LINCOLN, Neb. – Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 19 points to lead four Connecticut players in double figures, and the defending national champion Huskies shook off BYU early in the second half to win 70-51 in the NCAA women’s regional semifinals Saturday.
The Huskies (37-0), winners of 43 straight, will try for their seventh straight Final Four when they take on Texas A&M on Monday night. The Aggies advanced with an 84-65 victory over DePaul.
UConn season scoring leaders Breanna Stewart and Bria Hartley overcame slow starts, with Stewart having 12 of her 16 in the second half and Hartley all 12 of hers after halftime. Moriah Jefferson had 11 for UConn.
Kim Beeston led the Cougars (28-7) with 16 points, and Morgan Bailey added 14. Jennifer Hamson had nine points to go with 13 rebounds and six blocked shots.
TEXAS A&M 84, DEPAUL 65
LINCOLN, Neb. – Courtney Walker scored 25 points to power Texas A&M to the regional finals.
The Aggies (27-8) led by 14 points at halftime and turned back two DePaul runs. Courtney Williams had 14 of her 15 points in the second half.
DePaul (29-7) shot 40 percent, 28 percent in the first half, and struggled defensively against the physical Aggies. Jasmine Penny had 16 of her 24 points in the second half and Megan Rogowski added 14 points for the Blue Demons.
Texas A&M shot 60 percent and has won each of its three tournament games by at least 15 points.
Karla Gilbert and Jordan Jones had 11 points apiece and Tori Scott added 10 for the Aggies.
NOTRE DAME REGIONAL
NOTRE DAME 89, OKLAHOMA STATE 72
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Natalie Achonwa got Notre Dame going early and never let up as she finished with 23 points and Jewell Loyd added 20 to lead the Fighting Irish to a victory over Oklahoma State.
Notre Dame (35-0) is a victory away from its fourth straight Final Four berth, while the Cowgirls (25-9) missed a chance to advance to a regional final for the first time in school history. They fell to 0-3 in regional semifinals.
To get to the Final Four, the Irish will have to beat Baylor, the last team to knockoff Notre Dame at home.
The Irish jumped to a 14-0 lead in the opening 3:31, capped by a three-point play by Achonwa, as the Cowgirls missed their first six shots. The Cowgirls later used a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 24-14, but that was as close as they got.
BAYLOR 90, KENTUCKY 72
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Odyssey Sims scored 25 points, including her 1,000th this season, to lead No. 2 seed Baylor to a rout of third-seeded Kentucky.
Sims became only the second player to reach that milestone in a single season. She is 41 points behind Jackie Stiles’ record of 1,062 for one year set in 2001.
The last time Baylor and Kentucky met, they played one of the most exciting games in the history of women’s basketball. The Wildcats came away with a 133-130 four-overtime victory back in December.
This one fell far short of matching that thriller as Sims and Baylor put the game away by the half.
Now the Lady Bears (32-4) will face either Notre Dame or Oklahoma State in the regional final on Monday night. DeNesha Stallworth scored 19 points to lead Kentucky (26-9).