For the University of Louisville’s Lady Cardinals, it just wasn’t meant to be.
Hoping to follow the Louisville men’s basketball championship with one of their own, the women played for the Division I title Tuesday night in New Orleans. But as NPR’s Tom Goldman said on Morning Edition, the University of Connecticut Lady Huskies were just “so darn good.”
UConn beat Louisville 93-60. Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma has taken his team to the final game eight times and won them all. He’s now tied with former Tennessee coach Pat Summit for the most women’s basketball championships in Division I history.
If the Louisville women had won, it would have been just the second time that the men’s and women’s trophies went to the same school in the same year. Connecticut’s teams managed that rare double in 2004.
The key to Connecticut’s win was their young star:
– “Freshman Breanna Stewart, UConn’s newest flavor sensation … scored 23 points with nine rebounds.” (The Hartford Courant)
– “Her combined 52 points against Notre Dame and Louisville made her a layup selection for the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. She is the first freshman in 26 years (and just the fourth overall) to earn that honor. (Sports Illustrated)
– “Off the court, she is a shrugging, eye-rolling, fidgety, lanky, goofy 18-year-old kid. On the court, she could be something we’ve never seen before. … In bottom-line terms, ‘Stewie,’ as her teammates (and now the rest of the world will) call her, took Connecticut from a team that was looking for answers after the disappointment of the Big East tournament to a runaway, no-doubt-about-it champion.” (ESPN)