For UConn, the harder route than usual still leads to the final four

Bridgeport, Conn. – After all these years, there were reasons to suspect the Connecticut women’s basketball team almost every season.

Injuries and miserable losses to unseeded teams, a near-decline during last week’s NCAA tournament and a head-spinning feeling that a program with 11 national titles had somehow been reduced to a backward position.

But just before a discriminatory meeting in a nominally neutral court in Bridgeport on Monday night, Yukon calmed it all down: runners-up Huskies beat North Carolina 91-87 in double overtime to drop to No. 1 in their region. Followed by a 14th advance to the final four.

The win expanded one of the greatest series in the American Games, a race that has already won six national championships, including several players including Maya Moore, Preena Stewart and now the Biz Bookers. For cave halls across the country.

This season, however, UConn showed the dangers of the bigger and better world of women’s basketball, in which equality and rolling drama are often viewed. When the national semifinals take place in Minneapolis on Friday – UConn will face Stanford, number one. 1st Ranking and Current Champion – The Huskies will certainly be a contender, but will want the title unquestioned by any means.

After all, the Huskies have been coming out of their worst regular season since 2004-5. Nevertheless, they won their ninth league title and were regular-season champions of the Big East Conference. After beating NC State, the regular season and tournament champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and becoming the first team to drop to No. 1 in this NCAA tournament, they will return to Minneapolis with a 14-game winning streak.

For the past few months they have done it with an outrage, diligence and order that is often inaccessible for some reason. Geno Ariamma, a Connecticut coach since 1985, said, “One of the best games I’ve been a part of since I’ve been at UConn – regular season, post – season, it’s really a bar.”

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It was certainly a spectacle for the Bookers, who scored 27 points, and since November 14, weeks before the knee injury, he had been sidelined for several months, hampering his team’s ambitions. Senior defender Christine Williams finished the night with 21 points after scoring 7 points in the first four minutes of the game, followed by newcomer Asi Food with 19 points.

UConn needed each of those points to rise from a 6-point halftime deficit and one after another to reduce NC State’s comeback attempt that threatened to end another night of misery for the Huskies.

UConn was well aware of such threats. Just last week, questions swirled inside and outside the show as to whether the Huskies would advance beyond the second round, as they numbered Central Florida from escaping the two-day game. Sent to Iowa in 2nd place. Caitlin Clark and No. 1, the leading player in Division I. Arizona, the No. 4 seed, was runner-up last season, knocking out Yukon in the final four.

Through many activities, the Huskies reached Bridgeport, its regional final, a testament to their depth and prowess. For Auriyamma, this is a basic concept.

“We’re a lot in this game because we have good players coming to UConn, and they understand that if you come to Connecticut, the expectations will be incredibly high, the bar is very, very high,” Auriemma said Sunday. He added: “I would like to say that you have a choice, but I think you have no choice if you come there and play. It is good that you are involved in this game.

Doing harder than saying.

UConn’s starting lineup has been in rotation this season, with at least two-thirds missing from the list due to injury or disease. The Huskies have used 11 different systems this season, and their longest series with a consistent sequence of six games.

Booker, a second-year guard who won the National Player of the Year award last season, has been out of action for almost three months, requiring surgery to repair a December knee injury. Fudd, the former UConn star behind the 3-point curve, missed 11 games due to a foot injury. Aubrey Griffin, a junior, was a reliable reserve for his first two seasons, but eventually underwent back surgery and never played. And many more.

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The first defeat of the season was in November, when South Carolina in the Bahamas topped the overall standings of the national tournament. On a trip to Atlanta a few weeks later, the Huskies lost to unseeded Georgia Tech by 13 points in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The game turned out to be a defeat against Louisville, one of the best teams in the game and ranked No. 1. Corona virus problems in Yukon led to the cancellation of Big East matches against Georgetown and Villanova. The road trip to Oregon, unbeaten, yielded another 13-point defeat to Villanova in February, ending UConn’s 169-game winning streak against convention opponents in regular season and league matches.

After that defeat, Husky’s fortunes began to change. A sharp defense began to keep the enemy in the Gulf, and the production of attacks against the Huskies fell. Villanova, for example, scored just 40 points against UConn within a month of his 72 against Huskies in the March 7 conference match.

NCAA sent UConn Mercer to the first round of the tournament. The second-round game against Central Florida, played at the Stores, Conn. Competition.

“Normally we come here beating everyone by 40 runs and we think we are invincible,” Ariyamma said Friday, the day before UConn’s 16th round meeting against Indiana. “Well, we don’t think so now.”

The Huskies set up the match on Monday, beating the third-ranked Hosi 75-58. Wolfback, who has been looking for the last four appearances since 1998, won with a later heroism than fifth-ranked Notre Dame.

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For a moment on Monday night, they maintained that momentum and scored the first goal. However, they did not regain the lead until the opening minute of the fourth quarter when Jada Boyd hit a lap.

Fattin’s jumper pushed Huskies back forward. Then Boyd went to the basket for another lab. Diamond Johnson’s 3-pointer gave NC State a 4-point lead, with its biggest advantage at night, playing up to about eight minutes.

Ariyamma called when time was up, summoned her group around her to a meeting, where she waved her hand with the animation of the coach she thought had seen everything in basketball. At the other end of the court, NC state fans chanted “Wolfback! Wolf Pack! “(Then McCarena started.)

NC state center Elissa Cunane equalized in less than a minute and forced extra time.

Yukon was overwhelmed with hope. At one point in the night, Williams said, a simple thought came to her mind: “We have page bookers, they don’t.”

However neither team was able to take the lead for long. After the Huskies and Wolfback added 16 points each in the first over – the Bookers scored 10 – they were ready for another five-minute game.

The Huskies are back with their second-year star Buccaneer and veteran Williams, who kicked the attacking machines back into gear in the first quarter. The Huskies took the lead with 5 points, a tough deficit for the Wolfpack tonight.

Despite the last minute, the UConn advantage was reduced to 2. Williams, who recently spoke about his mastery of grind-it-out games this season after March for many years, made a free throw. . Soon, she added a setting.

With 10 seconds left on the clock, NC State scored again.

But UConn had everything it needed to escape one last time.

For good action, Williams sunk another lap – a spare shot just before the final four.

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