Finding their Mojo

The UConn women got down to business at the XL Center Tuesday night.  They brought their fighting game to defeat the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, 63-54, to win the Big East championship, their fifth consecutive title and 18th overall.  After a four-loss season and coming into the tournament as the third seed (13-3, Big East) they finally jelled as a team to defeat their nemesis who had beat them in their last three meetings, starting with last year’s heartbreaking national semi-final when Notre Dame eliminated the Huskies, 72-63.  The last straw was on February 27, when they lost 72-59 at the XL Center.  But Tuesday, they came out with energy and confidence and didn’t flinch when Notre Dame fought back.  They made head coach Geno Auriemma proud, finally playing the game “his way.”

Bria Hartley leads the team onto the court before the Big East Championship game. They wore their road uniforms and sat on the visitors bench, something they are unaccustomed to, since they were the third seed this year coming off a 13-3 Big East season.

Head coach Geno Auriemma gets the attention of his starting lineup for some last minute instructions before the game.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis fights Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins and Devereaux Peters for a rebound in the first half.

Tiffany Hayes has the ball tipped away by Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins in the first half.

Geno Auriemma makes a point to his team during a time out.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Tiffany Hayes and Kelly Faris crowd the paint while battling Notre Dame's Kayla McBride and Devereaux Peters for the rebound late in the second half .

Big East Player of the Year and Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins (center) shows her frustration with UConn's defense in the second half. Notre Dame led by one point at the half, but UConn came out strong to dominate in the second half.

Kelly Faris, who contributed two huge threes in the second half, was fierce defensively as she wrestled a loose ball away from Devereaux Peters.

Bria Hartley drives the lane hard to score against Skylar Diggins during a furious scoring flourish in the second half. Hartley finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Caroline Doty, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Tiffany Hayes hug teammate Bria Hartley after she scored and drew a foul in the second half.

After getting a bloody nose in the second half, Bria Hartley is still in the game even as she sits on the bench.

Tiffany Hayes playfully points to Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis just before she is announced as the tournament Most Outstanding Player. The freshman scored 19 points in the championship game and 58 points in the tournament.

Geno Auriemma hugs senior Tiffany Hayes after UConn won the Big East championship. It was Auriemma's 800th career win, UConn's 18th title and Hayes' last Big East tournament.

Tiffany Hayes hoists the championship trophy as she and her teammates pose for photos after their hard-fought victory.

 

Posted in Cloe Poisson, Sports, UConn Women's Basketball and tagged with , . RSS 2.0 feed.
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3 Responses to Finding their Mojo

  1. bettina hansen says:

    great work, cloe! you find the emotion in this team better than anyone else.

  2. Laura Hastings says:

    Cloe…GREAT pictures! I feel like I am on the court with them!