<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Dog House]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/blogs/dog-house http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usWed, 24 Aug 2016 09:44:15 -0400Wed, 24 Aug 2016 09:44:15 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[UConn Basketball Stars Help Team USA Overwhelm Canada]]> Mon, 01 Aug 2016 11:55:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_846396073363.jpg

Just after the United States routed Canada by 40 points, Geno Auriemma and his UConn greats posed for a group photo on the court.

The five former UConn players, who helped the Huskies win 10 of their 11 national championships, received one last rousing ovation from the crowd. A fitting send off for the team from their adoring Connecticut fans.

Auriemma gave those same fans an opportunity to cheer their former stars early on, starting all five. It was virtually the same starting lineup he used in a win over France on Wednesday. The only change was putting Breanna Stewart into the group instead of Elena Delle Donne.

The Hall of Fame coach said it was the right thing to do.

"I hadn't had the same starting five in any games we played," he said after the 83-43 victory Friday night. "I thought to myself, I asked Cheryl (Reeve), if you were head coach instead of me, you'd do it, because it's the right thing to do. She said OK. I'm not going to worry about it and did it. It was fun for the kids and the fans."

The players really didn't notice it until the opening tip.

"When you look at it, you have a good piece of history out there with Sue (Bird) and Diana (Taurasi) representing the early success and then Stewie on the other end," said Maya Moore, who helped the Huskies win two titles. "It was really cool and really cool for the fans."

The U.S. will aim for an unprecedented sixth consecutive gold at the Olympics. The Americans have one more exhibition game Sunday at Madison Square Garden against Australia, which beat France 76-67 on Friday night.

Taurasi, Bird, Moore, Stewart and Tina Charles struggled a bit offensively when they were in, but defensively they shut down Canada. After struggling in their first two exhibition games in the first half, the Americans jumped all over their neighbors to the north.

The U.S. only had a three-point lead on the select team in their pre-Olympic tour opener Monday and led France by one Wednesday at the half. The Americans wouldn't let that happen against Canada.

The Canadians missed 13 of their first 14 shots and couldn't recover from the slow start, trailing by 13 after one quarter and 24 at the half.

"I thought defensively we were about as good as we can be given the short amount of work that we've done," Auriemma said. "That kind of led to a bunch of other things."

Taurasi scored 14 points, and Delle Donne added 12 to lead the U.S.

Auriemma had always seemed to shy away from playing all his UConn players at the same time during the 2012 London Olympics and the last two world championships. He rarely had five UConn players on the court in either of those major championships.

But just as he did starting Delle Donne in Delaware on Wednesday, he gave the fans one more opportunity to cheer the local favorites. The loud crowd gave the former Huskies a great ovation in pregame introductions and then cheered every one of their plays.

"When we get to Rio, the best five players for that situation will be on the floor regardless of where they come from," Auriemma said.

The offensive highlight of the first half came from Delle Donne, who threw a nifty no-look pass to Taurasi for a layup.

Canada finished fifth in the world championship in 2014 and will look to improve on that in Rio. The Canadians have never won a medal at the Olympics in women's basketball and hope to change that with a nice mix of veterans and youth.

One of those talented young players is Kia Nurse, who is a junior at UConn. Nurse help lead Canada to the gold medal at the Pan-Am Games last summer. She got a nice hand from the crowd in pregame introductions, but had a rough game. She was scoreless in 25 minutes, missing all three of her shots.

This was Nurse's second game back for Canada. She had sports hernia surgery after helping UConn win a fourth consecutive national championship in April.

"I can't say how impressed and pleased we are that she's come back as well as she has," Canada coach Lisa Thomaidis said. "She's such a competitor, so tough, nothing surprises us anymore with her."

Canada will play France in the opener at the Garden on Sunday.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[US Women's Basketball Team Has a Decidedly UConn Flavor]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 13:24:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GenoStewart-GettyImages-468853790.jpg

Coach Geno Auriemma wanted to have the best talent available to him.

So it was no coincidence that when the U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team was constructed, those in positions of responsibility within basketball operations were able to find a five-person unit with whom Auriemma had long-standing ties.

When the team attempts to win its sixth straight Olympic gold medal in Rio, the squad will have a decidedly University of Connecticut flair. 

Five members — Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Breanna Stewart — played for Auriemma at UConn. All won titles with the Huskies. Bird, Charles and Moore each won two titles; Taurasi was a three-time National Champion while Stewart won championships in all four of her years at Storrs, Connecticut.  

"They’re on the team because they’re really good," Auriemma said at the White House in May, according to USA Today. "They’re five of the best players in the world, and no matter who is coaching, they’d be on the team. I’m just fortunate enough to be the one coaching them."

The five are significant components for their WNBA squads. Bird (12.5 points and six assists per game) and Stewart (19.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game) play together on the Seattle Storm; Charles averages 21.4 points and 9.6 rebounds for the New York Liberty. Moore has complied a 19.4 points /5.2 rebounds/4.4 assist slash line for the the Minnesota Lynx, while Taurasi, a star for the Phoenix Mercury, is averaging 18.9 points and 4.3 assists.  

Four of the five have represented America in Olympic competition. 

The Rio Games will be the fourth Olympics for Bird and Taurasi and the second straight Olympics for Charles and Moore

Stewart is the only member of the Huskies' Olympic outfit to never participate in the games, according to her Team USA profile. It bears noting that she's 21 and was selected first overall by the Storm in April.

"Well, first of all when I saw that [U.S. Women's Basketball National Team Director Carol Callan] was calling, I had a mini heart attack. Because I'm like, 'What's going to happen? I don't know! I don't know!' And then I answered it. … When she congratulated me, I was speechless. I did not know what to say," Stewart told The Hartford Courant after the Olympic team was announced in April.

"I've had a lot of great things happen throughout my career, but when you look at this and when you look at the opportunity to be able to go to the Olympics, that was my biggest goal in basketball," she said.

"It was the highest goal that I had set for myself. … Winning a fourth national championship, getting drafted, going to the Storm, and now this." Stewart added. "It's really amazing. I can't wait to get going and see what happens."

While his most recent star is looking forward to Rio, Auriemma’s focus is twofold:

Winning gold and enjoying the Olympics.

"It's only one game, it's not best of five, it's not best of seven. You have to play great every night and all it takes is one night where the other team plays better and you come home with something less than a gold medal," Auriemma told the Courant in July. 

"The [2012 London Summer Olympics] I was so fixated on, 'We have to win the gold medal, we have to win the gold medal,' and probably didn't really experience as much as I could have throughout the rest of the tournament," he said. "Going in this time, I want to do a much better job of playing it one day at a time and taking it one day at a time."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bobby Puyol on Wuerffel Trophy Watch List]]> Wed, 13 Jul 2016 14:43:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/uconn+football_generic+shot.jpg

University of Connecticut senior kicker Bobby Puyol has earned a spot on the 2016 Danny Wuerffel Trophy Watch List.

The Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS football player who “best combines exemplary community service with academic and athletic achievement.” It is the only major college football award that has the majority of voting focused on community service.

Puyol, a North Palm Beach, Florida native, has been UConn’s primary kicker for the last two seasons and connected on 16 of 18 goal attempts and 21 of 24 PATs last year. He connected on seven of his last eight field goal attempts that season, including a career-long 52-yard attempt to set a St. Petersburg Bowl record.

Puyol is a member of the UConn Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and president of UConn campus chapter of Athletes in Action. He is also involved in the Goal Line Project, a program where football student athletes mentor elementary school students in academics and athletics.

Puyol was also named to the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List.

Three others Huskies were named to watch lists this preseason – Jamar Summers for the Jim Thorpe Award, the Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, redshirt senior Justin Wain for the Ray Guy Award and redshirt sophomore Ryan Crozier for the Rimington Trophy.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Ollie Opens Court for Children of All Abilities]]> Mon, 06 Jun 2016 19:09:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin+ollie+wheelchair+court+kourt_1200.jpg

UConn men's basketball coach, Kevin Ollie, was working on a different court Monday, opening his first wheelchair accessible basketball court.

Kevin's Kourt held its inaugural clinic at the Boys and Girls club of Hartford. Coach Ollie hosted "A Day of Inclusivity" encouraging kids of all abilities to help break in the court.

"If you ever had a dream and see it come to life this is me now," Ollie said. "It's about giving back that you give the gift but you also ultimately get a gift because you find somebody that you can really be a blessing and a miracle to."

Ryan Martin, a professional wheelchair basketball athlete from Somers led a clinic for the kids after the ceremony.

"When you have individuals with disabilities often times they're not included," Martin said. "What this court signifies is inclusivity and the option for individuals with disabilities to compete with their peers whether they're disabled or not."

Something Ryan knows all too well after being born with spina bifida and losing his legs when he was 2 years old.

"I was the only individual in my school growing up with a disability," said Martin. "And so in a way I was kind of ostracized and I was doing my own little thing but sports allowed me to stick out for 'wow Ryan's really able to do cool things like we are able to do.'"

Coach Ollie says what makes Kevin's Kourt so great is its ability to level the playing field between a child with a disability and one without, and that he has big plans to create many more courts.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Baseball Heads to NCAA Tournament]]> Tue, 31 May 2016 12:51:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Baseball-Bat-Generic.jpg

The UConn baseball team defeated Houston to win the American Athletic Conference title on Sunday.

It is the team's first title since joining The American and fourth overall conference title in school history, according to UConn Athletics.

The 7-2 win over the Cougars in Clearwater, Florida, earned the Huskies the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It will be the team's 19th-ever appearance in the tournament, but the first since 2013, according to UConn Athletics.

UConn learned on Monday it will face Georgia Tech in Gainsville, Florida, on June 3 for its opening series in the tournament.

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<![CDATA[Brimah, Purvis Will Return to UConn for 2016-17 Season]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 17:37:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_1603172016516064.jpg

Center Amida Brimah and guard Rodney Purvis will return to UConn for their senior season in 2016-17, the school's assistant athletic director said. 

In April, Brimah and Pruvis, submitted their names to the 2016 NBA Draft in order to be able to work out for professional teams and receive feedback on their draft status.

However, both players hired an agent in order to complete the removal of paperwork by May 25 in order to retain their college eligibility, the school said. 

Daniel Hamilton, the third Huskie submitted to the NBA Draft, has retained an agent and will be ending his college basketball career. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Stefanie Dolson Comes Out as LGBT Athlete]]> Wed, 11 May 2016 17:37:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/stefanie+dolson+mystics+lgbt.jpg

Former UConn star Stefanie Dolson has come out as an LGBT athlete in the latest edition of ESPN The Magazine.

Dolson, who now plays for the Washington Mystics in the WNBA, revealed the news in the May 23 WNBA issue of the magazine.

"There are a lot of girls who struggle with who they are. We need people who are out so that those girls know it's OK to be themselves, regardless of stereotypes," Dolson said in the article. By being open, I give them someone to look up to, and however they identify, I can inspire them to support equality and LGBT issues."

Dolson said she never considered the possibility of being gay until after her first WNBA season when a woman approached her in a coffee shop in Washington, D.C..

In February, she posted a of her with a woman kissing her cheek and the caption "Love doesn't happen often, but when it does there's no better feeling."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Well Represented on 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 18:16:29 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/2016++Olympic+sue+bird.jpg

The 2016 U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team will have a strong connection to the University of Connecticut.

UConn head women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma is the head coach of the U.S. Olympic team and several of its members have played for him at Storrs.

UConn alums Sue Bird, of the Seattle Storm, and Diana Taurasi, of the Phoenix Mercury, are two of the three captains leading the team. Tamika Catchings, of Indiana Fever, is the other captain.

Former UConn players and 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tina Charles, of the New York Liberty, and Maya Moore, of the Minnesota Lynx, will be back, and UConn star Breanna Stewart is joining the team for the first time.

Another first-time member of the team is Elena Delle Donne, of the Chicago Sky, who was briefly a UConn Husky.

The 2016 U.S. Olympic Team also includes two-time Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles, both of the Minnesota Lynx, as well as 2012 Olympic gold medalists Angel McCoughtry, of the Atlanta Dream, and Lindsay Whalen, of the Minnesota Lynx.

Brittney Griner, of the Phoenix Mercury, is another first-time Olympian.

USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee has chosen the team, which is pending approval by the USOC.

“Obviously it’s always incredibly difficult to try to identify 12 players from a group of so many great players,” Auriemma said in a statement posted on the USA Basketball Web site.

He has led the USA National Team to a 23-0 record and gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Championships.

“The committee had a really difficult job this year, because it's the first time in a long time that a lot more than 12 players could easily have been named to that team. But the 12 that were named are a great combination of Olympic gold-medal experience, multiple gold medal winners and great leaders,” Auriemma said in a statement.

He said an influx of young players will be a great benefit this year and will set the stage going forward.

“They will be the future of the USA Basketball Women's National Team,” he said.

DePaul University’s Doug Bruno, the Minnesota Lynx’ Cheryl Reeve and University of South Carolina’s Dawn Staley will assist Auriemma during the 2016 Olympic Games.

The 2016 Olympic Games will be held from Aug. 5 to 21 in Rio de Janeiro.



Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Image]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Women's Coach Auriemma Returns From Hospital]]> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 15:42:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-519287790.jpg

University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball head coach Geno Auriemma returned from the hospital on Tuesday morning, the school's associate sports director confirmed.

"He is feeling better and enjoying some time with his family," Pat McKenna, UConn's associate director of athletic communications said. ". Coach Auriemma and his family wish to express their appreciation and gratitude to everyone for their thoughts and prayers."

Auriemma was taken to the hospital on Saturday morning, according to UConn officials.

University officials confirm that Auriemma decided to deplane a flight at Bradley International Airport because he was not feeling well. The coach had been ill for several days prior to the incident, according to the university.

Earlier this month Auriemma missed a parade celebrating his team’s fourth consecutive national title due to illness.

His family asks for privacy during this time. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Women's Head Coach Geno Auriemma Hospitalized ]]> Sat, 16 Apr 2016 20:22:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-519287790.jpg

University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball head coach Geno Auriemma was taken to the hospital Saturday morning, according to UConn officials.

University officials confirm that Auriemma decided to deplane a flight at Bradley International Airport because he was not feeling well. Auriemma was transported to the hospital for observation where he is resting. The coach has been ill for several days, according to the university.

No other details about his illness have been released.

Earlier this month Auriemma missed a parade celebrating his team’s fourth consecutive national title due to illness.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Huskies Reflect on Fourth Win in a Row]]> Sun, 10 Apr 2016 14:27:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/UConn_Huskies_Reflect_on_Fourth_Win_in_a_Row_1200x675_662967363580.jpg The seniors on UConn's women's basketball team thanked the fans for supporting them and making the trip for the rally in Hartford. ]]> <![CDATA[Crowd Heads to Hartford for UConn Victory Parade and Rally]]> Sun, 10 Apr 2016 13:48:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/UConn+pride+Sunday.JPG

Fans of the UConn women’s basketball team made their way to Hartford on Sunday to celebrate the team for winning a fourth consecutive national title and the 11th national title overall.

Some Husky fans started lining up six hours early.

“We love our girls, and we want to support them, and we want the best seats in the house,” Andrea Murphy, of Norwich, said.

“You gotta get the best seat, and you gotta get here early," said John Calandrelli, of Enfield, who lined up at 7 a.m. "I’ve been to a lot of these championship rallies.”

“I just love the way they play. They’ve got so many good players and they just know how to get it done,” Judy Vlcek, of Niantic, said.

Lia Murphy, of Salem, is such a big fan that she wants to be like the team and become a basketball player when she grows up.

John Calandrelli, of Enfield, wants to be there to see the seniors, whose college basketball careers are ending in such a remarkable way.

I like to see the reaction of the seniors, because girls come and go and that’s important to experience their joy because it’s so short lived,” he said.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said Coach Geno Auriemma and the entire UConn women’s basketball team have made our state extraordinarily proud and that's something fans definitely agree with.

Unfortunately, Auriemma could not be there because he was not feeling well.

A statement from the governor’s office said no state or city funding was used for this event.

Parade and rally organizers are relying on private donations and business sponsorships to finance the event.






Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Connecticut Celebrates UConn Huskies With Rally, Parade]]> Sun, 10 Apr 2016 23:12:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/parade+xl+sign_uconn.jpg

Thousands of UConn Huskies fans turned out in Hartford on Sunday afternoon to celebrate the UConn women’s basketball team, which made history by winning a fourth consecutive national title and the 11th national title overall.

Police estimate around 20,000 fans attended.

People dressed in UConn gear and holding signs lined Trinity, Jewell, Asylum and Trumbull streets and gathered for a rally after the parade, where the confetti filled the air and the seniors on the team thanked the crowd for being there and sending them off in a celebratory way.

"It's been an amazing four years here for me. I could never imagine that I would come to Connecticut and actually win four in a row. It's always been a goal, but to accomplish it with you guys has been amazing," Moriah Jefferson said.

The drew applause from the crowd.

Breanna Stewart, who won the John R. Wooden Award as one of the national college basketball players of the year on Friday night, thanked everyone for making the trip to celebrate with the team, especially on a day that was a bit cool for April.

 "Once a Husky, always a Husky," she said, which prompted a UConn cheer. 

Head Coach Geno Auriemma was not able to attend the event because he is sick, so associate head coach Chris Dailey spoke on his behalf and thanked everyone who supported the team and the parade.

 "We're just really appreciative of the fans and the support," she said.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Companies Offer Deals to Celebrate UConn Win]]> Wed, 06 Apr 2016 13:26:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/UCONN_SALUTE_GettyImages-519287984.jpg

Companies are offering deals today to celebrate the UConn women’s basketball team's history-making win last night.

Dunkin' Donuts is celebrating by offering a free medium coffee today with any purchase through the mobile app. 

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Follow the UConn Women's Hoops Twitter account for updates.

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MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering a MOOYAH Burger and small Hand-Cut Fries for $4, which is over 50 percent off the menu price at all three locations in the state.

The locations are at 722 N. Main Street in West Hartford at Crossroads Plaza Shopping Center, at 1 Dog Lane, Suite 108 in Mansfield at UConn and at 24 Fenn Road in Newington at Fenn Road Plaza.

Moe's Southwest Grill is offfering $3 burritos today at participating locations.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[UConn Huskies Return to Connecticut With Another Trophy]]> Wed, 06 Apr 2016 18:39:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/UCONN_TROPHY_AP_910167903128.jpg

The UConn women’s basketball team made history last night by winning their fourth title in a row, and their 11th overall, and today is a day of celebration in Connecticut.

Dunkin' Donuts is celebrating by offering a free medium coffee today with any purchase through the mobile app. 

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In Storrs, the 2016 NCAA national champions were welcomed back into their home state from Indiana. 

The team would have taken a victory lap around campus to celebrate their 82-51 win over Syracuse last night, then head to a championship rally at Gampel Pavilion, but the victory lap has been canceled because of cold weather. 

For the rally, the doors to Gampel Pavilion opened at 4:30 p.m., with the UConn band and cheerleaders performing. The rally began around 5:30 p.m. 

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Follow the UConn Women's Hoops Twitter account for updates.

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Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: UConn Wins 4th Consecutive National Title]]> Wed, 06 Apr 2016 08:16:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*121/AP_997108429261.jpg The 82-51 win over Syracuse on Tuesday gave UConn the fourth straight national championship.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Watch Party for UConn Title Game at Gampel Today]]> Tue, 05 Apr 2016 07:33:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/uconn+jonathan+husky_1200.jpg

People who didn't make it to Indianapolis to cheer on the UConn Huskies, will have a chance to watch the national championship game with fellow fans at Gampel Pavilion tonight.

The doors open at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free, but you will need a ticket to get in. This is the first time the school has required tickets for entry to a game watch event at Gampel.

Fans can pick up tickets at the UConn Athletic Ticket Office in Storrs between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Remaining tickets will be distributed at the door, according to UConn.

The Huskies are going for their fourth-straight title as they take on the Syracuse Orange Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Seniors Thank Fans at Send Off]]> Thu, 31 Mar 2016 23:25:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/UConn_Seniors_Thank_Fans_at_Send_Off_1200x675_655995459585.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Geno Appreciates Fan Send Off]]> Thu, 31 Mar 2016 16:30:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Geno_Appreciates_Fan_Send_Off_1200x675_655987267981.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[UConn Advances With Record Rout, Beats Miss State 98-38 ]]> Sat, 26 Mar 2016 16:02:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/breanna+stewart+uconn+duquesne.jpg

 

Breanna Stewart had 22 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks to lead No. 1 UConn to a 98-38 record rout of fifth-seeded Mississippi State on Saturday.

 

The win was the 72nd straight for UConn (35-0) and left the Huskies three victories shy of an unprecedented fourth consecutive national championship. Their road to that historic title got a bit easier Friday night when top seeds South Carolina and Notre Dame both lost in the Sweet 16.

Stewart and the Huskies were determined to make sure the upset trend didn't continue Saturday. The best team in the nation put together one of its most dominant games during this run, needing just four minutes to quash any thoughts of the Bulldogs pulling off the upset.

The victory supplanted the record 51-point win the Huskies had over Texas in the regional semifinals last year that set the NCAA record for margin of victory in the regional rounds and beyond.

UConn will face either the Longhorns or UCLA in the regional final Monday night.

Stewart, the two-time AP player of the year, got the game started with a 3-pointer and UConn was off and running. The Huskies scored the game's first 13 points, including 11 by Stewart and Morgan Tuck.

A basket by Mississippi State (28-8) did little to turn the tide as UConn scored 19 of the final 21 points of the quarter, including Moriah Jefferson's basket that just beat the buzzer.

UConn kept it going in the second quarter, converting turnovers and missed shots into easy baskets. The Huskies shredded the Mississippi State defense, which entered giving up just 54.7 points a game. UConn surpassed that with 1:40 left in the first half and led 61-12 at the break. The Huskies fell two points short of the NCAA record for points in a half in the regionals or later. The Bulldogs points were the second fewest for a half in an NCAA regional semifinal, one more than Texas Tech had against Rutgers in 1999.

Stewart finished the opening 20 minutes with 18 points and 13 rebounds and UConn shot 65 percent (24 for 37) from the field.

The onslaught continued in the second half as UConn extended its advantage to 68. Coach Geno Auriemma took out Stewart and Jefferson for good with 3:52 left in the third quarter to a loud ovation from the nearly 9,000 fans in attendance. Tuck, who finished with 21 points, left soon after.

Victoria Vivians, who came into the game averaging 17.4 points, was held to six. She missed 12 of her 15 shots.

TIP-INS:

Mississippi State: The 28 wins are the most in program history, besting last season's 27. ... The Bulldogs fell to 0-11 all-time against No. 1 teams. ... Morgan William fell three assists short of breaking the school's single-season record. ... This was only the Bulldogs second appearance in the Sweet 16. They also made it in 2010.

UConn: The Huskies have won 21 straight NCAA games, tying Tennessee for the longest streak. UConn won 20 consecutive games from 2002-05 before falling in the Sweet 16 to Stanford. ... UConn's senior class has won 148 games over their four years. They are two short of the NCAA record set by the Huskies' class of 2011. ... Katie Lou Samuelson became the third UConn freshman ever to have two 20-point NCAA games, joining Maya Moore and Stewart. She finished with 21 points. Samuelson had 22 in the opening round against Robert Morris.

DISHING THIEF

Jefferson moved up to second on UConn's all-time steals and assists list passing Jen Rizzotti in both categories. The senior guard had four assists and four steals on Saturday, giving her 638 assists and 350 steals — one more than Rizzotti in both categories.

ALMOST RECORD BREAKING

The low for points in a NCAA regional semifinal and beyond is 35 by St. Bonaventure against Notre Dame in 2012. The Bulldogs passed that with about a minute left.



Photo Credit: AP Photo]]>