UNCASVILLE, Conn. – New league, same result. It’s another championship for UConn.
Breanna Stewart scored 20 points and top-ranked Connecticut beat No. 3 Louisville 72-52 on Monday night to win the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament.
You have a goal on Oct. 15 when you start and the whole process is about that. New league, new coaches, new venue that was all exciting for us, UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. I don’t know how many conference championships the American is going to host in their lifetime, but we won the first one and there’s something special about that.
It’s the 19th conference tournament championship for the Huskies, who won their first 18 in the Big East Conference.
With the victory, UConn (34-0) becomes the 14th team to enter the NCAA tournament without a loss. It’s the sixth time that the Huskies have accomplished that feat. They’ve gone on to win the national championship four of those years.
UConn got off to a quick start, scoring the first eight points of the game. Louisville trailed 28-20 with 6 minutes left in the first half before Stewart took over.
Her three-point play started a 12-2 run to close the half. Stewart, the tournament’s MVP, had seven points during the burst as UConn led 40-22 at the break.
We always try to go on a run, Stewart said. We wanted to go into halftime on a good note and stepped up our game.
Louisville (30-4) scored the first five points in second half, but could get no closer because of Stewart and the Huskies.
Bria Hartley added 16 points and Stefanie Dolson had 10 points and 16 rebounds for the Huskies, who have won 40 straight games – the third-longest streak in school history.
Shoni Schimmel led Louisville with 20 points, but was 7 for 25 from the field. She had little help from other Cardinals players.
No. 9 BAYLOR 74, No. 7 WEST VIRGINIA 71: In Oklahoma City, Odyssey Sims overcame an ankle injury and scored 19 points to help the Bears (29-4) win the Big 12 championship game.
Bria Holmes scored 24 points and Linda Stepney added 10 for West Virginia (29-4), which had won 12 straight.
No. 18 GONZAGA 68 SAINT MARY’S 60: In Las Vegas, Haiden Palmer scored 16 points as the Bulldogs (28-4) moved on to the championship game of the West Coast Conference tournament.
Gonzaga will look to win its fifth WCC tournament championship in six years when it faces No. 2 seed BYU tonight.
No. 23 DEPAUL 100, MARQUETTE 90: In Chicago, Jasmine Penny made 10 of 11 shots and finished with 26 points as the Blue Demons (26-6) advanced to the Big East Conference tournament title game.
Top-seeded DePaul will face No. 2 seed St. John’s in the championship game today.