UConn will go for sweep of hoop titles

Monday, April 5, 2004

NEW ORLEANS -- With one final swat, Diana Taurasi secured Connecticut's place in another national championship game.

Connecticut 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 semifinals Sunday night.

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

The Huskies (30-4) 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 keeps alive the possibility of the first championship double for a school.

UConn will play Georgia Tech for the men's title tonight. And look who's waiting for the women in Tuesday night's championship game -- none other than Tennessee, winner of six national titles and UConn's main rival for supremacy in women's basketball.

Tennessee advanced to its 11th NCAA championship game with a 52-50 victory over LSU in the other semifinal. It will be the second straight year and fourth time since 1995 the two powers have played for the title.

Connecticut won the three previous times, including a 73-68 victory last year in Atlanta.

Tennessee is the only school with three straight national championships, winning from 1996-98.

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