(2) Connecticut 70

(31-4, 14-2 Big East)

(1) Tennessee 61

(31-4, 14-0 SEC)

    8:30 PM ET, April 6, 2004

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

    1 2 T
    #2CONN 30 4070
    #1TENN 24 3761

    Top Performers

    Connecticut: D. Taurasi 17 Pts, 3 Reb

    Tennessee: S. Zolman 19 Pts, 8 Reb

    UConn second school to win three straight

    NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- Diana Taurasi capped off her outstanding collegiate career with a third straight championship as second-seeded Connecticut defeated top-seeded Tennessee, 70-61, on Tuesday night.

    Taurasi scored 10 of her 17 points in the second half to help the Huskies (31-4) hold off a number of charges by the Lady Vols and improve to 5-0 in the championship game, including 4-0 against Tennessee.

    After the Lady Vols (31-4) came from 17 points down in the first half to cut the score to 36-33 early in the second, Taurasi connected on a 3-point field goal with 4:08 expired to change the momentum. She added another 2:43 later to extend the lead for Connecticut to 48-38.

    The Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, Taurasi shot 6-of-11 from the field with three 3-point baskets. In eight career meetings against Tennessee, she finished with a 21.6 average and a shooting percentage from 3-point range of 48.

    The Huskies, who became just the second team to win three straight NCAA women's championships, have gone 7-1 in those games.

    Connecticut's Geno Auriemma also became the third coach to win five NCAA Division I basketball championships, joining John Wooden of UCLA and the Lady Vols' Pat Summitt.

    Jessica Moore, who scored the first four baskets after halftime for the Huskies, also had a strong second half with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

    With Tennessee closing within three points at 48-45 with 11:26 remaining, Moore pulled down one of her six offensive rebounds and scored. She also hit a lay-up with 8:58 left to supply Connecticut with a 52-48 advantage.

    Ann Strother had nine of her 14 points in the first half and Barbara Turner contributed 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists for the Huskies, who have won 18 straight tournament games and 28 of their last 29.

    Shanna Zolman led the second-half charge for the Lady Vols, scoring 14 of her game-high 19 points over the final 20 minutes. She buried three shots within the first 3:06 of the second half, including a 3-pointer that got Tennessee to within three points at 36-33.

    Ashley Robinson chipped in with 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks for the Lady Vols, who trailed, 30-13, with 6:29 left in the first half, but went into halftime with an 11-0 run.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 70 61
    FG Made-Attempted 24-51 (.471) 22-62 (.355)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-14 (.500) 4-16 (.250)
    FT Made-Attempted 15-20 (.750) 13-18 (.722)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 10 (0/0) 18 (0/0)

    Game Leaders

    PointsD. Taurasi 17S. Zolman 19
    ReboundsJ. Moore 9S. Zolman 8


    » Apr 6, 2004 CONN 70, @TENN 61Recap | Box Score