March 31, 2009
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TRENTON, N.J. -
Maya Moore (Lawrenceville, Ga.) scored 25 points to become the new UConn single season scoring leader as the No. 1 seed University of Connecticut women's basketball team surpassed the No. 6 seed Arizona State 83-64 in Elite Eight action of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday night at the Sovereign Bank Arena. With the win, the Huskies advance to the 2009 NCAA Women's Final Four and will face Stanford on Sunday, April 5 in the NCAA National Semifinals in St. Louis, Mo.
Moore's 25-point effort increased her season total to 712 as she surpassed Kara Wolters' UConn single-season record total of 694 to take over the top spot. Moore added nine rebounds and a 5-of-8 showing from behind the arc.
The sophomore was also named the NCAA Trenton Regional Most Valuable Player, while Tina Charles (Jamaica, N.Y.) and Renee Montgomery (St. Albans, W. Va.) joined her on the All-Trenton Regional Team.
With tonight's victory, UConn improves to 37-0, which marks its best start since going a perfect 39-0 in 2001-02. Arizona State closes out its season with a 26-9 record after tonight's loss. This is the second consecutive season and the 10th time in the program's history that the Huskies will play in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.
UConn and Arizona State traded baskets in the opening two minutes before Charles attacked the offensive glass and picked up eight quick points in the Huskies 10-0 run to make the score 14-6 at the 15:22 mark in the first half.
Turnovers hurt the Huskies in the first half as they collected 12 to the Sun Devils' five as Arizona State was able to get within three points midway through the half. The Sun Devils then cut the UConn lead to one but the Huskies used a 17-9 run to finish out the half and go into the break with a 37-28 advantage.
Charles had 10 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the first frame, while the Huskies out-rebounded the Sun Devils 24-6 in the half. The Huskies shot .583 (14-of-24) in the first 20 minutes of play and hit 3-of-7 from behind the arc to take the nine-point lead at the half. Arizona State shot .419 (13-of-31), while going 0-of-7 from three-point land, marking a key factor in their offensive efforts.
The second half saw the Huskies pull away to as much as 19 points at the with UConn's last bucket of the game as Charles hit two free throws to finish the game with 18 points and 13 rebounds, marking her 12th double-double of the season and the 37th of her career.
UConn shot .589 (33-of-56) on the night as Montgomery led the way shooting 11-of-16 from the field. Moore hit 5-of-8 from behind the arc as she netted the game high tally of 25. Arizona State finished the contest shooting .413 (26-of-63) from the field as the Sun Devils hit seven three-pointers, all coming in the second frame, to stay in the game.
Freshman Tiffany Hayes (Lakeland, Fla.) added six points, two assists and two blocked shots, while Kalana Greene (Saint Stephen, S.C.) had 10 points and nine rebounds. Montgomery's 22 points marks her 32nd game in double-figure points this season and the 107th of her career.
After today's win, UConn improves to 44-5 in NCAA Tournament play since 2000, while moving to 51-7 all-time when playing as a No. 1 seed in the tournament.
The Huskies will return to action on Sunday, April 5 as they will face a rematch of last year's Final Four appearance against No. 2 seed Stanford in the 2009 Final Four in St. Louis, Mo. on April 5-7.