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Paige Bueckers scored 14 points and UConn advanced to the national championship game with a 63-58 win over defending champion Stanford on Friday night.
The Huskies will face South Carolina for the national championship on Sunday night. The Gamecocks beat the Cardinals 72-59 in Game 1 of the Final Four.
It’s UConn’s first trip to the championship game since 2016, when the Huskies won the last of four straight championships. Since then, the team has suffered heartbreaking defeats in the national semi-finals, losing twice in overtime.
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UConn (30-5) will be aiming for its 12th national championship, and the Huskies have never lost in an NCAA title game.
They had to work to reach the final. Leading 52-44 with 1:26 to go, Stanford had a furious rally thanks to some costly UConn turnovers.
Cameron Brink’s lay-up with 18.4 seconds left gave the Cardinal a 60-58 win. UConn was able to work seven seconds before Christyn Williams was fouled with 11 seconds left. The senior guard calmly swept both free throws to reestablish a two-possession lead.
Ashten Prechtel completely missed a hard-fought 3-pointer from the wing with 5.4 seconds left and the Huskies held on for the win.
Haley Jones led the Cardinal with 20 points.