KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) - Tiffany Hayes scored 22 points and top-seeded Connecticut beat Kentucky 80-65 on Tuesday night to advance to the Final Four for the fifth straight season.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 18 for UConn (33-4), which will play Big East rival Notre Dame on Sunday in Denver. The Huskies matched their own school mark of five straight trips to the national semifinals. LSU and Stanford have also accomplished the feat.
Unlike their previous four trips to the regional finals, which were quick blowouts, the Huskies had to work hard to pull away from the Wildcats in the Kingston Regional.
UConn led 48-47 early in the second half before turning up its defense. The Huskies used a 21-4 run to take command. Hayes, the lone senior on the team, was the catalyst, scoring seven points during the surge. She was selected most outstanding player of the regional.
Second-seeded Kentucky (28-7) got no closer than 15 the rest of the way.
No. 1 NOTRE DAME 80, No. 2 MARYLAND 49
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Skylar Diggins had a triple-double and Notre Dame claimed its second straight berth in the national semifinals by beating Maryland in the Raleigh Regional final.
Diggins did it all for the top-seeded Fighting Irish (34-3). The Big East player of the year and AP All-America selection finished with 22 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds - and five steals.
Natalie Achonwa added 18 points while Kayla McBride had 16 and Natalie Novosel finished with 14.
Alyssa Thomas scored 17 points, and Tianna Hawkins and Alicia DeVaughn each had 10. Second-seeded Maryland (31-5) was denied its first trip to the Final Four since the Terrapins won the 2006 national title.