March 31, 2010 in Sports

FSU is UConn’s 76th straight victim

Rusty Miller Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

The Connecticut Huskies hoist the trophy Tuesday after winning the NCAA Dayton Regional final, 90-50 over the Florida State Seminoles.
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The Connecticut Huskies swear they’re not perfect. Their last 76 opponents might disagree.

Maya Moore scored 22 points to lead the Huskies past Florida State 90-50 on Tuesday night at Dayton, Ohio, sending the defending champions back to the Final Four and stretching their unprecedented win streak to 76 games.

“It’s the time of the year when you want to play your best,” said Moore, selected as the regional’s most outstanding player. “We’re on a roll right now. We’re confident. That’s what you guys are seeing. We still have some things we need to improve. We’re not perfect.”

Really? Good luck to any opponent if they are.

Tina Charles controlled the paint with 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Huskies (37-0), who advance to their eighth Final Four since 2000 where they will meet Baylor in the semifinals Sunday night.

The 40-point victory was the largest margin in a regional final.

“Boy, they make you play ugly,” Florida State coach Sue Semrau said, shaking her head. “We missed a ton of shots, but that’s because they did such a great job in every area.”

The Huskies are dominating unlike any team ever. No team has come within 12 points of them all season. They have won their first four games of the 2010 NCAA tournament by a record 188 points – a margin of 47 points a game.

Coach Geno Auriemma was humbled by the latest bit of mastery.

“We get on this run and … I don’t know how to explain it,” he said, sighing heavily. “We’re good, though.”

His team’s defensive intensity and talent can turn a close game into a lopsided one quickly.

“I was happy with the way the first half ended. We were up 14 and we didn’t play great and Maya hasn’t played at all,” Auriemma said. “Then I look up and were up 25, 30. When we start defending you and you start getting a little quick and start losing your composure and the ball starts flying all over the place … all of a sudden we’re up 40 points. You get caught up in this and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Jacinta Monroe had 15 points for the Seminoles (29-6), who set a school record for victories while going deeper in the NCAA tournament than any FSU team before.

Kalana Greene added 15 points and Tiffany Hayes had 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds for UConn. The Huskies shot 61 percent in the second half.

Oklahoma 88, Kentucky 68: Nyeshia Stevenson scored 31 points and the third-seeded Sooners (27-10) blew past the fourth-seeded Wildcats (28-8) in Kansas City, Mo., to earn their second straight trip to the Final Four.

Amanda Thompson added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the third-seeded Sooners, who’ll face Stanford on Sunday in San Antonio.

The Wildcats stormed out to a 17-4 lead, only to watch as the Sooners rallied to go ahead 43-39 by halftime. Oklahoma opened the second half on a 15-5 run.

Victoria Dunlap had 31 points and 12 rebounds to lead Kentucky.

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