UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's sweep of the first American Athletic Conference championship is complete.
Tournament Most Outstanding Player Breanna Stewart had 20 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and four blocked shots Monday night as the top-seeded Huskies whipped No. 2 Louisville 72-52 in the AAC tournament final before 8,034 fans at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The win also assures UConn (34-0) its 26th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance as it receives the AAC's automatic bid. The 64-team field will be announced next Monday.
It's the 19th league tournament title for the Huskies and the 16th time they have swept the regular season and tournament championships.
Louisville has not won a league tourney championship since beating Southern Mississippi to win the 1993 Metro Conference crown. With the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, the Cardinals came to Storrs and beat UConn 74-71 in the first round. That's the last time the Huskies lost back-to-back games and the only time Louisville has beaten them in 17 games.
Bria Hartley added 16 points and six assists. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 13 points. Stefanie Dolson
contributed a double-double of 10 points and a season high 16 rebounds. Moriah Jefferson had nine points.
UConn did not trail. Stewart and Hartley opened the game with 3-pointers. A Mosqueda-Lewis basket made it 8-0 before a Shoni Schimmel trey got Louisville (30-4) on the board.
Eight unanswered points gave the Huskies a 27-10 lead. The Cardinals answered with a 10-1 run, capped by a Schimmel three, to pull within eight. But UConn finished the period with a 12-2 run finished off by two Stewart hoops for a 40-22 halftime advantage.
Louisville got the first five points of the second half but again UConn responded and a 14-3 run, capped by a Mosqueda-Lewis three, made it 54-30 and started the countdown to the championship.
Mosqueda-Lewis' first hoop allowed her to reach 1,500 for her career. She joins teammates Hartley and Dolson has 1,500-point scorers. It's the first time UConn will have three players on its roster at that plateau.
Schimmel had 20 points for Louisville on 7-for-25 shooting from the floor, the first time she has reached double figures against UConn this season. The Cardinals' leading scorer had nine points in both regular season meetings.
Joining Stewart on the all-tournament team were Hartley, Dolson, Mosqueda-Lewis, Schimmel, and South Florida's Courtney Williams. Stewart averaged 21.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in the event.
Louisville will await an NCAA at-large berth. The Cardinals will host an NCAA regional at the KFC Yum! Center.
UConn will play its NCAA opener March 23 at Gampel Pavilion.