Shop Fantasy Central Golf Guide Email Travel Subscribe SI About Us College Basketball Men's

  w. college bb
player stats
team stats
baseball S
pro football S
col. football S
pro basketball S
m. college bb S
hockey S
golf plus S
tennis S
soccer S
motor sports
olympic sports
women's sports
more sports

 Sportsman of the Year
 Heisman Trophy
 Swimsuit 2001

 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Video Plus
 Your Turn
 Message Boards
 Email Newsletters
 Golf Guide
 Cities GROUP
 Sports Illustrated
 Life of Reilly
 SI Women
 SI for Kids
 Press Room
 TBS/TNT Sports
 CNN Languages

 SI Customer Service
 SI Media Kits
 Get into College
 Sports Memorabilia

Old hat

Huskies advance to eight consecutive Big East final

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Tuesday March 06, 2001 12:43 AM
Updated: Tuesday March 06, 2001 2:11 AM

  Swin Cash Junior Swin Cash was one of three Huskies to score in double digits. AP

STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- No. 2 Connecticut was off to a quick start against No. 8 Rutgers in the Big East semifinal game Monday night when a major winter storm nearly gummed up the works.

Play was delayed 90 minutes to repair Gampel Pavilion's roof after it sprung a leak with 3:13 left in the first half with UConn leading 41-20.

But the Huskies didn't miss a beat when they returned and posted a 94-66 victory to advance to their eighth consecutive Big East tournament title game.

The top spot in the nation is at stake when UConn takes on No. 1 Notre Dame in Tuesday's final.

Swin Cash led UConn with 20 points, and Diana Taurasi added 17.

"I told the players that's probably the best we've played the whole 40 minutes in a long time," head coach Geno Auriemma said.

Actually, the entire game took more than three hours. The Huskies watched the movie The Kings of Comedy in the interim and planned to spend the night in Gampel because of the storm.

"It gave us something to do," said Shea Ralph, who had a team-high seven rebounds. "We were laughing and staying awake. Our spirit was high in the locker room and it was our job to make it stay that way."

UConn used its quick transition game and dominating post play to built a 26-3 run in the first 10 minutes. Forwards Cash and Asjha Jones combined for 19 points in the run.

"We were getting a lot of 1-on-1s in the lane and that's why we wanted to get the ball inside," Cash said.

The Huskies had a 23-6 rebounding edge and a 50-23 lead going into the break.

"They have tremendous talent and depth," Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer said. "Sometimes Connecticut is just that great and they make you look bad."

Tasha Pointer led Rutgers (22-7) with 18 points.

UConn played without point guard Sue Bird, who sat out with back spasms.

The championship game is the second meeting this season between UConn and Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish beat UConn 92-76 in South Bend on Jan. 15.

About 5,000 fans braved the elements, despite an earlier plea from Gov. John G. Rowland to stay off the roads.

"It was so amazing to me," Cash said of the fan turnout. "We wanted to come out and let them know that we heard them tonight."

One of the loudest cheers went up for Bill Sehl, the building engineer who was hoisted 100 feet inside the arena to fix the leak.

Related information
No. 1 Notre Dame advances to Big East title game
Notre Dame returns to No. 1 in women's poll
Rutgers-UConn Game Summary
Visit Multimedia Central for the latest audio and video
Search our site Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day
Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CNNSI Copyright © 2001
CNN/Sports Illustrated
An AOL Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.