Kentucky women hold off Delaware, 69-62
Blue Hens' Elena Delle Donne closes career with 33 points in loss. The Associated Press
Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell has his team one victory away from the school's first Final Four. The Wildcats had to overcome an incredible effort by Elena Delle Donne to get there.
Jennifer O'Neill scored 19 points and A'dia Mathies added 16 to help Kentucky hold off the Blue Hens 69-62 on Saturday in the Bridgeport regional semifinals, bringing to an end the stellar career of Delle Donne.
It's the second straight season that Kentucky (30-5) has advanced to the regional final and will play Connecticut.
Kentucky withstood a Delaware rally led by Delle Donne, who had 33 points for Delaware (32-4). The Wildcats led by 14 in the second half before the Blue Hens cut it to 62-60.
But Kastine Evans calmly responded with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 65-60.
Delle Donne ended as the fifth all-time leading scorer in NCAA history with 3,039 points. She passed former stars Cheryl Miller, Chamique Holdsclaw and Maya Moore on Saturday. Delle Donne finished short of Jackie Stiles' all-time scoring mark of 3,393 set at Southwest Missouri State from 1998-2001.
There's little doubt that Delle Donne may have broken the scoring record had she not missed 22 games in her career. The 6-foot-5 star who is averaging 26.6 points in her career sat out six games this season with a reoccurrence of the symptoms of Lyme disease that forced her to miss a dozen games two years ago.
She did all she could to take Delaware to the regional final. Trailing by 14 early in the second half, the Blue Hens cut their deficit to 62-60 with 2:47 left on a jumper by Delle Donne that touched nearly every part of the rim before dropping in.
Connecticut 76, Maryland 50: Freshmen Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck combined for 35 points as UConn (32-4) advanced to their eighth straight regional final with a blowout over Maryland in Bridgeport, Conn.
Stewart and sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis each had 17 points to lead the Huskies. Stewart also had eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
Jefferson made several key defensive stops and her two fast-break layups capped a 9-0 run to start the second half, giving UConn a 44-26 lead and control of the game.
Her layup midway through the half stretched the lead to 60-38. She finished with 10 points and Tuck had eight as the Huskies bench outscored Maryland's 25-0.
Two-time ACC player of the year Alyssa Thomas, who had scored 29 and 28 points in the team's first two tournament games, was held to 13 for Maryland (26-8). Tianna Hawkins and Chloe Pavlech each had 11 points for the Terps.
Maryland trailed 35-26 at the half and went scoreless for the first 3 minutes after intermission allowing UConn to blow the game open.
The Huskies will play Kentucky on Monday night in a rematch of last year's regional final.
Georgia 61, Stanford 59: Jasmine Hassell scored six of her 13 points in the final 3 minutes and fourth-seeded Georgia beat top-seeded Stanford to reach the NCAA women's regional finals for the first time since 2004.
Georgia overcame three major scoring droughts, including falling behind 9-0, to oust the No. 1 seed from the Spokane Regional and end Stanford's hopes of reaching the Final Four for the sixth straight year.
Jasmine James led Georgia (28-6) with 16 points, including a pair of free throws with 23.5 seconds left that gave the Lady Bulldogs a 60-56 lead.
Chiney Ogwumike led Stanford (33-3) with 26 points, but was held to eight points in the second half. She also had 12 rebounds.n