The Huskies defeated Syracuse, 82-51, and won their fourth consecutive championship title. Until now, the UCLA men’s team are the only team who had won four championships in a row in Division I, rolling to seven consecutive championships under John Wooden from 1967 to 1973.
In the start of the game, Huskies scored the first nine points. With just six minutes, Stewart scored 10 points as Uconn established 23-6 lead. Orange then tried to cut-off the lead and made a run resulting to 25-13. Uconn’s seniors Stewart, Jefferson and Tuck lead the Huskies with a combined 26 points. With great passing, they outplayed Orange’s press. With 1:46 left in the game, big three Stewart, Jefferson and Tuck were called to rest as they embrace together before hugging their coach Auriemma. Auriemma said that those three were the key ingredients to the team’s success.
With their current victory, head coach Geno Auriemma won his 11th national title and passed Wooden for the most won by any college basketball coach, men’s or women’s.
“What those 11 championships mean to me is how many great players I’ve had the opportunity to coach,” Auriemma said in a report in Fox News. “How many great people have come through the program. It doesn’t matter whose name is above, or whose name I’m under. As long as I have those players in my memory, I’m good.”
Remembering her first time on the campus four years ago, Stewart said that she wanted to win four titles. This might serve as her inspiration every time she plays basketball. Stewart scored 24 points and 10 rebounds in her last college game and earned the most outstanding player of the Final Four all four years of her career.
Since Stewart arrives in the team, they have been nearly unbeatable with the only four-game loss in her freshman year and only one since. Uconn recorded a 75th straight win after beating Syracuse.
The three-time AP Player of the Year has said it is up to others to decide her place in women’s college basketball lore. There is no denying she is the most accomplished player ever, winning more titles than fellow UConn greats Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore, who watched from the stands at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Photo courtesy: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Wikimedia