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A&M's Season Comes to Close in Elite Eight

March 31, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
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(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP)--Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis continued her splendid run through the NCAA tournament with 17 points, and UConn advanced to the women's Final Four for the seventh straight year with a 69-54 victory against Texas A&M on Monday night.

The defending national champion Huskies (38-0) won their 44th straight game. Their semifinal opponent Sunday in Nashville will be either Stanford or North Carolina.

Stefanie Dolson, who made her 150th career start to tie the NCAA record, had 14 points and 10 rebounds and blocked a career-high eight shots. Bria Hartley had 14 points, Breanna Stewart added 13 and Moriah Jefferson 11.

Courtney Walker led Texas A&M (27-9) with 14 points. Courtney Williams had 13 and Jordan Jones 12.

Mosqueda-Lewis, an All-American last year who missed a total of 12 games this season because of injury or illness, turned in another great performance and was named the regional's most outstanding player.

She had a triple-double against Saint Joseph's in the second round and 19 points and 13 rebounds against BYU on Saturday. Against the Aggies in the regional final she provided the spark after the Huskies found themselves in an early hole.

Her play made up for the slow start of American Athletic Conference player of the year Breanna Stewart, who got into early foul trouble and scored just two of her 13 points in the first half.

The Aggies had shot 60 percent in their 84-65 win over DePaul on Saturday, their best mark ever in an NCAA tournament game. They hit 28.9 percent the first half while falling behind 34-23 against UConn and finished at 35.3 percent for the game.

The Aggies had won their first three games in the tournament by 15 points or more, but they ran into a UConn club that was just too powerful, whether in transition or in the paint.

The Aggies made their first six shots of the second half to cut into UConn's 11-point halftime lead. Jones hit a pair of 3s, and after she drove to the hoop on Jefferson, A&M was within 40-37.

The Huskies cranked up their transition game, went on a 10-0 spurt and outscored the Aggies 27-12 to build their lead to 18 points in the final 3 minutes. No team has played UConn closer than 11 points this season.

The Aggies broke out to an 11-4 lead -- matching the biggest deficit UConn has faced this season -- before Mosqueda-Lewis made her presence known.

Mosqueda-Lewis fed Dolson for an easy basket to start a 26-6 UConn run. Hartley scored twice off Jefferson's long passes, Mosqueda-Lewis hit a couple 3s and showed what she could do inside when she took an inbound pass and drove the baseline for a left-handed layup.

Jefferson slipped a pass to Dolson for a reverse layup and then drove the hoop and hit a 3 of her own to put the Huskies up 30-17.

Courtney Walker ended a five-minute scoring drought with three straight jumpers, but nothing symbolized the night more than Kiah Stokes' block of Achiri Ade's shot just ahead of the halftime buzzer.


 

NCAA Lincoln Regional All-Tournament Team
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Connecticut (Most Outstanding Player)
Stephanie Dolson, Connecticut
Bria Hartley, Connecticut
Courtney Walker, Texas A&M
Courtney Williams, Texas A&M

Attendance
*-Tonight’s regional championship attendance was 7,169, improving the regional attendance to 16,754 over the two days.

UConn Notes
*-Connecticut improves to 38-0 on the season and extends its win streak to 44 games dating back to last season’s NCAA Tournament.
*-The Huskies have now qualified for 15 NCAA Women’s Final Fours, including each of the last seven seasons.
*-UConn improves to 15-5 (.750) all-time in NCAA Elite Eight contests and improves to 95-17 (.848) all-time in the NCAA Tournament. In addition, UConn improves to 70-7 (.909) in the NCAA Tournament since 2000.
*-UConn improves to 13-0 against ranked team this season with all 13 wins coming by double figures.
*-UConn is now 331-14 all-time when playing as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team.
*-UConn improves to 3-0 all-time against Texas A&M, with all three wins coming in the last three seasons.
*-UConn put five players in double figures against Texas A&M, the 10th time this season the Huskies placed at least five players in double figures.
*-UConn is now a national-best 17-2 in the NCAA Tournament over the last four seasons.
*-UConn has both its men’s and women’s teams advance to the Final Four.
*-Stefanie Dolson set a career high with eight blocked shots, the fifth time she has had at least five blocked shots in a game this season. Dolson, whose previous season and career best was seven against both Temple and Houston this season, recorded six of her blocked shots in the first half tonight. She fell one block short of UConn’s NCAA Tournament record (nine, Kelly Schumacher against Tennessee on April 2, 2000.)
*-Dolson’s previous high in blocked shots in an NCAA game was five against Notre Dame in the 2013 national semifinals. She averaged 11.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 6.0 blocked shots per game in the two NCAA Lincoln Regional games.
*-Kaleen Mosqueda-Lewis has been in double figures in all 15 NCAA Tournament games she has played in during her career following her 17-point effort against Texas A&M tonight. She is averaging 17.3 points per game during the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
*-Mosqueda-Lewis was the Most Outstanding Player in the Lincoln Regional, averaging 18.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
*-With 10 blocked shots tonight, UConn set an NCAA single-season record with 313 blocked shots, breaking the mark of 310 set by Baylor during the 2011-12 season. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had the record-breaking block on the final shot of the first half.
*-Bria Hartley has now scored in double figures in seven straight NCAA Tournament games and in 18 of her 20 career NCAA games. Harley averaged 13.0 points and 4.5 assists during the Lincoln Regional

Texas A&M Notes
*-Texas A&M ends its season with a 27-9 record and finishes the season with a 5-6 record against ranked teams. Its 27 wins this season tied for the third-most in school history (33 in 2010-11, 29 in 2007-08, 27 in 2008-09).
*-The Aggies fell to 1-2 all-time in NCAA Elite Eight games, posting a win in 2011 and losses in 2008 and 2014).
*-Texas A&M is now 21-10 all-time in 11 NCAA appearances, 27 of those coming under Gary Blair’s watch (19-8).
*-The seniors closed their careers with an impressive 12-3 all-time record in NCAA Tournament games.
*-Karla Gilbert played in her 143rd career game and finished second in school history in career blocks (154) and third in career field-goal percentage. In addition, her 68 blocked shots this season was also a school-record.
*-Texas A&M falls to 0-8 all-time against No. 1 teams
*-Texas A&M’s lead at 11-4 with 13:48 left in the first half matches the largest deficit UConn has faced this season. UConn trailed 7-0 at Louisville on March 3.
*-Texas A&M became only the second opponent to out-rebound Connecticut this season, holding a 40-37 advantage on the glass. Temple was the only other team to out-rebound UConn this season on Jan. 11
*-Texas A&M’s 54 points was the Aggies’ second-lowest point total of the season (52 vs. LSU on Jan. 9).
*-Courtney Walker finished with 14 points, her 13th consecutive game in double figures and her 31st double-figure effort of the 2013-14 season. She now has 563 points on the season and moves into sixth place on Texas A&M’s single-season scoring list.
*-The Aggies have played in front of 29,924 in the NCAA Tournament (4 games), making Texas A&M the most-watched team in this year’s event … 16,754 came to two games in Lincoln while Reed Arena led all first- and second-round sites with 13,170 fans.

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