STORRS, Conn. – Connecticut has had its share of streaks, including 90 wins in a row between 2008 and 2010.
The Huskies added to another impressive run Monday night, advancing to the regional semifinals of the women’s NCAA tournament for the 20th consecutive season with a 77-44 win over Vanderbilt.
The consistency of our program, day in and day out, week in and week out, year in and year out is something that we can take great pride in, coach Geno Auriemma said. I don’t know who else has done it 20 years in a row, but it’s really hard to do. Sometimes we make it look easy, but it’s really hard to do.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led the way with 22 points for UConn, which faces Maryland on Saturday. Freshman Breanna Stewart added 14 points and Stefanie Dolson had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Huskies (31-4), who are seeking their sixth straight trip to the Final Four and eighth national championship.
Tiffany Clarke had 16 points for Vanderbilt (21-12), which dropped three of its last six games. Kendall Shaw came off the bench to add 12 points for the Commodores.
The Huskies led by 13 at halftime and opened the second half on a 17-0 run to put the game out of reach. UConn held Vanderbilt without a field goal for more than 7 minutes after intermission, and the Commodores missed 11 consecutive shots.
We take a lot of pride in our defense, Mosqueda-Lewis said. Coach told us at halftime, You guys can’t just turn it on and off whenever you want, you have to stay consistent throughout the game.’ As soon as we came out, we knew that we had to flip the switch and make sure it stayed on the whole time.
MARYLAND 74, MICHIGAN STATE 49: In College Park, Md., Alyssa Thomas scored 28 points as the Terrapins advance to the regional semifinals for a second straight year.
The fourth-seeded Terrapins (26-7) will face top seed Connecticut. Maryland reached the round of eight a year ago.
Thomas, a two-time Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, had 18 at halftime to provide the Terrapins with an 11-point cushion. Her layup with 15 minutes left gave her 25 points and put Maryland up 46-30.
Oklahoma City Regional
TENNESSEE 68, CREIGHTON 52: In Knoxville, Tenn., Kamiko Williams scored 15 points as the Vols advanced to the regional semifinals.
Alexis Akin-Otiko scored 12 points for No. 10 seed Creighton (25-8), which was denied its first appearance in a regional semifinal. Tennessee led 35-31 early in the second half before a 13-0 run broke the game open.
OKLAHOMA 85, UCLA 72: In Columbus, Ohio, Aaryn Ellenberg scored 27 points from the perimeter and Joanna McFarland handled things inside with 20 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Sooners.
Sixth-seeded Oklahoma (24-10) will face No. 2 seed Tennessee (26-7) on Sunday.
Sharane Campbell added 19 points and Nicole Griffin had 10 for the Sooners, who never trailed after a 15-3 first-half spurt.