Crystal Dangerfield scored 19 of her 21 points in the first half, and top-seeded UConn routed No. 2 South Carolina 94-65 on Monday night to reach the Final Four for the 11th consecutive year.
The Albany Regional final featured the past two NCAA champions in a rare occurrence for the women’s tournament. The Huskies (36-0) quickly turned it into a mismatch with stellar 3-point shooting. UConn went right at South Carolina in the opening quarter, hitting nine of its 14 shots — including 5 of 6 from beyond the arc — to go up 30-12.
Katie Lou Samuelson had nine points, including a four-point play, during the first 10 minutes. Dangerfield capped the opening burst with a 3-pointer from the top of the key just before the end of the quarter.
The Huskies stayed hot from behind the arc, connecting on 9 of 10 3-pointers in the half — including a perfect 5 for 5 by Dangerfield.
High Point hiring Smith?
Tubby Smith is back in the college coaching ranks after a brief hiatus.
He has agreed to take over as head men’s basketball coach at High Point, said a person familiar with the situation. Smith played for High Point from 1969-73 and was fired two weeks ago by Memphis.
The person spoke to the Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity. The school has scheduled a news conference Tuesday on campus to introduce its new coach.
It’s the seventh Division I head coaching job for the 66-year-old Smith and his fourth since 2013. He went 40-26 in two seasons with the Tigers, including 21-13 this season, but was fired amid dropping attendance and donations to the athletic department.
Big UM payday looms
Derek Stevens, the Michigan native, Michigan alum and owner of the D Las Vegas casino, is two wins away from a $1.025-million payout. Stevens plunked down a $25,000 wager at the neighboring Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino at the start of the NCAA Tournament, picking the Wolverines to win the national title.
CMU’s Moore honored
Central Michigan senior forward Tinara Moore, Southgate Anderson High School alum earned an honorable mention in AP’s 2017-18 All-America honors. Moore is the reigning Mid-America Conference Player of the Year.
She led No. 11 ranked CMU to its first Sweet 16 berth in program history, where the run ended Saturday against Oregon.
Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. says he is declaring for the NBA draft. The 6-foot-10 forward made the announcement on Instagram on Monday “after talking it over with my coaches and my family.”
... Ohio State star forward Keita Bates-Diop, the Big Ten’s player of the year, is headed to the NBA following a breakout season.
... Tennessee State has hired Illinois State assistant Brian “Penny” Collins as its men’s basketball coach.
... Iowa point guard Connor McCaffery has been granted a hardship waiver by the Big Ten, leaving him with four seasons of eligibility remaining.
... Michael Finke and Te’Jon Lucas plans to leave the Illinois program.
... Minnesota power forward Davonte Fitzgerald will transfer to another program for his final season of college eligibility.
... Syracuse forward Matthew Moyer, who started 20 games as a redshirt freshman, says he’s transferring.