No. 1 UConn Women Crush West Virginia, Claim 16th Big East Title

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No. 1 UConn Women Crush West Virginia, Claim 16th Big East Title HARTFORD, Conn. — Kalana Greene
scored 15 points to help top-ranked Connecticut rout No. 9 West Virginia
60-32 on Tuesday night for its 72nd straight win and 16th Big East
tournament championship.

Greene made her first seven shots and
grabbed 12 rebounds to earn Most Outstanding Player honors for the
tournament.

The Huskies have won five of the last
six conference tournament titles and remain unbeaten for the
fifth time in school history. UConn went on to win the national
championship in 1995, 2002, and 2009. In 1996-97, they lost to Tennessee
in the regional final. In all 11 teams have gone through the regular
season unbeaten with five of them winning the national title.

UConn (33-0) stands six wins short of
becoming the first team to go through consecutive seasons unbeaten. The
Huskies surpassed their own NCAA record for consecutive wins on Monday
night.

The Huskies, who have won both the
regular season and conference tournament title the last three years and
14 times in school history, held West Virginia to the lowest total in a
Big East championship game.

With All-Americans Maya Moore and Tina
Charles
having off-games, Greene and Tiffany Hayes carried the offense.
Hayes finished with 15 points. Charles had 12 and Moore 10, but they
combined to make just three of their first 22 shots.

UConn improved to 14-0 against top-10
opponents, winning by an average of 26.3 points.

The Huskies have now won the last 22
meetings with West Virginia, including an 80-47 rout at the XL Center on
Feb. 2. In that game the Mountaineers played tough for 25 minutes
before succumbing to the Huskies.

On Tuesday night, it looked like UConn
would once again blow past West Virginia.

The Huskies, who have won every game
during its record streak by double figures, used a 20-4 early run in the
first half to turn a one-point lead into a 27-10 advantage with 6:42
left. The Mountaineers wouldn't wilt, using their tenacious defense
which allowed only 51.5 points coming into the game, to stick around.

West Virginia answered with a 18-6
spurt of its own spanning the half to close to 33-28 on Natalie Burton's
free throw with 15:32 left in the game. Liz Repella had eight points
during the burst, including a 3-pointer from the top of the key that hit
the front rim, bounced straight up and then in that made it 33-27
UConn. She finished with 10 points to lead West Virginia (28-5).

The Huskies then went on one of their
typical runs. UConn scored 27 of the next 29 points to end any hopes of
the upset.

The Huskies held West Virginia
without a point for nearly the final 11 minutes until a meaningless
layup with 28 seconds left.

Greene had six points during the
spurt, and also a nifty pass to Moore for a layup off an offensive
rebound that made it 49-30 with 8:51 left. Charles, who had missed seven
of her first eight shots hit three foul line jumpers and a layup during
the burst.

Caroline Doty was in her customary
place in the starting lineup after suffering a scary head and neck
injury during the Huskies' NCAA-record 71st straight victory Monday
night. The sophomore guard was inadvertently elbowed in the head by
Notre Dame's Ashley Barlow with 50 seconds left in Monday night's game.

Doty didn't show any outward signs of
the injury, but was ineffective in her 16 minutes, scoring just one
point.

West Virginia was making only its
second trip to the championship game.

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