UConn routs Oregon, heads to 10th straight Final Four
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — Napheesa Collier scored 28 points, Gabby Williams had 25 and UConn advanced to its 10th consecutive Final Four with a 90-52 victory against Oregon on Monday night.
Top-seeded UConn (36-0) will face Mississippi State on Friday night in Dallas in the national semifinals. The win was the Huskies' 111th consecutive victory and moved coach Geno Auriemma past Pat Summitt for the most NCAA Tournament victories. Auriemma now has 113 and counting.
The Huskies jumped all over 10th-seeded Oregon (23-14), which had made an impressive run through the NCAA.
Leading 6-4, UConn scored 17 straight points. Saniya Chong got the game-changing burst started with consecutive 3-pointers. Nearly 4 1/2 minutes later she capped the burst with a layup that made it 23-4.
Oregon closed to 34-21 midway through the second quarter, but UConn put the game away by scoring 15 of the final 18 points of the half.
The Huskies had several questions heading into their first season since losing their big three of Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck to graduation. But they have answered every test so far, turning away every challenge while remaining unbeaten.
Now UConn has a new trio leading the way. Collier and fellow sophomore Katie Lou Samuelson were honored as AP All-Americans on Monday with Williams, a junior, making the second team.
The Huskies head to Dallas just two wins away from a fifth consecutive title and 12th overall.
Oregon's future is bright. Coach Kelly Graves' team is led by outstanding freshmen Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard and Mallory McGwire. The trio averaged 36.8 points combined this season. Ionescu led the way against UConn with 15 points.
The Ducklings upset seventh-seeded Temple, No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Maryland to get to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history.
Oregon: The Ducks were trying to become the first double-digit seed ever to reach the Final Four. Only 10th-seeded Lamar and 11th-seeded Gonzaga had made it this far. The Zags were also coached by Graves. ... Oregon took advantage of Bridgeport's proximity to New York and visited the Freedom Tower and Times Square on Sunday after practice.
UConn: The win was UConn's 135th straight against an unranked opponent. The Huskies have won 310 of past 311 against non-Top 25 teams. The lone loss came against St. John's in 2012. Since the 1993-94 season, UConn is 587-9 against unranked teams. ... The victory gave Chong and Tierney Lawlor 152 wins at UConn, the most in the history of the NCAA for a senior class. They only have one loss.
Oregon had 22 turnovers, including 17 in the first half, that led to 38 points for the Huskies.
While attendance struggled at the three other regional sites, Bridgeport sold out the arena on both Saturday and Monday.
UConn will face Mississippi State on Friday night in the Final Four.
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