Saturday's women's roundup: Auriemma wins his 100th
Albany, N.Y. — Geno Auriemma reached another milestone in record fashion.
The Hall of Famer became the second coach to achieve 100 victories in the NCAA Tournament as his UConn Huskies pulled off a record rout of Texas, 105-54, on Saturday in the Sweet 16. Auriemma joined Pat Summitt, who finished with 112 victories in her career, as the only two coaches in men's or women's basketball to reach that milestone.
"That's lots of wins, 100 wins in the NCAA Tournament," Auriemma said. "Some people don't get to play in the NCAA Tournament ever or play a couple games. We've been pretty fortunate. We didn't win anything in the NCAA in our first couple years."
The Huskies stand three victories away from a third straight national championship and 10th overall. UConn will face Dayton in the regional final.
Breanna Stewart was a key reason the Huskies set the NCAA record for margin of victory in the regionals and beyond. The junior star had 31 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
"(Today) was a lot of fun," Stewart said. "Right from the start shots were going in and we were being aggressive. … Texas has a big presence inside, big post players. We knew if we got them moving a little bit, we could get any shot we wanted."
The Huskies shot a blistering 56 percent from the field and became the eighth team to put up more than 100 points in the regionals.
"Like I said to the coaching staff at Texas, when you shoot the ball as well as we did, we're a really hard team to play against," Auriemma said.
UConn (35-1) led 26-19 midway through the first half before blowing the game open with a 44-9 run spanning the half. The burst started with 13 straight points by the Huskies.
UConn led 52-24 at the half and scored 18 points in the first 3:30 of the second half to finish off the run.
Stewart surpassed her previous NCAA Tournament best of 29 points before leaving the game for good with just over 9 minutes left. Moriah Jefferson added a career-high 25 points — hitting 10 of her 12 shots — for the Huskies, who have advanced to the regional final for 10 straight seasons. They have been to the Final Four a record seven straight years.
"I can't say enough about these two guys," Auriemma said. "It seemed like they were on a whole different level than anyone else who was playing. You almost come to expect that from Stewie at this time of year. To see Moriah do what she did today, she's come a long way in two years. I couldn't be happier for these guys."
Texas was making its first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2004. Coach Karen Aston has a young roster and the Longhorns may not have to wait long to get back. Ariel Atkins scored 11 to lead Texas (24-11). The Longhorns tried to slow the Huskies down with their big lineup of 6-foot-7 Imani Stafford-McGee and 6-5 Kelsey Lang. Aston went with the pair at the first media timeout and her team trailing 13-6. The Longhorns were within seven points with 9:36 left before the speedy Huskies made their run.
"They are a tremendous basketball team, and I say that in every sense of the word," Aston said. "They play the game at a high level on the offensive and defensive end. It was not a good day for us. We weren't patient enough to not let them have extra possessions. Our defense wasn't as connected as it needed to be."
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Dayton 82, Louisville 66: Andrea Hoover scored 26 points and seventh-seeded Dayton continued its improbable run.
Amber Deane added 15 points and Jodie Cornelie-Sigmundova had 12 and 11 rebounds for the Flyers, who won for the 11th time in the last 12 games.
The Flyers (28-6) become just the fourth No. 7 seed to advance to a regional final since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1994 and the first since Mississippi in 2007.
Myisha Hines-Allen scored all 14 of her points in the second half to lead Louisville, which finishes its season at 27-7.
Dayton led by a point at the half, but used an 11-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Deane and ran away from the Cardinals after intermission.
Maryland 65, Duke 55: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 18 of her 24 points in the second half and Laurin Mincy scored all 15 of her points in the first half for top-seeded Maryland in the regional semifinals.
Walker-Kimbrough took over the scoring load carried by Mincy as the Terrapins (33-2) reached the Elite Eight for the sixth time under coach Brenda Frese, taking down their former foe from the ACC in the process. The Terrapins had lost eight of their previous 10 games against Duke. But Maryland is 2-0 against the Blue Devils in the NCAA Tournament.
Elizabeth Williams led Duke (23-11) with 18 points and nine rebounds. Maryland will face Tennessee on Monday night for a trip to the Final Four in Tampa, Florida.
Tennessee 73, Gonzaga 69, OT: Cierra Burdick scored 22, including four late free throws for the winning points.
Burdick added 15 rebounds and Ariel Massengale scored 16 points for Tennessee (30-5), which overcome poor shooting and a 17-point deficit for the win.
Sunny Greinacher scored 24 points and Keani Albanez 20 for surprising Gonzaga (26-8), which upset third-seeded Oregon State last weekend to advance to the round of 16. That was its record eighth win as a double-digit seed in the NCAA Tournament.