April 5, 2009
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. -
The No. 1 seed University of Connecticut women's basketball team held Stanford scoreless during a span of 7:49 and used a 13-0 run to open the second half of play to take a convincing 83-64 victory over the No. 2 seed Stanford in the Huskies' national semifinal game on Sunday night at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. With the win, the Huskies will meet BIG EAST foe Louisville in the 2009 NCAA Women's Championship game on Tuesday night.
The victory gives UConn a 38-0 record, marking its best since going a perfect 39-0 in 2001-02 season. Stanford finishes its season with a 33-5 record after the loss. The Huskies also move to 4-4 all-time against Stanford, including a 2-2 mark in NCAA Tournament games.
The Huskies dominated in the second half on both ends of the court, shooting .552 (16-of-29) from the floor, including 4-of-7 from behind the arc, while holding the Cardinal scoreless in the first 5:26 of the second frame.
Renee Montgomery (St. Albans, W. Va.) led the Huskies with her NCAA tournament game-high 26 points for her fifth straight double-figure point effort and her 33rd this season. Maya Moore (Lawrenceville, Ga.) added 24 points marking her 29th career game with 20-plus points and her 16th this season.
UConn opened tonight's contest with an 11-4 run but Stanford's Jayne Appel brought the Cardinal back as she picked up eight points to help Stanford take their first lead of the game at 14-13 with 10:46 remaining in the first half.
The Huskies took back the lead using a 22-6 run in a span of 6:58 to take a 35-20 lead with 3:09 to go in the half and stretch to its largest of the frame at 15 points.
Montgomery led UConn with 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the floor in the first half as the Huskies went into the break with a 37-24 lead. The Huskies shot .441 (15-of-34) from the floor in the frame and held the Cardinal to a .414 (12-of-29) showing.
Stanford also was scoreless from behind the arc and free throw line in the first half as it recorded just three attempts from three-point land. Appel scored half of her team's 24-first frame points as Stanford picked up 18 of their points in the paint.
UConn opened the second half with a 13-0 run before Stanford netted its first points of the half at the 14:34 mark on an Appel layup. Stanford missed their first seven attempts in the second frame and took 5:26 to score their first point.
The Huskies held the Cardinal scoreless in the last 2:18 of the first half and continued its defensive dominance in the early minutes of the second to keep Stanford without a point during a time span of 7:49.
Montgomery shot 11-of-22 on the night and dished out six assists, while Moore added eight rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot as she played 38 minutes in tonight's contest. The Huskies finished the night shooting .492 (31-of-63) from the field and .381 (8-of-21) from three-point range, while Stanford could not out-do the UConn offensive but still carried out a .419 (26-of-62) showing from the floor.
The Huskies recorded their largest lead of the night at the 12:06 mark in the second half as Moore hit a jumper in transition to put the Huskies up by 31 at 60-29.
Tina Charles (Jamaica, N.Y.) grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds on the night and added eight points, while freshman Tiffany Hayes (Lakeland, Fla.) shot 3-of-5 from behind the arc and netted 11 points.
Kalana Greene (Saint Stephen, S.C.) rounded out the four Huskies that scored in double figures as she finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
After today's win, UConn improves to 70-15 all-time in NCAA Tournament games and 45-5 in NCAA Tournament games played this decade.
The Huskies will take on Louisville on Tuesday, April 7 in the 2009 National Championship game at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Tip for the championship is set for 8:42 p.m. (EST).