Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Perfection: UConn Women's Basketball Team

By Samantha Burden

The University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team cannot be stopped, winning their ninth straight NCAA title. With head coach Geno Auriemma, an exceptional coaching staff, and the most elite players in women’s Division One basketball, there seems to be no end in sight to the Huskies domination.

With a record of 40 wins and 0 losses in their 2014 season, the UConn Huskies obtained the perfect season. This year, they defeated teams by an average margin of thirty five points; basically, they blew out almost every opponent they faced, with their “closest” game being their 21 point win over Notre Dame. Keep in mind, they were playing the top teams in the country and still continued to win in such fashion. Notre Dame, for example, was also undefeated—since this was the first year that the two rivals had not had to face each other in the regular season.

In the NCAA final game, for the first time in women’s basketball Division One history, two undefeated teams were facing each other: UConn Huskies and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame, like UConn’s 2014 team, was comprised of Muffet McGraw, one of the most winning and respected coaches in college basketball, and All-American players such as Kayla McBride and Jewel Lloyd. On paper, the teams matched up well and fans expected this final game to be the best game they’d see all year. No team, at the time, had been a match for UConn and if there was a team that was going to beat them, it would be Notre Dame.

The NCAA final game started off competitive as the lead tossed back and forth between the Huskies and the Irish. The Irish only trailed by 7 points at halftime, and still gave people hope that the Huskies just might lose. However, these dreams were quickly shattered as Connecticut came out of the half and went on an 18-5 point run. The Irish would never come close after this.

With the final score of 79-58, UConn, yet again, proved their dominance. They took Notre Dame’s elite program and squashed them, just like any other regular team. They proved that even though both teams were undefeated, UConn was the best team in the country without question. The rivalry has now gotten more intense than ever, as both the players and coaches wanted to prove that they are the best. Clearly, Geno Auriemma and the Huskies won this battle.

All-American seniors and now future WNBA players Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley were keys to the Huskies’ win. Stefanie grabbed 16 rebounds, finished with 17 points and seven assists; almost reaching a triple double. Hartley added 13 points. The seniors have lead this team to win four NCAA titles in the last six years; and, most recently, lead the Huskies this year to a perfect season.

Perfection. When anybody thinks about women’s college basketball, you think of the UConn Huskies. They are the most dominant and simply best team in America and unfortunately for the rest, they just keep getting better. What these girls achieved this season is something that all women’s basketball players dream of. They set the bar and are extremely good role models for players in all levels of basketball.

Samantha Burden is a freshman at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Samantha is 18 years old and a member of STAC's Women’s Basketball team. She is undecided in her major, torn between communication arts and business finance. Samantha is currently dorming at the school, but lives on Long Island, New York. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys drawing and painting.

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