Score: No. 1 UConn 93, No. 6 Louisville 60
Stars: UConn: Breanna Stewart 23 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 3 Blk. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis 18 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk. Kelly Faris 16 Pts, 9 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk.
Story: In Storrs, Conn. on Tuesday night, UConn students stormed the court at Gampel Pavilion. Then, led by Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright and the men’s basketball team, they took the party outside on to Fairfield Way, screaming and cheering and singing the entire time, making it difficult for traffic to get by. Only in Storrs will you see thousands of students celebrating women’s basketball, and they celebrated with good reason.
Women’s basketball is UConn’s sport, and the Huskies are back where they belong.
After two straight seasons of losing to Notre Dame in the Final Four, the Huskies returned to their rightful place at the top of women’s college basketball, defeating Louisville 93-60 for the program’s eighth national championship.
The victory gives UConn a share of the all-time record for national championships with long-time rival Tennessee. As a result, head coach Geno Auriemma tied legendary Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt for the all-time record for titles (8) by a coach.
UConn’s 33-point win broke the championship game record for largest margin of victory.
The Huskies were hardly challenged en route to the championship, defeating their opponents – Idaho, Vanderbilt, Maryland, Kentucky, Notre Dame and Louisville – by an average of 34.67 points. The win over Notre Dame in the Final Four was the closest at 18.
UConn’s dominating team performance throughout the tournament was led by Final Four Most Outstanding Player Breanna Stewart. The freshman from Syracuse, N.Y. scored 104 points in just five games – having missed the First Round due to injury.
Louisville, the lowest seed to reach the championship game at No. 5 out of the Oklahoma City region, came out at the start like the team that defeated Baylor, Tennessee and Cal in succession, taking an early 14-10 lead and making life difficult for UConn.
But one thing that has become clear about the Huskies is that they do not appreciate being on the wrong side of the score, and when that happens, they come back with a bang.
This was not the kind of bang that made Rick Pitino duck and cover, but there is no doubt he was cringing as his counterpart Jeff Walz and the Cardinals fell victim to a 19-0 run that they would never recover from.
There were a couple of times during the second half when Louisville would hit consecutive threes, but that only cut the lead to 16, and UConn would come back and hit a few of its own. The Huskies did as they pleased from behind the arc, making 13 of their 26 attempts.
Throughout the second half, there was no doubt that the trophy would be returning to Storrs, Conn., and UConn asserted its position by showing off its athleticism and running Louisville out of New Orleans Arena.
With three more years of Stewart and freshman studs Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck, and two more years for Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who is playing more like Maya Moore every game, UConn may be on the brink of forming yet another unstoppable force.
— Caroline Doty (@cdoty5) April 10, 2013
Congrats to UCONN Woman Basketball, for bringing another Championship to Storrs
— Charlie Villanueva (@CV31) April 10, 2013
I get a fresh pair of Jordan’s because someone is too stupid to bet against UConn last night #doublewinforme
— Meghan Gardler (@MeghanGardler) April 10, 2013
— Jim Fuller (@NHRJimFuller) April 10, 2013
Wow UConn. Congrats on #8. Numbers 9 & 10 aren’t too far away… #ncaawff
— Rebecca Lobo (@RebeccaLobo) April 10, 2013