San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - The UConn women are one victory away from a repeat championship after overcoming Brittney Griner and Baylor Sunday night.
Maya Moore poured in 34 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, as Connecticut pulled away in the second half for a 70-50 win over the Lady Bears in the second national semifinal. Tina Charles added 21 points and 13 rebounds.
The Huskies (38-0), who stretched their winning streak to a women's record 77 games, will take on Stanford Tuesday night for the title. The Cardinal topped Oklahoma, 73-66, earlier Sunday at the Alamodome.
The 6-foot-8 Griner, who came into the game with an NCAA Tournament-record 35 blocks, was limited to 13 points and six rebounds. She did have five blocks, but Baylor (27-10) wasn't unable to prevent the Huskies from chasing history.
UConn came into the game winning at the NCAA Tournament this year an astounding average of 47 points. They're just one win away from securing a seventh title, but getting to the title game wasn't that easy. UConn's starting guard tande of Tiffany Hayes and Caroline Doty combined to go just 1-of-14 from the field.
"I didn't plan on that," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "And in spite of that, these two players up here (Charles and Moore) were just absolutely amazing, because they had to do it all by themselves pretty much. And I can't say enough about them and especially in the second half what they did."
The Huskies nearly wasted a 17-point lead in the first half. Morghan Medlock, who led Baylor with 14 points, hit two free throws to pull the Lady Bears within 41-38 with under 15 minutes remaining. That capped a 12-0 run.
"It was definitely there for us to take," Griner said. "We just (had) mistakes and let it slip through our fingers. It was right there. But I feel like we never stopped playing to our ability and we kept trying to get that, to get it down."
Charles then scored on a put-back after Griner blocked Moore's shot. The Huskies literally tired out the Bears, using quickness to build the lead back to double-digits, a margin they've won by amazingly in every game during their 77-game win streak.
Moore's jumper extended the lead to 53-40 at the midway point of the second half and Baylor didn't get within single digits the rest of the contest.
"I'm disappointed we lost and sad because it was my last game and all that stuff," Medlock said. "But I couldn't be more proud of this basketball team with the injuries and some things, not playing well in conference and just all the stuff that we had going. We weren't even expected to be here."
The game looked like a blowout early on as the Huskies raced to a 25-8 lead and they took that into a 39-26 cushion at the half.
UConn's last hurdle Tuesday will be a big challenge, considering Stanford played the Huskies tough for a half earlier this season, but lost 80-68, in Hartford on December 23. Stanford was actually the last team to beat the Huskies, in the 2008 national semifinals. That loss came April 6, 2008, which will be two years to the day of this year's final.
"The matchup doesn't matter to us," Charles said. "Whoever is going to be in the way, that's who we're going to have to go up against. It's nothing personal or anything like that. Whoever it was, we're just going to face a challenge and go up against them and play hard and leave everything out on the court."