The number of championships Geno Auriemma and the University of Connecticut’s Lady Huskies have won since 1995.
Although Tuesday night’s highly anticipated rematch of the 2014 Women’s NCAA title game between Notre Dame and UCONN was more competitive than last year’s championship blowout, the outcome was the same. The Lady Huskies defeated the Lady Irish, 63-53.
Auriemma’s Lady Huskies proved to be too much of a force for Muffet McGraw and her team. UCONN’s star player, Breanna Stewart had a quiet night offensively, scoring just 8 pts, while remaining aggressive on the glass and grabbing 15 rebounds. But it was the star power of Moriah Jefferson (15 pts, 3 reb, 5 ast, 4 st) and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (15 pts, 5 reb, 2 bl, 1 st) that caused fits for the Lady Irish despite Brianna Turner’s (14 pts, 10 reb, 1 bl, 1 st) impressive effort. She kept the Irish within striking distance early on, bringing them within six points with 5:29 remaining, but the Huskies eventually pulled away when Mosqueda-Lewis scored seven straight points, including a dagger of a three-pointer.
The Hall of Fame coach’s 10th championship win on 10 attempts, including three in a row, puts him among elite coaching company — UCLA great John Wooden, who led the Bruins to 10 titles in 11 seasons, and Phil Jackson who coached the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers to a combined total of 11 championships. Coach Mike Krzyzewski is often considered to be one of the greatest coaches, but he still has a ways to go, after winning his fifth title, before catching Wooden and Auriemma. And with four of five starters returning next year, Auriemma and the Lady Huskies seem poised for a 4-PEAT.
When fans and experts discuss sports dynasties, rarely are the Lady Huskies mentioned. The New York Yankees, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bills, and San Antonio Spurs usually receive top billing. But none of those franchises are close to dominating in the same capacity as the University of Connecticut’s Lady Huskies, and yet they hold the crown. Respect and honor the accomplishments and leadership of Auriemma. If numbers never lie, he’s the best currently doing it.