ALBANY, NY ̵
On Friday, they defeated UCLA No.6 in the Elite Eight of the Women's NCAA Tournament with a win of 69-61. They got a fantastic fourth quarter from junior point guard Crystal Dangerfield.
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The Huskies have been in the Final Four every season since 2008 and are looking for their 12th NCAA title. They are still one step away from traveling to Tampa, Florida, but it has turned out to oust the Bruins. They were 50:49 after three quarters, but do not panic. Her experience was evident in the last quarter.
Dangerfield scored eleven out of 15 in the closing stages, and the Huskies' defense defended against the Bruins once again, holding them with 11 points. The senior Napheesa Collier led UConn at 25 and had 10 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Freshman Christyn Williams had 14 points for the Huskies.
UConn's last two seasons were unbeaten in the NCAA tournament, but then lost in the national semi-final against Mississippi State and Notre Dame last season. This season, the Huskies fell twice in the regular season, in Baylor and in Louisville, both seed # 1 in this tournament. That was enough to put UConn in second place for the first time since 2006.
The huskies did not like it because they felt they were undervalued. In the meantime, UCLA – that was Elite Eight last season – was a team that had grown steadily since the defeat at the start of the Pac-12 season.
The Bruins winners over No. 11 in Tennessee and London No. 3 Maryland showed their recreational skills, making them appear as a potentially dangerous enemy for the huskies. And they surpassed UConn 41-38. Compared to 31.3 of UCLA, however, the Huskies scored 46.6 percent.
UCLA is now 0-6 against UConn, including a loss at Sweet 16, 2017. Bruins coach Cori Close and her team visited the UConn a few years ago. This was the Huskies coaching staff generally welcomed by other teams to try to expand the game further.
"I had an opportunity to meet her and her staff, she has a lot of energy," said UConn coach Geno Auriemma said before the game on Friday. "I like the way she deals with herself and UCLA.
" Since Cori's arrival there, they have been great. They did a great job on the field and seem to be in that position lately. But no team was able to win more championships than UConn. "When asked on Thursday if the Huskies (34-2) were playing with a chip on their shoulders because of seed # 2, Auriemma made one Joke.
"I do not know what that means today," he said, "I know what it took to mean.
Auriemma then recalled that the returning players – including Sue Bird, Swin Cash and Diana Taurasi – as his team lost in the 2001 national semi-final, bringing with them the memory of their defeat for their run to a perfect season in 2002.
"It showed up every day in practice and in the way we played every day," Auriemma said. "Today, the chip on the child's shoulders holds to the next text. Chip on the shoulder? They have a chip in their cell phone. The other stuff does not exist anymore.
"How do you want to have a chip on your shoulder when your best friends are all the kids you're playing against? They all have to speed dial because you've played against." "These kids are growing up." I liked it better when It's no fun. "
That may be so, but if there's a rating that Huskies think they need to settle down, then that's all Final Four after the disappointment of the last two years. And while things looked a bit shaky after Friday, when everything was said and done, the Huskies were again winners.