Women’s Basketball

Roundup: UConn women rout Kentucky

UConn’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (23) denies Bria Gross.
UConn’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (23) denies Bria Gross.

Connecticut is headed back to a familiar place — the Final Four.

Breanna Stewart scored 21 points and Kaleena Mos­queda-Lewis added 17 to help top-seeded UConn rout Kentucky, 83-53, Monday night at Bridgeport, Conn., and advance to a record sixth straight national semifinal.

The Huskies will face either Notre Dame or Duke in the national semifinals on Sunday in New Orleans. The Irish and Blue Devils play Tuesday night. UConn (33-4) broke a tie with Stanford (2008-12), LSU (2004-08), and itself (2000-04) by reaching the Final Four again.


It was the second straight season that UConn beat Kentucky in the regional finals. The Huskies topped the Wildcats by 15 last year 105 miles away in Kingston, R.I.

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Kentucky stayed close for the first 10 minutes with their ‘‘40 minutes of dread’’ defense. Then UConn turned up its own defensive intensity.

The Huskies trailed, 23-22, with just nine minutes left in the first half.

That’s when Stewart — honored as the outstanding player of the Bridgeport Regional — and UConn’s ‘‘no-name’’ defense took over allowing 3 points the rest of the half. Kentucky missed 13 of its final 14 shots in the half with the only make coming when Jelleah Sidney banked in a 3-pointer from the wing.

‘‘We’re either right on point, we do everything right or we get a little bit off kilter and lose our composure a little bit,’’ UConn coach Geno Auriemma said.


‘‘Once we got into our rhythm and our tempo, we just played good basketball.’’

While UConn was playing lockdown defense, Stewart was dominating on the offensive end.

The 6-foot-4-inch star, who was the national high school player of the year last season, scored 9 points and had a vicious two-handed block during that closing run.

After Sidney’s 3-pointer, Stewart converted a 3-point play. UConn led, 48-26, at the half. Kentucky couldn’t get within 20 in the second half.

California 65, Georgia 62 — Layshia Clarendon scored 17 of her 25 points in the second half and overtime, and the Golden Bears rallied from down 10 with less than seven minutes left in regulation to beat the Lady Bulldogs in the Spokane (Wash.) Regional final and advance to the Final Four for the first time in school history.


Clarendon and the second-seeded Golden Bears became the first team from the western US other than Stanford to reach the Final Four since Long Beach State in 1988. They did it with a gritty rally down the stretch and big shots by Clarendon, Afure Jemerigbe, and Talia Caldwell.

Jemerigbe hit a 3-pointer with 2:48 left in overtime to give California a 59-55 lead and Clarendon added a putback for a 61-55 advantage with 1:26 remaining.

Jemerigbe finished with 14 points and Caldwell added 10.

Shacobia Barbee led Georgia with 14 points.