- The Washington Times - Monday, April 5, 2004

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Here we go again.

Women’s college basketball’s best rivalry will be renewed tomorrow night in the NCAA championship game when Tennessee and Connecticut meet for the title in New Orleans.

For the fourth time since 1995 and the third time in five years, the Lady Vols and Huskies will meet in the women’s NCAA tournament title game. Connecticut has won all three previous meetings for the championship, including last year’s matchup.



The Lady Vols (31-3) earned their place in the championship game when LaToya Davis scored with 1.6 seconds left after LSU’s Temeka Johnson lost the ball in the backcourt, giving Tennessee a 52-50 victory over the Tigers in the national semifinals last night.

Connecticut (30-4) fought off repeated comebacks by a gutsy Minnesota team and stayed on track to win a third straight NCAA title with a 67-58 victory in the late game.

Diana Taurasi scored 18 points, made a pass that led to one of the game’s biggest baskets and crushed Minnesota’s final hopes by flicking away Shannon Schonrock’s 3-point attempt near the end.

The Huskies recovered the ball, and Taurasi dribbled out the final seconds, smiling when the buzzer sounded and slapping hands with teammate Ann Strother.

The Connecticut victory kept alive the possibility of the first championship double for a school.

UConn will play Georgia Tech for the men’s title tonight.

Tomorrow night, the two most storied women’s programs will meet. Tennessee has six NCAA titles and Connecticut has four, including the last two. The Huskies beat the Lady Vols 73-68 in last year’s title game.

“I guess the way we feel is we’re supposed to be here because we keep on finding ways to win,” the Lady Vols’ Shyra Ely said of her team’s third straight game decided by two points.

It will be Tennessee’s 11th NCAA championship game. Connecticut has yet to lose in a title game. Tennessee is the only school with three straight national championships, winning from 1996 to 1998. The Huskies look to match that tomorrow night.

Nothing has come easy for the Lady Vols this season.

Last night was the third straight last-second victory by two points for the Lady Vols, who had only three players score in double figures.

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