- Associated Press - Sunday, April 5, 2015

TAMPA, Fla. — Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck have UConn back in the championship game for the third consecutive year. Now the Huskies are one victory away from a third consecutive title.

Stewart scored 25 points and Tuck added 24 points to lead UConn to an 81-58 win over Maryland on Sunday in the Final Four.

UConn will face Notre Dame for the title on Tuesday night in a rematch of last season’s championship game.

The Huskies have won nine titles overall, and a victory over the Fighting Irish would tie Geno Auriemma with vaunted UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden with 10 college basketball championships. It would also be the second three-peat for UConn, which won three consecutive championships from 2002 through 2004.

Making the Final Four seems like a rite of spring for the Huskies (37-1) lately as they have appeared in the Final Four in each of the last eight years.

UConn had cruised through the NCAA tournament, but Maryland coach Brenda Frese said her team wouldn’t be intimidated by the Huskies.

The Terrapins took it right at them from the start, hanging with UConn for the first 10 minutes. Maryland only trailed 22-19 before UConn scored seven consecutive points capped by Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis’ 3-pointer that made it a 10-point game.

Maryland (34-3) didn’t back down and pulled within 39-33 on Lexie Brown’s 3-pointer with 1:52 left in the half.

Then Tuck took over.

She scored the final five points of the half to give the Huskies a double-digit advantage going into the break.

Tuck missed last season’s championship run while she was recovering from microfracture surgery on her right knee that allowed her to only play in eight games. The redshirt sophomore made her presence felt on the game’s biggest stage, finishing just two points short of her career high.

She started the second half with another 3-pointer as UConn scored the first nine points to break the game open. Her layup capped the burst and gave UConn a 53-33 advantage. The Terrapins could only get within 14 points the rest of the way as Stewart and Tuck answered every Maryland run.

Stewart, who was The Associated Press Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, added eight rebounds.

The loss ended a school-record 28-game winning streak for Maryland, which hasn’t won in its four meetings with the Huskies.

Brionna Jones scored 14 points and Brown added 12 points to lead the Terrapins, who cruised through the Big Ten in their inaugural season in the conference going undefeated.


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