UConn women’s basketball heads to Final Four after campus sendoff in search of national title No. 12


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STORRS — Rising from a sea of followers, students and neighborhood media, the UConn women’s basketball group was escorted to the constitution buses that started its initially leg of travel on the way to the Last Four in Minneapolis Tuesday afternoon.

As enthusiasts screamed and cheered and the UConn band blasted its fight track, the Huskies took in the instant. Some took out their telephones to doc the scene although other individuals merely gazed out at the group of a number of hundred persons.

Senior Evina Westbrook took a microphone and tackled the crowd. She thanked the supporters for their assist all year and finished her speech with an encouraging, “Let’s go get this!” Which of program was met by a loud uproar from the crowd. Soon after fracturing her wrist in Monday’s Elite 8 gain more than NC Point out, graduate transfer Dorka Juhász appeared to be in good spirits as she bent down, arm sling and all, to pet and choose pics with Jonathan, the Huskies’ are living mascot.

There have been moments in Monday’s double-time beyond regulation thriller in which it looked like perhaps this minute, Tuesday early morning, would not have occurred. There had been moments this season where the Huskies were being in the depths of personal injury absences and seeking for any and just about every silver lining.

Still, UConn tuckered through all season very long. Gamers stepped up when needed and identified as upon. Paige Bueckers went off for 27 points in 45 minutes versus the Wolfpack to lengthen the team’s period as the very least one particular additional game: in opposition to No. 1 seed Stanford in Friday’s Last 4 (9:30 p.m., ESPN). It is the Huskies’ 14th straight appearance in the countrywide semifinals and 22nd total.

The No. 2 Huskies flew out of Connecticut Tuesday headed toward Minneapolis — significantly less than a 20-minute push from Bueckers’ hometown of Hopkins, Minn. It’s the similar backdrop from UConn’s to start with countrywide championship in 1995. Although the team’s depth took a significant strike Monday with the loss of Juhász, these Huskies are determined to repeat what took place 27 decades in the past and provide again title No. 12.

“Anytime you go to the Remaining Four, it’s important. It was the very to start with time we went, and it feels that way currently,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said in Tuesday’s media convention.

Auriemma suggests he still remembers most details for UConn’s 1995 championship win in excess of Tennessee. The crew showcased all-time UConn greats Jennifer Rizzotti, Jamelle Elliott, Kara Wolters, and Nykesha Revenue. It was the initially of UConn’s document 11 national titles.

“Every memory that I have about that match is burned into my mind,” he mentioned. “I can in all probability try to remember every single solitary possession. I can try to remember each and every timeout, halftime what we did, where by we stayed, all the things, since every thing was just so huge. We had been riding that undefeated year. We ended up finding unparalleled attention that experienced never been bestowed on a women’s basketball application. So, we had been dealing with a whole lot, and the enjoyment was unbelievable.

By Harriet