The Connecticut Huskies halted the impressive run of the Louisville Cardinals in the 2013 Women’s NCAA Tournament national finals on Tuesday in New Orleans.
Knowing that the Cardinals are capable of pulling surprises against heavily-favored teams, the Huskies took control early and never slowed down to score a dominating 93-60 win over the Cardinals in their title showdown.
The title-clinching win gave the Huskies their eighth women’s basketball national title – all of it under famed coach Geno Auriemma, who also tied Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt for the most number of titles in women’s basketball history.
Auriemma said: “The only person I compare myself to is Pat Summitt and to be there in that spot with her means a lot to me. The fact that I tied Pat Summitt’s record puts you in the category of the greatest women’s basketball coach that ever lived.”
Breanna Stewart had another stellar performance as the freshman finished with 23 points and nine rebounds to go along with three assists and three steals, while Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 18 points and nine rebounds.
For her impressive performance, Stewart, who also scored 29 points in their Final Four win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, was named as the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, becoming only the fourth freshman to bag the award.
Stewart said: “This is unbelievable. This is what we’ve thought about since the beginning of the season. And now to be here and actually win it, it’s a great feeling and I don’t think it’s going to set in for a while. I just played really confident and stopped thinking. When I second-guess myself, nothing good comes out of that.”
The loss ended the remarkable run of the Cardinals, who scored three-straight upsets on their way to the finals. The fifth-seeded Cardinals stunned the top overall seed Baylor Lady Bears in the Sweet 16, defeated the second-seeded Tennessee Lady Volunteers in the Elite Eight, and the California Golden Bears in the Final Four.
“The run we went on was remarkable and something I’ll always remember. We’re walking out with our head high and proud of what we’ve done,” said Louisville coach Jeff Walz after the game.