Bueckers shines in OTs, UConn to 14th straight Final Four

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — Paige Bueckers scored 15 of her 27 points during two overtime periods, and UConn beat North Carolina State 91-87 to extend the Huskies’ record women’s Final Four streak to 14 straight on Monday night.

The Huskies, who had been 0-for-5 in overtime in the NCAA Tournament, will face top seed Stanford on Friday night in the national semifinals in Minneapolis.

Bueckers, who grew up 10 miles outside the site of the Final Four, scored the first five points in the second overtime to lift the Huskies (29-5).

The sensational sophomore, who missed two months this season with a knee injury, was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Bridgeport Region.

With N.C. State within 86-84 in the second OT, Christyn Williams hit the second of two free throws and then a layup with 21 seconds left to give UConn a 89-85 lead.

Jakia Brown-Turner, who hit a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds in the first overtime to tie the game, then made a layup to get the Wolfpack within two, but Williams converted a layup off the inbounds to seal the win.

UConn had lost senior center Dorka Juhasz to a forearm injury earlier in the game.

Brown-Turner finished with 20 points for N.C. State (32-4).

WICHITA REGION

LOUISVILLE 62, MICHIGAN 50

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Hailey Van Lith scored 22 points, Olivia Cochran made a series of crucial baskets in the final minutes, and Louisville held off Michigan in a physical game to reach the program’s fourth Final Four.

Chelsie Hall added 15 points and Emily Engstler balanced out a poor shooting night with 16 rebounds and some big plays on defense, helping the top-seeded Cardinals (29-4) advance to face South Carolina next weekend in Minneapolis.

The No. 3 seed Wolverines (25-7) were within 52-50 with less than 3 minutes to go when the Cardinals, using some nifty ball movement to get out of a half-court trap, found Cochran for an easy layup. Then at the other end, Michigan star Naz Hillmon was called for charging, and Cochran added another bucket to give Louisville some breathing room.

The Cardinals finished off their second win over the Wolverines this season from the foul line.

Hillmon finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolverines, who held their first three tourney opponents under 50 points to reach their first regional final, but were unable to hold down the Cardinals for the full 40 minutes.

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