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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

UConn overwhelms Louisville to claim eighth title under Geno Auriemma

The Dagger

(AP)

Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma joined his legendary Tennessee rival Pat Summitt at the top of the heap in women's basketball Tuesday night when his Huskies dominated Louisville to win the program's eighth national championship.

Auriemma tied Summitt's record of eight titles thanks to some torrid shooting by the Huskies, who took a commanding lead in the first half and never faded in New Orleans Arena. UConn ran away with a 93-60 victory in an uncompetitive championship game that stood in stark contrast to one of the best men's title games in recent memory played Monday between Louisville and Michigan.

The UConn women prevented Louisville from becoming the second school in history to win both the men's and women's national basketball titles in the same season. Connecticut won both championships in 2004.

It was the largest margin of victory in the history of the women's championship game. UConn has beaten Louisville 12 consecutive times dating back to 1993. Auriemma is only two championships shy of tying legendary UCLA coach John Wooden for the most titles won by any coach at the major college level.

[Slideshow: Women's title game action]

"The fact that I tied Pat Summitt's record, that puts you in a category of the greatest women's basketball coach that ever lived," Auriemma said in his interview immediately after the Huskies were handed the championship trophy. "I'm thrilled for our seniors. This team accomplished an amazing feat this last month."

Connecticut (35-4) made 13 of 26 3-point shots and raced to a 19-point halftime lead. The Huskies eventually stretched the lead to 35 points.

Freshman Breanna Stewart scored 23 points for UConn with nine rebounds and was one of five Huskies to register double figures in scoring. Stewart was named the Most Outstanding Player. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis made five 3-pointers and finished with 18 points.

Louisville (29-9) provided the biggest upset of the women's tournament by beating the 2012 national champion Baylor and Brittney Griner. But the magic that came together for the Cardinals in that game didn't materialize Tuesday against the Huskies.

Louisville led 14-10 in the early going but managed to score only 15 points in the final 14 minutes of the first half. Meanwhile the Huskies exploded with 38 points in that span. The Cardinals shot 37 percent from the field in the game, made just five of 23 shots from behind the arc while being outrebounded by 19.

Sophomore Sara Hammond was the only Louisville player to score in double figures. She finished with 15 points

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