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Huskies Advance to BIG EAST Semifinals with 78-48 Win Over Seton Hall

PISCATAWAY (Mar. 3, 2002) – Senior Swin Cash (McKeesport, PA) posted her 13th double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds to lead four Huskies in double figures as the No. 1 University of Connecticut women’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament with a 78-48 win over Seton Hall Sunday afternoon. UConn is now 31-0 overall this season while Seton Hall falls to 15-14.

UConn opened the game cold from the field, scoring just three points in the game’s first three and a half minutes. A three-pointer by sophomore Diana Taurasi (Chino, CA) at the 16:41 mark keyed a 14-4 spurt that would put UConn ahead, 20-8, with 10:21 remaining in the first half.

Seton Hall responded by reeling off five unanswered points before UConn could extend its lead to 29-15 at the 6:51 mark. The Pirates again would narrow the margin, trimming the UConn advantage to 10 points.

With the score 29-19 with 5:37 remaining, UConn’s transition game took over, as the Huskies scored 12 unanswered points before Seton Hall’s Naimah Smith stopped the bleeding with two free throws with 22 seconds remaining.

After a sloppy first half, UConn took a 41-21 advantage to the break despite committing 12 first-half turnovers. The story of the first stanza was UConn’s perimeter play, which accounted for 25 of UConn’s 41 points. Both senior Sue Bird (Syosset, NY) and Taurasi posted 11 points. Bird added six assists in the first half.

Seton Hall thwarted a Husky offensive attack for the first three minutes of the second half before UConn registered a devastating 21-4 run to open up its largest lead on the game at 68-29 on a three-pointer by sophomore Maria Conlon (Derby, CT) at the 9:43 mark.

From there, UConn would roll to the 78-48 victory and advance to the BIG EAST semifinals, where it will face Villanova. The Wildcats advanced by virtue of a 68-49 win over Miami earlier on Sunday.

UConn shot 48.3 percent from the field in the game compared to a 29.0 percentage for the Pirates, who posted a dismal 19.4 percentage in the first half. Senior Asjha Jones (Piscataway, NJ) led all scorers with 16 points while Taurasi finished with 14 points. Bird had 13 points and eight assists.

For Seton Hall, Melissa Langelier recorded 13 points while Ashley Bush added eight points and 12 rebounds.

The UConn-Villanova BIG EAST Tournament semifinal game will tip at 6 p.m. tomorrow evening at the Louis Brown Athletic Center on the campus of Rutgers University, host of the 2002 BIG EAST Tournament.