Bueckers leads UConn back to Final Four

Bueckers leads UConn back to Final Four post thumbnail image

PORTLAND, Ore. — Again within the fall when UConn misplaced a number of key gamers to season-ending accidents and struggled early in nonconference play, coach Geno Auriemma thought it could’ve been a “miracle” for his crew to make a deep March run.

At the same time as a slew of accidents hampered the Huskies, now for the third straight marketing campaign, they nonetheless had one participant who might transcend all else: Paige Bueckers.

In her first season again from an ACL tear that sidelined her all of final yr, Bueckers scored a game-high 28 factors to go together with 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and a couple of blocks to ship UConn to its twenty third Last 4 look and fifteenth up to now 16 ladies’s NCAA tournaments with a 80-73 victory Monday over 1-seed USC within the Portland regional closing.

The 11-time nationwide champion Huskies aren’t used to being the underdogs. However with six gamers out for the yr due to accidents and 5 losses in nonconference play, many counted them out for a spot in Cleveland as they went into the NCAA event as a 3-seed.

That assumption would turn into misguided, as Bueckers, Aaliyah Edwards, Nika Muhl and their freshmen core have secured a spot within the nationwide semifinal recreation, the place they face the 1-seed Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday.

Bueckers, the 2021 nationwide participant of the yr, scored 9 factors within the closing 5:06 of the sport to keep at bay a USC comeback try. She has scored 20-plus factors in seven consecutive video games, the most important streak of her profession.

USC ends its season with its deepest event run since 1994, when the Trojans additionally misplaced within the Elite Eight, however with its future extremely vivid with presumptive freshman of the yr JuJu Watkins main the way in which.

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