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Connecticut women win NCAA crown

ST. LOUIS (AP) — With one final blowout, UConn grabbed the national title and a piece of basketball history.

Tina Charles had 25 points and grabbed 19 rebounds Tuesday night as UConn routed Louisville 76-54 and captured the Huskies’ sixth national championship.

It wasn’t just that Connecticut claimed another title. It was how they did it.

UConn won every one of its 39 games by double digits, an unprecedented run in college basketball.

Charles was the star of the last big win. She commanded both ends of the floor and Louisville, which lost to UConn for the third time this season, had no one who could stop her.

Coach Geno Auriemma had said before the tournament that his junior center would be the key to UConn winning the title. A year after he benched her in the NCAAs for inconsistent play, Charles delivered.

She was 11-for-13 from the field, and fell just one rebound short of becoming only the second player ever in a championship game to have at least 20 points and 20 rebounds. Charles was named the outstanding player of the Final Four.

Maya Moore and Renee Montgomery each added 18 points for the Huskies.

Angel McCoughtry finished off her stellar career for Louisville with 23 points. Candyce Bingham was the only other Cardinal in double figures with 10 points as Louisville (34-5) shot a dismal 31 percent from the floor.

Women’s NCAA Championship

CONNECTICUT 76, LOUISVILLE 54

LOUISVILLE (34-5)

Rucker 1-1 0-0 2, McCoughtry 9-24 3-4 23, Bingham 4-14 2-2 10, Stephen 0-0 0-0 0, Byrd 1-10 0-0 2, Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Terry 0-0 0-0 0, Reid 2-9 3-4 7, Burke 2-4 0-0 5, Hines 1-3 0-0 2, Howard 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 21-68 8-10 54.

CONNECTICUT (39-0)

Charles 11-13 3-3 25, Hayes 2-4 0-0 5, Moore 7-18 3-4 18, Montgomery 5-14 6-10 18, Greene 4-7 1-1 9, Gardler 0-0 0-0 0, Dixon 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, McLaren 0-1 1-2 1, Kerns 0-0 0-0 0, Fernandes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-58 14-20 76.

Halftime–Connecticut 39-25. 3-Point Goals–Louisville 4-11 (McCoughtry 2-4, Howard 1-2, Burke 1-3, Bingham 0-2), Connecticut 4-14 (Montgomery 2-7, Hayes 1-2, Moore 1-4, Dixon 0-1). Fouled Out–Byrd. Rebounds–Louisville 38 (Bingham 11), Connecticut 43 (Charles 19). Assists–Louisville 6 (Byrd 4), Connecticut 17 (Moore 5). Total Fouls–Louisville 15, Connecticut 13. Technical–Louisville Bench. A–18,478.