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UConn women stay perfect, to play for 9th title

Updated 11:08 pm, Sunday, April 6, 2014

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  • Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart (30) celebrates during the second half of the semifinal game against Stanford in the Final Four of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut won 75.56. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Photo: AP
    Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart (30) celebrates during the second half of the semifinal game against Stanford in the Final Four of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Connecticut won 75.56. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Photo: AP

 

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Breanna Stewart had 18 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks to lead the top-ranked Huskies to a 75-56 victory over No. 6 Stanford Sunday in the NCAA national semifinals before 17,548 at Bridgestone Arena. The Huskies have reached the title game for the ninth time in team history (8-0).

UConn (39-0) will meet fellow unbeaten Notre Dame (37-0) in the tournament final Tuesday. Behind 28 points and seven rebounds from Kayla McBride, the Irish advanced to the title game for the first time since losing to Baylor in 2012 and the fourth time overall with an 87-61 win over Maryland.

Notre Dame outrebounded the Terrapins 50-21, including 19-4 at the offensive end.

UConn is seeking to complete its fifth unbeaten season and capture an NCAA-record nine national championship. The victory over Stanford keeps the Huskies in contention for dual double national championships (2004). The men's basketball team will meet Kentucky in the final tonight.

The Cardinal (33-4) were seeking to advance to the title game for the first time since falling to UConn in 2010.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis finished with 15 points, five rebounds and two assists for the Huskies. Bria Hartley added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Stefanie Dolson (seven rebounds, two steals) and Moriah Jefferson (four assists, five steals) each had 10 points.

Amber Orrange led Stanford with 16 points and five assists. Chiney Ogwumike had 15 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

STAR OF THE GAME: Stewart. She had 18 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 39 minutes.

KEYS TO THE WIN: Trailing 22-16 with 5:39 left in the first half, the Huskies scored 10 straight points and made five straight shots as part of a 12-2 run to finish the half. ¦ The Huskies used a 14-0 run in the second half to open a 44-27 lead with 13:48 remaining. ¦ After starting 10-of-21 from the field, Stanford missed 14 of its next 16 shots, including nine straight during a scoreless stretch of 5:11. ¦ Kiah Stokes had nine points, four rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes off the bench.

WORTH NOTING: The Huskies opened the game 5-of-20 from the field and twice trailed by as many as six in the first half. ¦ Stewart was named United States Basketball Writers Association national Player of the Year Sunday. ¦ The Huskies improved to 9-6 all-time in the NCAA national semifinals. ¦ The Huskies a single-season team record for wins. They are one shy of Baylor's national record of 40 (2011-12). ¦ Dolson set an NCAA record by making her 151st career start. Kayla Pedersen made 150 starts at Stanford from 2007-08 through 2010-11. ¦ Hartley has set team record with 4,702 minutes played, breaking the mark of 4,683 set by Maya Moore. ¦ The Huskies have won 45 straight games dating back to a 61-59 loss to Notre Dame in the Big East tournament final March 12, 2013. ¦ The Huskies are 96-17 (.850) all-time in NCAA tournament play. ¦ Mosqueda-Lewis has scored in double figures in all 16 career NCAA tournament games -- a team record. ¦ Stewart has scored in double figures in a career-high 30 straight games. ¦ Hartley scored in double figures in a career-high 23 straight games.

UP NEXT: NCAA tournament final vs. Notre Dame Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn., 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

-- RICH ELLIOTT