UConn wins 4th Consecutive Women's Title
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Latest on the championship game of the NCAA Tournament between Syracuse and Connecticut (all times ET):
Breanna Stewart of UConn earned the most outstanding player of the Final Four for the fourth consecutive year to go along with four national championships.
No other women's player has won it more than twice and only Lew Alcindor did it three times on the men's side.
Stewart said when she came to campus four years ago that she wanted to win four titles. She delivered on that promise by scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in her final college game.
It's UConn, again.
Breanna Stewart scored 24 points to lead the undefeated Huskies to their 11th national championship and fourth straight with an 82-51 win over Syracuse on Tuesday night.
Morgan Tuck added 19 points and Moriah Jefferson had 13 for the Huskies, who have now won 75 consecutive games, and 122 of their last 123, all by double digits.
Brittney Sykes had 12 points for Syracuse (30-8), which was making its first appearance in the title game.
The Huskies (38-0) have been simply dominant with Stewart, Jefferson and Tuck, who have helped the team to an NCAA record 151 wins over their four years. The three seniors left to the hugs of coaches and teammates with 1:46 left.
Syracuse guard Alexis Peterson injured her right shoulder as she attempted to rip the ball out of Kia Nurse's hands with 4:54 left in the game.
Peterson immediately went to the ground, then let out a scream when she appeared to pop her own shoulder back into place before the trainer arrived. Eventually, she got up and walked to the bench without assistance.
With about five minutes left, UConn leads Syracuse 71-49 and is closing in on its fourth consecutive national championship.
Breanna Stewart is leading the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
UConn leads Syracuse 50-23 at the half and appears to be cruising to a fourth consecutive national title.
UConn's "Big Three" are leading the way for the Huskies, who outscored the Orange 22-10 in the second quarter. Three-time national player of the year Breanna Stewart has 14 points, Morgan Tuck has 13 and Moriah Jefferson scored 11.
Syracuse, one of the nation's best 3-point shooting teams, had just nine baskets on 30 shots and made just two of its 12 shots from behind the arc.
Stewart, who is from North Syracuse, played for much of the second quarter with blood on the back her jersey, apparently from a cut on her elbow.
The officials did not stop the game to address the issue.
UConn's Breanna Stewart has passed former Husky Dianna Taurasi for fourth place on the NCAA Tournament all-time scoring list.
She came into the game with 422 points in tournament games and had 10 midway through the second quarter, surpassing Taurasi's 428.
Stanford Star Nnemkadi Ogwumike is third on the list with 444 points.
Former Tennessee star Chamique Holdsclaw (479 points) and former Husky Maya Moore (476) are not likely to lose their top two spots.
UConn has opened a 28-13 lead over Syracuse after the first quarter of the women's national championship game in Indianapolis.
Moriah Jefferson put the exclamation mark on the first 10 minutes with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
UConn's seniors looked to put the championship away from the opening tip, scoring the first seven points in a 9-0 run to start the game. Syracuse was held without a point before a Brittney Sykes layup four minutes into the game.
Syracuse missed its first five shots and shot just 25 percent for the quarter.
Three-time national player of the year Breanna Stewart has 10 points and three rebounds to lead the Huskies.
Morgan Tuck has nine points and Jefferson chipped in with seven.
UConn opened its bid for a fourth straight championship by scoring the first nine points against Syracuse.
Former Boston College basketball player Ayla Brown, the elder daughter of former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and a former "American Idol" contestant, sang the national anthem.
The court-sized American flag was help by members of Division II champion Lubbock Christian and Division III champion Thomas More teams.
If UConn beats Syracuse, it would mark just the third time that all three divisions have been won by undefeated teams. The other two times, 1995 and 2014, UConn won the D-I championship.
Syracuse was the first team out on the court for the pre-game shootaround, looking loose. Briana Butler and Brittney Sykes literally danced with each other onto the court, lip-synching to the piped-in music in the arena. UConn was more businesslike. Freshman Katie Lou Samuelson, who broke her foot in the Huskies' semifinal win over Oregon State, stood under the basket in a walking boot, rebounding for her teammates.
Sophomore Gabby Williams replaces injured Katie Lou Samuelson in UConn's starting lineup. Samuelson broke her left foot in the Huskies semifinal win over Oregon State. The other starters are Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck, Kia Nurse and Moriah Jefferson.
The Syracuse starters are Alexis Peterson, Isabella Slim, Brianna Butler, Brittney Sykes and Briana Day.
The officials for the championship game will be former NBA referee Dee Kantner, Lisa Jones and Beverly Roberts. Bob Scofield will handle standby duties.
The University of Connecticut will face an old foe in its bid for a fourth consecutive national championship in women's basketball.
Former Big East opponent Syracuse stood in the way of the Huskies in Tuesday night's game in Indianapolis.
No women's basketball team has ever won four straight titles. Only the UCLA men's basketball team had done it, winning seven straight championships under John Wooden from 1967-73. UConn coach Geno Auriemma entered Tuesday's game tied with Wooden with 10 national titles.
The Huskies (37-0) have won 74 straight games. Syracuse (30-7) has lost its last 23 meetings with UConn, a skid that dates to 1996.
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