Connecticut, Notre Dame Will Meet In Women's Championship Game

Apr 5, 2015
Originally published on April 6, 2015 8:32 am

The University of Connecticut continues to dominate women's college basketball: The Huskies plowed past the University of Maryland and are headed to the NCAA women's basketball championship game, where they'll meet Notre Dame.

The Terrapins faced a daunting task heading into the game. Connecticut, the overall top seed for the tournament, stands far above the competition.

"The Huskies have won the last two titles and obliterated opponents in this tournament by an average margin of 41 points a game," NPR's Tom Goldman noted to our Newscast unit.

UConn's winning streak continued: Connecticut blew past Maryland 81-58 to advance to the championship.

Earlier in the evening, Notre Dame defeated South Carolina in a thrilling finish, earning their way into the championship game.

Notre Dame entered the semifinals as a postseason veteran, appearing in its fifth straight Final Four. South Carolina (a top seed, like all the other teams in this year's Final Four) was in the semifinals for the first time, but boasted a deep bench.

South Carolina got off to a shaky start, and trailed behind for the vast majority of the game. All-American Jewell Loyd led the Irish, and the game overall, scoring 22 points.

But in a hard-fought finish, the Gamecocks closed the gap, then took the lead — for the first time in the game — with just over a minute remaining.

With seconds of gameplay left, Notre Dame made a layup for a one-point advantage. The Gamecocks' Tiffany Mitchell tried for a game-winning three-pointer but missed, and Notre Dame took home the game, 66-65.

The championship game — a rematch between UConn and Notre Dame, who met in the NCAA finals last year — will be held Tuesday night in Tampa.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.