LINCOLN, Neb. — For a while, it looked as if the best season in Brigham Young University women’s basketball history was going to get even better.
The Cougars led defending national champion Connecticut for much of the first half and were still up early in the second. Then Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and the Huskies’ cast of stars took over and ran off to yet another double-digit victory, 70-51 in the Lincoln regional semifinals.
“I think we were just excited knowing we were playing great basketball with the best of the best,” said BYU’s Kim Beeston, who hit four three-pointers and scored 16 points. “We knew if things kept going the way we wanted to it would be a close game down to the wire. We’re a little disappointed we couldn’t do that.”
Morgan Bailey added 14 points for the Cougars (28-7). West Coast Conference player of the year Jennifer Hamson had nine points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots.
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“I told the team hopefully this is the start of what we want to be at BYU — a team that comes to this tournament yearly and knocks on the door,” said BYU coach Jeff Judkins, whose team set a school record for victories.
The Huskies (37-0), winners of 43 in a row, need a win over Texas A&M on Monday night to reach the Final Four for the seventh consecutive year.
UConn stars Breanna Stewart and Bria Hartley each got off to a slow start, and then picked it up in the second half. Stewart had 12 of her 16 points after halftime, and Hartley scored each of her 12 points after the break.
Mosqueda-Lewis and Stefanie Dolson each grabbed 13 rebounds for UConn.
Texas A&M 84, DePaul 65
Courtney Walker scored 25 points, and the Aggies (27-8) downed the Blue Demons (29-7) for the right to meet Connecticut in the regional final.
Texas A&M led by 14 points at halftime and turned back two DePaul runs. Courtney Williams had 14 of her 15 points in the second half for A&M.
DePaul shot 40 percent, 28 percent in the first half, and struggled defensively against the physical Aggies. Jasmine Penny had 16 of her 24 points in the second half.