#1 Seed Connecticut Huskies 91 #9 Seed Saint Joseph’s Hawks 52
If the Saint Joseph’s Hawks were going to pull off the monumental upset they could not let the University of Connecticut Huskies get off to a fast start. UConn scored the first ten points of the game. By the eight and a half-minute mark all five Huskies starters scored. There would be no upset and no doubt as to the outcome at that point. The top-ranked and number one seed Connecticut advanced to the Sweet 16 in the Lincoln Region with an efficient effort defeating Saint Joseph’s 91 – 52 at the Gampel Pavilion. UConn forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis registered the third triple-double in program history scoring 20 points, taking down 10 rebounds, and handing out 10 assists.
After racing out to the lead the Huskies and the Hawks played somewhat even. A three-pointer by senior guard Erin Shields brought Saint Joe’s to within 11 points at 24 – 13 with 11:47 to play in the half. Connecticut responded by going on a 17 – 3 run over the next five and half minutes to lead 41 – 16. The score at halftime was 50 – 26.
The second half started with UConn scoring the first 10 points.
At the 6:43 mark Mosqueda-Lewis grabbed a rebound to post her triple-double.
All of the Huskies starters scored in double-figures led by forward Breanna Stewart with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Bria Hartley added 20 points. Center Stefanie Dolson scored 17 points and guard Moriah Jefferson chipped in 11 points. UConn shot 55.6% for the game (35 for 63), and went 10 of 20 from beyond the arc.
Shields along with forward Sarah Fairbanks scored 12 points apiece. Shields, playing her last collegiate game, was 4 for 12 from the field and was good on 4 of 11 three-pointers. Junior guard Natasha Cloud had 10 points and 6 assists. Senior forward Ilze Gotfrida rounded out the double figures scorers with 10. Saint Joseph’s was limited to 34.9% shooting (22 for 63), and 6 of 16 from distance. Fairbanks and junior forward Ashley Robinson grabbed 5 rebounds each to lead the Hawks. Seniors Kelsey Berger, with 2 points, and Ilze Gotfrida also finished their careers.
UConn won their 36th game of the season without a loss, and moves on to the Sweet 16 to meet BYU. Coach Geno Auriemma has this team pointing toward a national title. If form holds, if, the championship game would be against also undefeated, and former Big East rival, Notre Dame in Nashville.
Saint Joe’s ends the season with a 23 – 10 record. The team recorded an NCAA Tournament win, and Coach Cindy Griffin will look for more next year.