Christina M. Tapper

UConn and Notre Dame Women are Perfect Heading Into National Championship

  • Hoophead
  • Christina M. Tapper
  • April 7, 2014, 2:44 PM

uconn notre dame women's basketball final 2014

Now this is a perfect matchup. No, literally it is. On Tuesday night, two teams who haven’t lost the entire season (zero losses!), the Connecticut Huskies (39-0) and Notre Dame Fighting Irish (37-0), will face off for the college women’s hoops championship in Dallas. It will be the first women’s title game between two unbeaten teams.

Connecticut will try to capture an unprecedented ninth national championship, while Notre Dame will aim for its first title since 2001.

Notre Dame rolled past Maryland Sunday night, 87-61, to earn its spot in the historic final game with a record–setting performance in the post.  The Fighting Irish outrebounded the Terrapins, 50-21, the largest margin in Final Four history. A 17-point half time lead helped the Irish put away the Terrapins, despite being without senior forward Natalie Achonwa, who was sidelined with a torn knee ligament that she suffered in the regional final. In a show of solidarity, Notre Dame donned warm up shirts with her No. 11 and her nickname “Ace” on the back. All-America Kayla McBride led Notre Dame’s charge with 28 points.

The Huskies, who started off a little rusty, knocked off the Stanford Cardinal to advance behind Breanna Stewart’a 18-point effort. Even though Stanford’s Chiney Oqwumike had a strong performance with 15 points and 10 boards, UConn took control of the game in the second half, where Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis contributed all of her 15 points. Bria Hartley’s 13 points, along with Stefanie Dolson and Moriah Jefferson’s 10 points a piece, helped UConn outscore the Cardinal 47-32 in the final 20 minutes.

The last team to finish a season without a loss was the Baylor Lady Bears (40-0) in 2012. But Tuesday night, perfection will reign again — at least for one team. The other will walk away with a single L in the loss column as the other squad will cut the nets as perfect winners.

Who do you think will be crowned champions? Tell us your pick in the comments section below!

Photos: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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