Connecticut, Kentucky advance to Kingston regional final

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The Sweet 16 round of the women’s NCAA tournament is now complete, and the end result is four games matching the top two seeds in each region with trips to the Final Four on the line.

No. 1 seed Connecticut and No. 2 seed Kentucky advanced with wins in the Kingston (R.I.) regional on Sunday night, and given the fact that Storrs is about an hour’s drive from the Rhode Island campus the Huskies should enjoy a crowd advantage on Tuesday night.

Bria Hartley led UConn (32-4) with 20 points and Kelly Faris chipped in with 15 to lead the Huskies to a 77-59 win over Penn State in the first game of the doubleheader.

Five Huskies scored in double figures while Penn State had just two, with leading scorer Maggie Lucas being held to 15 on 4 of 16 shooting. Mia Nickson paced the Nittany Lions (26-7) with 19 points.

Balance and 3-point shooting were the tools Kentucky (28-6) used to pull away from Gonzaga 79-62 in the nightcap, as the Wildcats knocked down 12 of 21 from beyond the arc.

The 12 3-pointers made is one off the school record, with Keyla Snowden knocking down five of them on her way to a team-high 17 points. Samari Walker, who began her collegiate career at UConn, added 16 and SEC Player of the year A’dia Mathies 15 and seven assists.

Gonzaga’s (28-6) Kayla Standish scored a game-high 25 points in the final game of her collegiate career, and the Bulldogs’ season ended in the Sweet 16 for the third straight season.

Also advancing on Sunday were Notre Dame and Maryland, who will meet in the Raleigh regional final on Tuesday night.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.