BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Connecticut is headed back to a familiar place – the Final Four.
Breanna Stewart scored 21 points and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 17 to help top-seed UConn rout Kentucky 83-53 on Monday night and advance to a record sixth-straight NCAA women’s basketball semifinal.
The Huskies will face either Notre Dame or Duke on Sunday in New Orleans. The Irish and Blue Devils play tonight.
Kentucky stayed close for the first 10 minutes with its “40 minutes of dread” defense. Then UConn turned up its own defensive intensity.
The Huskies trailed 23-22 with 9 minutes left in the first half. That’s when Stewart – honored as the outstanding player of the Bridgeport Regional – and UConn’s “no-name” defense took over, allowing just three points the rest of the half.
“We’re either right on point, we do everything right or we get a little bit off kilter and lose our composure,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “Once we got into our rhythm and our tempo, we just played good basketball.”
Kentucky missed 13 of its final 14 shots in the half with the only make coming when Jelleah Sidney banked in a 3-pointer from the wing against UConn’s lockdown defense.