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NCAA women's basketball roundup: Kentucky, UConn reach Elite 8

AP
Connecticut's Breanna Stewart (left) fouls Maryland's Malina Howard during the second half of a regional semifinal in the NCAA Women's Tournament on Saturday, March 30, 2013, in Bridgeport, Conn.

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, March 30, 2013, 10:00 p.m.
 

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Connecticut's youngest players have the Huskies back in an old and familiar spot.

Freshmen Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck combined for 35 points as UConn (32-4) advanced to its eighth consecutive regional final with a 76-50 blowout over Maryland on Saturday.

“I think we were 16 for 28 from the floor, our freshmen,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “One turnover between the three of them. I thought they were the key to the game today for sure.”

Stewart and sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis each had 17 points to lead the Huskies. Stewart also had eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

Jefferson made several key defensive stops, and her two fast-break layups capped a 9-0 run to start the second half, giving UConn a 44-26 lead and control of the game.

Two-time ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas, who had scored 29 and 28 points in the team's first two tournament games, was held to 13 for Maryland (26-8).

The Huskies will play Kentucky on Monday night in a rematch of last year's regional final, which was played just over 100 miles away in Kingston, R.I. UConn won that game, 80-65.

Bridgeport Region

Kentucky 69, Delaware 62 — In Bridgeport, Conn., Jennifer O'Neill scored 19 points and A'dia Mathies added 16 to help Kentucky hold off Delaware, bringing to an end the stellar career of Elena Delle Donne.

It's the second straight season that Kentucky (30-5) has advanced to the regional final.

Kentucky withstood a rally led by Delle Donne, who had 33 points for Delaware (32-4). The Wildcats led by 14 in the second half before the Blue Hens cut it to 62-60.

Delle Donne ended as the fifth all-time leading scorer in NCAA history with 3,039 points. She passed former stars Cheryl Miller, Chamique Holdsclaw and Maya Moore on Saturday. Delle Donne finished short of Jackie Stiles' all-time scoring mark of 3,393 set at Southwest Missouri State from 1998-2001.

Spokane Region

Georgia 61, Stanford 59 — In Spokane, Wash., Jasmine Hassell scored six of her 13 points in the final 3 minutes, and fourth-seeded Georgia (28-6) reached the NCAA women's regional finals for the first time since 2004, defeating top-seeded Stanford (33-3).

Georgia overcame three major scoring droughts, including falling behind 9-0 to start the game, to oust the No. 1 seed from the Spokane Regional and end Stanford's hopes of reaching the Final Four for the sixth straight year.

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