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UConn women beat Cuse advance to BEast title game

Tuesday - 3/12/2013, 3:40am  ET

Connecticut's Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, right, is fouled by Syracuse's Carmen Tyson-Thomas, left, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Big East Conference women's tournament in Hartford, Conn., Monday, March 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

DOUG FEINBERG
AP Basketball Writer

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Get ready for UConn-Notre Dame, Part III.

The teams who played a triple-overtime thriller a week ago will meet for the Big East title Tuesday night. It's a fitting way for the conference to end its current format with the teams splitting up next year.

Breanna Stewart and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis each scored 14 points and No. 3 Connecticut beat 22nd-ranked Syracuse 64-51 on Monday night in the semifinals to set up the title matchup.

"Seems like it's been us and Notre Dame for a long time," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We're the best teams in the league and it's fitting that the two best teams in the league should play."

The Huskies have dominated the Irish in the title game, winning all six of the meetings between the schools, including the last two. Yet the Irish have had the Huskies' number over the last two seasons outside of that game.

For UConn to extend its streak of 19 straight seasons with either a regular season or Big East tournament championship, the Huskies will have to figure out a way to solve the Irish. Notre Dame has won six of the past seven meetings since losing to the Huskies in the 2011 Big East title game.

"I'm going to coach the same way I coached the last two times we played them," Auriemma said. "What I think and feel it doesn't matter one iota. What's most important is how our players feel and how we play tomorrow and how we play the whole game."

Against Syracuse, the Huskies (29-3) led by 15 at the half, but uncharacteristically couldn't pull away.

Kayla Alexander scored 14 to lead the Orange (24-7).

UConn led 24-18 midway through the first half before Mosqueda-Lewis started a 15-6 run with a 3-pointer. Her second 3 of the burst made it 32-22. Then, Stewart took over by scoring six of the next eight points. Her jumper in the lane made it 39-24 with 2:57 left in the half.

Brittney Sykes' layup 45 seconds earlier was the last basket the Orange would get for nearly 9
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