Women's Basketball: UConn to play A&M for a shot at the Final Four
LINCOLN, Neb. - Considering the stature and success of the UConn women's basketball program, streaks are a common occurrence. Forty-three straight wins, 21 straight Sweet 16s, nine straight Elite Eights.
All of those span more than just one season, almost all of them span more than a single player's career. On Monday, when the top-seeded Huskies (37-0) take on No. 3 Texas A&M, another of those illustrious streaks will be put on the line for a chance at a seventh straight Final Four.
"At the moment, you're not really thinking about it," Stefanie Dolson said. "Obviously we don't know the streaks that we're a part of our can be a part of. But in the long run you definitely do reflect on the fact that you're a part of such a big legacy and so much history in this program."
In order to add another chapter to that growing UConn record book, the Huskies will have to get past the Aggies.
Texas A&M (27-8) comfortably pushed its way past No. 7 DePaul, 84-69, on Saturday to make its third Elite Eight.
But the Aggies were able to win that game running a mostly small lineup, often throwing four guards at the Blue Demons to match up. Monday, the rotation of players will have to change in order to account for UConn's size inside.
"We don't have to worry about 5-foot-11" [Jasmine Penny of DePaul] anymore," Aggies coach Gary Blair said. "Now it is 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-4 [Dolson, Breanna Stewart and Kiah Stokes] on the other end. My four guard lineup will go out the window now. We will try and put as many trees as we can in there against UConn."
Considering the rough nature of the Huskies' 70-51 win over No. 12 BYU, Blair will also have to contend with a team that figures to be hungry to correct its mistakes.
"That's one of the really great challenges of this tournament," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "You don't have time to dwell on what just happened and it's a quick turnaround to play a completely different team than we played last night."
For Dolson, Monday night's game will be the 150th of her career, which ties Kayla Pederson of Stanford for the most games played in NCAA history. In all but two of those 150 games - both of which came during her freshman year - she's gotten the start.
"Being able to be consistent for that long of a period of time," Dolson said, "and having Coach trust me that much to start me that many games is pretty cool."
This is the third straight year that UConn will play Texas A&M. The two teams played a home-and-home in Dec. 2011 and Nov. 2012, with the Huskies taking both meetings by an average of 30.5 points.
Tip-off is set for 9:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on ESPN. The winner will travel to Nashville, Tenn. for the Final Four on April 6.
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