Texas A&M, including some key baskets after two free throws by Griner had gotten Baylor within 48-41 with 4½ minutes left.
Griner, coming off a 40-point game Sunday against UW-Green Bay after scoring 30 the game before that, had 20 points and nine rebounds. But she struggled all night shooting, making only 6 of 18 from the field, including a missed dunk attempt. After making all 10 free throw attempts Sunday, she was 8 of 15 against the Aggies.
Melissa Jones, the only senior who played significant minutes for Baylor, scored 13 points and had seven rebounds.
Tyra White had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Aggies. Adaora Elonu had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Danielle Adams, the Aggies’ All-America post player and their leading scorer, had another subpar game against Baylor. Yet, she was still smiling when she walked off the court at halftime scoreless because Texas A&M had a 32-21 lead.
After the game, Adams was in the middle of her celebrating teammates on the floor, then cutting down the net.
Adams, the senior with her last chance to get to a Final Four, finished with six points and four rebounds. She was 3 of 12 from the field, and missed all five 3-pointers.
Adams entered the game averaging 22.7 points a game and was shooting 49 percent from the field for the season. The 6-foot-1 senior finished 15 of 62 (24 percent) against Baylor with four of her five lowest-scoring games of the season.
No worries about the Lady Bears in Indianapolis, where Baylor won its national championship six years ago.
Texas A&M plays Stanford (33-2), another top-seeded team, on Sunday in the national semifinal.