Three-time defending NCAA champion Connecticut routed Oregon State 80-51 in the Final Four on Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. A look at how the Huskies won the game.
How the game was won: It has long been said if the Huskies plays their A-game there isn't a team that can beat them. Despite Breanna Stewart getting in early foul trouble and scoring just two first-half points, the Huskies played pretty close to their usual level of greatness. Defensively, they mixed up their looks, keeping Oregon State off balance for much of the first half, forcing 13 turnovers in the first 20 minutes to build a 47-26 halftime lead. The second half was much of the same of what UConn does best: execute the game plan at both ends of the floor. The Huskies moved into their 11th championship game.
Player of the game: Morgan Tuck scored 10 of UConn's first 15 points. That quick burst set the tone for the entire game. The redshirt junior forward was Connecticut's most reliable offensive player all night. Tuck finished with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 4 of 8 3-pointers.
Player of the game II: Moriah Jefferson's floor game was efficient and exceptional. On the most important possessions she just took over the action, either getting to the bucket or finding Tuck on a kick out pass. The senior point guard's 10 points were highlighted by consecutive baskets late in the first half, one coming off a steal and layup that took any remaining steam out of the Beavers. She also had seven assists and along the way became UConn's all-time leader in that category, passing Dianna Taurasi. She shot 5-of-6 from the field.
Player of the game III: With Stewart struggling and Katie Lou Samuelson suffering a broken bone in her left foot in the first half, an injury that could be more of a problem for UConn on Tuesday night, freshman Gabby Williams made an impact in the biggest game of her young career. Williams' deflected a number of passes in the lane as Oregon State tried to get the ball to Ruth Hamblin. Williams also scored six first-half points in just six minutes when the Huskies needed a lift the most.
Turning point: If Oregon State was to have any hope of a comeback, the Beavers needed Jamie Weisner to have a huge second half. Instead, the senior guard picked up two quick third-quarter fouls and had to go to the bench. Without her, Oregon State's deficit grew and a comeback was impossible. Weisner, an All-American playing in her final game, finished with just nine points on 4-of-15 shooting.
Stat of the game: Oregon State allowed 51 points per game and led the nation in field goal percentage defense (31.7 percent) this season. In the first half alone, UConn had 47 points and made 58.8 percent of its field goal attempts.
Stat of the game II: Despite Stewart's atypical first half -- she took just two shots and scored two points with two rebounds -- the consensus national player of the year finished with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting and eight boards.
X factor: UConn's defense was stifling most of the night. The Huskies forced 18 turnovers, 13 in the decisive first half, and held the Beavers to 33.3 percent shooting. Heading into the game, Oregon State was shooting 44 percent on the season.