The University of Connecticut became the first No. 1 regional seed to advance to the final 16 of college basketball’s national women’s tournament with a 77-44 rout of Vanderbilt University.
It’s the 20th straight season that UConn has reached the regional semifinals of the National Collegiate Athletic Association women’s tournament.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 22 points to lead the Huskies (31-4), who opened a 37-24 halftime lead and then went on a 17-0 scoring run to start the second half.
“Our defense was so good that it never felt like we were struggling to keep the lead,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said at a news conference. “That’s exactly what you need at this time of the year.”
Connecticut, which is seeking an eighth national title, next faces No. 4 seed Maryland in the semifinals of the Bridgeport region on March 30.
The other three women’s No. 1 regional seeds -- Baylor University, Stanford University and the University of Notre Dame -- play second-round tournament games today for spots in the final 16. Defending-champion Baylor plays Florida State, while Notre Dame meets Iowa and Stanford faces Michigan.
Tennessee also advanced to the round of 16 with a win last night, as did Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Georgia and California.
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