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No. 2 UConn drops No. 1 NC State in double OT to advance to Final Four

Mar 28, 2022; Bridgeport, CT, USA; NC State Wolfpack forward Jakia Brown-Turner (11) drives the ball against UConn Huskies guard Caroline Ducharme (33) during the first half in the Bridgeport regional finals of the women's college basketball NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Paige Bueckers scored 23 of her game-high 27 points after halftime Monday night, lifting second-seeded Connecticut to a 91-87 double overtime win over top-seeded N.C. State for the Bridgeport Region championship in Bridgeport, Conn.

Bueckers made 8 of 9 shots in the second half, including a 3-pointer and a pullup to start the second overtime that put the Huskies (29-5) ahead for good. Christyn Williams added 21 points, including a clinching layup with 5.2 seconds remaining. Azzi Fudd tallied 19 and Aaliyah Edwards hit for 10.

Five players scored in double figures for the Wolfpack (32-4), led by Jakia Brown-Turner with 20 points. Elissa Cunane added 18, Jada Boyd scored 14, Kai Crutchfield contributed 12 points and Kayla Jones also netted 12.

The result gave UConn its 14th straight Final Four trip in its 16th consecutive regional final. It denied N.C. State its first Final Four appearance since 1998.

The Huskies meet defending NCAA champ Stanford Friday night in the semifinals in Minneapolis.

N.C. State tied the game at 61 with one minute left in regulation when Cunane powered home a layup. It then forced a second overtime when Brown-Turner drilled a corner 3 over Bueckers with 0.8 seconds left.

UConn controlled most of the first three quarters, using significant advantages in points in the paint and points off turnovers. It was able to create better shots in the lane while forcing N.C. State to rely on 3-pointers that rarely found the mark.

The Huskies led by as many as nine in the second quarter but lost Dorka Juhasz, one of their top post players, to what was called a left wrist injury after she was fouled under the bucket. Cunane’s layup in the final minute drew the Wolfpack within 34-28 at halftime.

N.C. State kept working the game in the third quarter, finally finding the range from 3-point land after going 1 of 10 in the first half. Diamond Johnson drilled a 3 in the last minute, pulling the Wolfpack within 44-43 going to the fourth period.

–Field Level Media