NCAA Women: Connecticut Huskies romp into title game

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Breanna Stewart scored 18 points and undefeated Connecticut continued its march toward an unprecedented ninth national championship with a 75-56 win against Stanford Sunday night.

The Huskies (39-0) also did their part in setting up the highly anticipated championship matchup of undefeated teams.

They will play Notre Dame, an 87-61 winner against Maryland, Tuesday night in the title game. It will be the first women's national title game between unbeaten teams.

The Huskies also won their 45th game in a row after overcoming another sluggish start. Stewart, The Associated Press player of the year, missed her first four shots and Connecticut was ahead just 28-24 at halftime.

But Connecticut settled down and outscored the Cardinal, 47-32, in the second half.

"I think this team thinks they can win anywhere, anytime against anybody," Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said before the game.

Stanford (33-4) lost its third national semifinal since reaching the 2010 championship against Connecticut, which the Huskies also won. All-American forward Chiney Ogwumike finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds in her final game for the Cardinal.


NOTE -- JR Payne was hired as women's basketball coach at Santa Clara. Payne, a former Santa Clara assistant who played at West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's, spent the past five seasons coaching Southern Utah -- and her team won a school-record 23 games while reaching the postseason for the first time. Payne replaces Jennifer Mountain, whose contract wasn't renewed after six seasons. The Broncos went 10-20 this season, including 6-12 in the West Coast Conference. Mountain finished with a 56-127 record.

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