Great Eight: UConn women win eighth national title, roll over Louisville 93-60

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It’s becoming something of a formality recently. If Geno Auriemma gets to the national title game, don’t bother betting against him.

Auriemma and the UConn Lady Huskies used a first half  run to take control and dominate Louisville 93-60 to claim the program’s eighth national title at the Final Four in New Orleans. The win also moves Auriemma to 8-0 in NCAA championship games.

The 33-point margin of victory was the largest ever in an NCAA Women’s Tournament title game.

Trailing 13-8 with 14:30 left in the half, Morgan Tuck’s lay-up keyed a 21-1 run by UConn (35-4) that gave them firm control of the contest  and allowed them to breeze to a 48-29 halftime lead. They extended their lead in the second half, rolling to victory and allowing Auriemma to tie Pat Summitt and Tennessee with eight national titles.

Breanna Stewart, a freshman, was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, finishing with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including 3-for-3 from three-point range. She paced four Lady Huskies who finished in double figures. Sara Hammond led the Lady Cardinals (29-9) with 15 points.

Louisville missed out on a chance to be the second program to win both the men’s and women’s national titles in the same year. UConn was the first to do it in 2004.

UConn shot 50-percent from three-point range (13-for-26) and 53-percent (35-of-66) overall. Four players finished with at least five field goals for the Lady Huskies.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten