Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - The women's national championship game
will be contested between a pair of unbeatens for the first time ever after
Connecticut held up its end of the bargain with a 75-56 victory over Stanford
on Sunday night.
Breanna Stewart and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis both shook off slow starts and finished with 18 and 15 points, respectively, as the Huskies (39-0) pulled away in the second half to set up a highly-anticipated title game against 37-0 Notre Dame.
"It wouldn't be any fun if you didn't beat teams that were any good," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said when asked about Notre Dame. "I think women's basketball needs rivalries like this, teams that aspire to be great and want to win championships."
Connecticut downed the Fighting Irish in last year's Final Four en route to their eighth national championship.
Bria Hartley netted 13 points, while Moriah Jefferson and Stefanie Dolson each added 10 for the Huskies, who are 8-0 all-time in the title game.
Stanford (33-4) led for a 12-minute stretch in the first half and was on top 22-16 when Mikaela Ruef banked in a long jumper with a toe on the 3-point line with under six minutes to go in the half.
The Huskies answered with the next 12 points, including four from Stewart after the All-American missed her first four shots.
UConn entered the break with a 28-24 advantage, and Mosqueda-Lewis, who went without a field goal in the first half, erupted for nine points on a 14-0 surge that all but put the game out of reach.
Mosqueda-Lewis' 3-pointer stretched the margin to 44-27, and Stanford only got as close as 11 over the final 14 minutes.
Chiney Ogwumike finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Amber Orrange led Stanford with 16 points.
Sunday was the fifth time UConn and Stanford have met at the Final Four, with the Huskies winning four of those matchups.