In Monday’s national championship rematch, the University of Connecticut proved what everyone already knew: they are the best Women’s college basketball team in the country.
The No.1 overall seed UConn ended Syracuse’s tournament run for a second straight year with a 94-64 blowout win in the second round of the ncaaw tournament.
UConn (34-0) has now extended its winning streak to 109 games, and punched its ticket to its 24 straight Sweet Sixteen. They will play the winner of Texas A&M and UCLA next Saturday.
In the end UConn was too big, too long and too talented for an outmatched Syracuse (22-11) team.
The closest Syracuse could get was 7-9 until UConn, which looked as unstoppable as its record, ended the first quarter on a 19-4 run.
Kia Nurse (29 points) set the tone early, hitting 8-of-10 threes from behind the arc and scoring 26 first-half points – just three points less than Syracuse’s 29 points at halftime. Her nine three-pointers in the game tied a single-game tournament record. Nurse’s offense was a result of the Huskies unselfish offense and stellar ball movement. UConn’s offense connected on all cylinders and finished with 30 assists on 33 shots.
While UConn seemed unstoppable on the offensive end, the Huskies’ suffocating defense limited Syracuse’s offensive production. UConn players were in the passing lanes, clogged up the lanes to keep Brittney Sykes and Alexis Peterson on the perimeter and they forced Syracuse into contested shots.
Syracuse did manage to get better opportunities in the third quarter. The Orange tried to rally behind Peterson (25 points), but UConn still outscored Syracuse 29-22 in the quarter.
Monday's loss marked the end of an era that seen two of the best players in Syracuse Women’s basketball history and arguably the best backcourt in the nation in Peterson and Sykes (15 points). Peterson and Sykes finish their career ranked second and third in points scored in program history.