College basketball's greatest dynasty is heading back to the women's Final Four.
UConn secured its 13th straight Final Four appearance on Monday, advancing past the Elite Eight with a 69-67 win over Baylor. The Huskies will now continue their quest for the national title in a Final Four matchup against either Arizona on April 2.
Baylor jumped out to a 55-45 lead with just over two minutes to play in the third quarter, but the Bears then lost a key piece as guard DiDi Richards exited the game with an apparent hamstring injury. And with Richards out, UConn's offense caught fire.
The Huskies went on a 19-0 run to take a 64-55 lead with 7:13 remaining, seizing the lead as freshman Paige Bueckers began to find a rhythm from the perimeter. Baylor closed UConn's lead to just one in the final 20 seconds, but Bueckers and Co. held on in a 69-67 victory.
Baylor had an opportunity to win the game in the final seconds. Guard DiJonai Carrington took a shot on the baseline with under four seconds remaining, but she was blocked by a pair of UConn defenders. It looked as though Carrington may have been fouled on the shot, but the referees opted against making a call as UConn advanced.
"I personally don’t see it as controversial call," Carrington said postgame. "I already saw it on the replay. One girl fouled me on my face and one girl fouled me on the arm."
Bueckers finished Monday night with 28 points on 10-22 from the field as she led all scorers. Her Elite Eight performance continued a dominant freshman season, one in which Bueckers earned a first-team All-American honor. Bueckers previously combined for 62 points in her previous three tournament games.
UConn advanced to its 13th straight Final Four on Monday, but the program is still facing a relatively long championship drought. The Huskies have not won the national title in each of the last three seasons after winning four straight championships from 2013-16.
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