UConn Women Get Ready for Finals

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The UConn women's place as one of the most dominant teams ever is at stake tonight in finals of the NCAA tournament in San Antonio against Stanford.

The two teams have developed a cross-country rivalry over the past three seasons after the Cardinal beat the Huskies in the 2008 national semifinals. UConn hasn't lost since, beating Stanford twice during their NCAA-record winning streak -- including in last season's Final Four.

"We've kept them in the back of our minds," Stanford center Jayne Appel said. "They know what we're going to do, we know what they're going to do."

With a few tweaks here and there from their December loss to the Huskies, the Cardinals feel they can pull off the upset, ending UConn's 77-game winning streak and preventing its seventh national championship and second straight unbeaten season.

No team has been able to put together a 40-minute effort against UConn during its streak -- each of the Huskies' victories has been by double digits.

In the Stanford game, UConn jumped out to a 19-10 lead before star Maya Moore got in foul trouble. The Cardinals made their run with the three-time All-American on the bench.

Tuesday's championship will mark the sixth time the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the final Top 25 poll will meet for the title. The last came in 2002 when UConn beat Oklahoma in San Antonio.

"This is what we've worked for and what we dreamed of since preseason," Moore said. "We have a really good Stanford team in our way and it doesn't take a whole lot to motivate us right now. There is so much on the line right now with our individual and team goals."

UConn has made a habit of dismantling teams in rematches. Last year, the Huskies met Louisville in the championship game for the third time that season and turned it into a rout within the first few minutes.

"There are some advantages and disadvantages for playing somebody twice on both sides," coach Geno Auriemma said. "They're playing us, and they know they lost and it got away from them badly in the second half. We know we played great in the second half. Hopefully, we can do that again."

Moore has stepped up her game in the tournament, averaging 24.2 points and shooting 60 percent from the field. When the rest of the team struggled against Baylor in the national semifinals, she and AP player of the year Tina Charles took over. The pair combined for 55 of the team's 70 points.

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