NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Breanna Stewart scored 21 points and Stefanie Dolson added 17 points and 16 rebounds to help UConn beat Notre Dame 79-58 on Tuesday night, giving coach Geno Auriemma and the Huskies a record ninth national championship.
Auriemma passed Pat Summitt for the most titles all-time and capped off the school’s fifth undefeated season in unprecedented fashion. The game was the first title matchup between two unbeatens in the history of college basketball.
The victory also makes the University of Connecticut the center of the college basketball world with both the men’s and women’s teams winning the championship this year. The men beat Kentucky on Monday night. The pair of victories come a decade after the Huskies became the only school to accomplish the feat.
Notre Dame came to Nashville looking for the Irish’ first national title since 2001, and they certainly are comfortable on this stage as the fifth team in NCAA tournament history to reach the national title game three times in four years. Adding to the drama of the game was the programs simply do not like each other.
Notre Dame coach Muffett McGraw has more wins (11) than any other coach against UConn and Auriemma since 2000-01, and the Irish have won three of four between these teams last season.
But UConn won the last game between these programs in the national semifinal a year ago, and the Huskies have not lost since Notre Dame beat them in the Big East tournament championship last season in a contest that went three overtimes. They didn’t play this season, Notre Dame moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference while UConn now is in the new American Athletic Conference.
This was the fourth straight NCAA tournament in which these teams have met and the first in the title game.
The Irish played without senior forward Natalie Achonwa, who tore her left ACL last weekend. But UConn only had a 20-18 edge on the boards at the break.MORE IN Sports Wire
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