A memorable season for the ladies

By Gary Norris Gray, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: April 9, 2010

CALIFORNIA (BASN) — When the season began everyone knew who the top four college women’s basketball teams were: UConn, Tennessee, Stanford, and Nebraska .

What no one really knew was what would transpire on the courts in 2010 as the Lady Huskies would end their season making women’s college hoop h istory.

NATIONAL SEMIFINALS

Stanford defeated Oklahoma 73-66 as they played a strong second half to defeat the Lady Sooners. The Lady Cardinal were paced by Nnemida Ogwumike who scored a career-high 38 points.

In the other semi, UConn defeated Baylor 70-50 for their 77th straight victory. It was another amazing 20-point victory for the Lady Huskies. UConn has beaten every opponent by 20 points or more for the majority of the season.

This team would come out in the second half and destroy opponents time and time again. UConn was pushed to perform by Baylor’s freshman center Brittney Griner.

The Lady Bears cut the deficit to three points early in the second half, but the Lady Huskies went into another gear and took over the contest.

Tina Charles and Maya Moore just took over this game. Moore had another double-double (34 points, 12 rebounds) while Charles added 21 points and five blocks.

TITLE GAME

The NCAA Championship game would prove to be the toughest game that UConn had to play all year. They played like rookies in the first half scoring only 12 points the lowest ever in their school history.

They also missed 16 shots in a row — something unheard of for the Lady Huskies.

Stanford played well until Jane Appel’s ankle injury reared it’s ugly head again in the first half. The Lady Cardinal should have and could have blown away the Lady Huskies in the first half. Stanford didn’t and they paid for it.

The Lady Huskies went into the locker room and had a serious pow-wow. Then again, Moore got busy by garnering another double-double (24 points, 13 rebounds), teaming up with Charles’ eight blocks.

In the first half, UConn couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. In the second half, they re-established authority in the paint and started controlling the game. They opened with a 17-2 offensive run as the Maya Moore highlight show went on..

The UConn defense held Stanford to their lowest point production in three years.

With the 53-45 win, UConn extended their women’s record winning streak to 7 8 straight and clinched their seventh NCAA crown . This is the greatest female college basketball team in NCAA history.

They now join the UCLA men’s teams of with back-to-back unbeaten titles. UConn is the first Division I women’s team to turn the trick. These young female athletes have more heart, more guts, and more soul than any other women’s basketball team.

Maya Moore was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. The question now is — Can they continue this string? Can they catch UCLA’s record 88-game victory string?

Only time will tell.

At the beginning of the 2010-11 season, UConn will need 10 wins to tie the mark. It will be difficult because they play a tough pre-conference schedule which includes Baylor and other ranked teams.

However, with Geno Auriemma coaching and Maya Moore guiding her teammates for the blue and white, anything is possible. As Coach Geno stated a few weeks ago. “If you’re tired of seeing us win, then beat us”.

It hasn’t happened in two years.

The Lady Huskies expect two more high school All Americans to fill the vacancy of the departing seniors. Young ladies now want to attend school in Storrs and play for one of the best women’s basketball programs in the college game.

Here are some of this year’s awards

Coach of the Year: Nebraska ‘s Connie Yori.

Player of the Year: UConn’s Tina Charles.

All American Teams

First Team

Maya Moore, UConn; Tina Charles, UConn; Kelsey Griffin, Nebraska; Monica Wright, Virginia; Jantel Lavender, Ohio State

Second Team

Oklahoma State’s Andrea Riley; Stanford’s Jayne Appel and N nemka Ogwumike; Middle Tennessee State’s Alysha Clark and Baylor’s Brittney Griner.

Third Team

Oklahoma’s Danielle Robinson; Duke’s Jasmine Thomas; Kentucky’s Victoria Dunlap; Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne, and Xavier’s Amber Harris.