In what was billed as the pursuit of perfection, the UConn women's basketball team proved that it was the only team that was truly perfect. The Huskies finished the season a perfect 40-0 and defeated previously unbeaten Notre Dame 79-58 on Tuesday night to win their NCAA record ninth national championship at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
From the opening tip, UConn took advantage of Notre Dame's lack of interior presence in the low post. They were just dominant inside and the Fighting Irish had no answer. The Huskies struggled shooting the ball for most of the tournament, but tonight was very different.
Final Four Most Outstanding Player Breanna Stewart was scoring at will. Stewart ended the game with 21 points and seven rebounds. Senior Stefanie Dolson saved her best game for the final game of her UConn career. Dolson also had her way in the post. She scored 17 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and had six assists.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 18 points and seven rebounds. Bria Hartley struggled shooting the ball and foul trouble, but finished with 13 points.
The Huskies outrebounded Notre Dame 54-31.
Despite being down by double digits early in the first half, Notre Dame got with seven points at the half at 45-38. However, UConn came into the second half and just took over. The Irish would get no closer and what was supposed to be the best game ever to be played in women's basketball was just another rout.
Defensively, the Huskies just stifled the Irish offense. Kayla McBride scored a team-high 21 points, but struggled most of the game. McBride finished 8 of 18 shooting. Jewel Loyd struggled as well scoring 13 points on 4 of 15 shooting. The Huskies held the Irish 35.5% shooting.
UConn is now 9-0 in national championship games. This is its fifth perfect season.
It is the second time that the men and women have won the national title in the same season.