Geno Auriemma reached another milestone in record fashion.
The Hall of Famer became the second coach to achieve 100 victories in the NCAA tournament as his UConn Huskies pulled off a record rout of Texas, 105-54, on Saturday in the Sweet 16 at the Times Union Center.
Auriemma joined Pat Summitt, who finished with 112 victories in her career, as the only two coaches in men’s or women’s basketball to reach that milestone.
“That’s lots of wins, 100 wins in the NCAA tournament,” Auriemma said. “Some people don’t get to play in the NCAA tournament ever or play a couple games. We’ve been pretty fortunate. We didn’t win anything in the NCAA in our first couple years.”
The Huskies stand three victories away from a third straight national championship and 10th overall.
Breanna Stewart was a key reason why the Huskies set the NCAA record for margin of victory in the regionals and beyond. The junior star had 31 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
“[Today] was a lot of fun,” Stewart said. “Right from the start, shots were going in and we were being aggressive. … Texas has a big presence inside, big post players. We knew if we got them moving a little bit, we could get any shot we wanted.”
The Huskies shot a blistering 56 percent from the field and became the eighth team to put up more than 100 points in the regionals.
“Like I said to the coaching staff at Texas, when you shoot the ball as well as we did, we’re a really hard team to play against,” Auriemma said.
UConn (35-1) led, 26-19, midway through the first half before blowing the game open with a 44-9 run spanning the halves. The burst started with 13 straight points by the Huskies.
UConn led, 52-24, at the half, and scored 18 points in the first 3:30 of the second half to finish off the run.
Stewart surpassed her previous NCAA tournament-best of 29 points before leaving the game for good with just over nine minutes left. Moriah Jefferson added a career-high 25 points — hitting 10 of her 12 shots — for the Huskies, who have advanced to the regional final for 10 straight seasons. They have been to the Final Four a record seven straight years.
“I can’t say enough about these two guys,” Auriemma said. “It seemed like they were on a whole different level than anyone else who was playing. You almost come to expect that from Stewie at this time of year. To see Moriah do what she did today, she’s come a long way in two years. I couldn’t be happier for these guys.”
Notre Dame and Louisiana Tech held the previous record for margin of victory in the regionals and beyond. Both teams won by 44 points, Louisiana Tech in 1990 and the Irish in 2012.
The 105 points is the second-highest total scored in the Sweet 16 and later. Only Stanford has put up more points, getting 114 in 1990 against Arkansas.
Texas was making its first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2004. Coach Karen Aston has a young roster, and the Longhorns may not have to wait long to get back. Ariel Atkins scored 11 to lead Texas (24-11).
The Longhorns tried to slow the Huskies down with their big lineup of 6-foot-7 Imani McGee-Stafford and 6-5 Kelsey Lang. Aston went with the pair at the first media timeout and her team trailing, 13-6. The Longhorns were within seven points with 9:36 left before the speedy Huskies made their run.
Andrea Hoover scored 26 points, and seventh-seeded Dayton continued its improbable run in the NCAA tournament with a win over third-seeded Louisville in the regional semifinals.
Amber Deane added 15 points, and Jodie Cornelie-Sigmundova had 12 pionts and 11 rebounds for the Flyers, who won for the 11th time in the last 12 games.
The Flyers become just the fourth No. 7 seed to advance to a regional final since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1994, and the first since Mississippi in 2007.
Myisha Hines-Allen scored all 14 of her points in the second half to lead Louisville, which finishes its season at 27-7.
Dayton led by a point at the half. But a three-pointer from Deane capped an 11-2 run early in the second half that pushed the lead to double digits, and the Flyers never trailed after intermission.
The Flyers shot 51 percent from the floor and made 26 of their 30 free throws. Hoover was 15-for-15 from the line, becoming the first player with a minimum of 12 attempts to shoot 100 percent from the line.
Coach Jim Jabir, a former Siena coach, ran toward the stands after the final horn sounded, giving praise to the Dayton fans, one of whom shouted, “Who else from Kentucky can we beat,” as the final seconds wound down.
Dayton upset second-seed Kentucky, 99-94, in the second round.
The Flyers made 11 three-pointers against the Wildcats. They were just 2-for-10 from behind the arc in this one, but outscored the Cardinals, 42-34, in the paint.
Louisville was just 1-for-15 from three-point range, and shot just 31.5 percent for the game.
Jude Schimmel, the Cardinals’ senior floor leader, hit just four of her 23 shots and finished with 11 points.
Hines-Allen picked up two fouls in the game’s first two minutes, and sat until intermission. She picked up her fourth foul with more than eight minutes left and the Cardinals trailing, 58-53.
With Hines-Allen out of the game, the Flyers went on a 10-0 run to push the lead to 15 points.
Maryland 65, Duke 55
SPOKANE, Wash. — Brenda Frese sat down at the dais and immediately gave a little jab at Maryland’s former foes from its days in the ACC.
“I don’t know what it is, but I think we just love being able to beat Duke in the NCAA tournament,” Maryland’s head coach said.
Duke may have controlled its rivalry with the Terrapins before Maryland departed for the Big Ten. But the Terps are now 2-0 against Duke in the NCAA tournament, and about to play for another trip to the Final Four.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 18 of her 24 points in the second half, Laurin Mincy scored all 15 of her points in the first half, and top-seeded Maryland advanced to the Spokane Regional final with a victory over the No. 4 seed.
Walker-Kimbrough took over the scoring load carried by Mincy in the first half as the Terrapins (33-2) reached the Elite Eight for the sixth time under Frese. The Terrapins had lost eight of their previous 10 games against Duke.
Brionna Jones added 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Terrapins held a decided 33-24 rebounding edge despite Duke’s size advantage inside.
Maryland’s goal was to allow fewer than 10 offensive rebounds to the Blue Devils. They gave up six, and Duke had only six second-chance points.
Elizabeth Williams led Duke (23-11) with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Ka’lia Johnson scored 15 points for the Blue Devils.
The Terrapins’ offense was mostly Mincy in the first half, finding holes in Duke’s zone defense and hitting threes from the perimeter. She scored 12 of Maryland’s first 24 points, all on three-pointers.
Gonzaga 69 (OT)
Cierra Burdick scored 22 points, including four late free throws for the winning points, as Tennessee beat Gonzaga in overtime.
Burdick added 15 rebounds, and Ariel Massengale scored 16 points for Tennessee (30-5), which overcome poor shooting and a 17-point deficit for the win.
Sunny Greinacher scored 24 points, and Keani Albanez had 20 for surprising 11th-seeded Gonzaga (26-8), which upset third-seeded Oregon State last weekend to advance to the round of 16. That was its record eighth win as a double-digit seed in the NCAA tournament.
Second-seeded Tennessee will play top-seeded Maryland on Monday for a trip to the Final Four in Tampa, Fla.
The game at the Spokane Arena wasn’t on Gonzaga’s home court, but its campus is only about a mile away, and most of the crowd was rooting for the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga, led by first-year coach Lisa Fortier, was a surprise to get this far after being selected to the tournament field. They lost to BYU in the West Coast Conference tournament.
The score was tied at 63-63 at the end of regulation, and Greinacher scored on a long jumper to put Gonzaga up in overtime.
Jordan Reynolds replied with a pair of free throws.