UConn’s Stewart makes history in Tampa

Published on CrowsNestStPete.com April 2015

She is the only player in women’s basketball history to win three national championships and three Final Four Most Outstanding Player awards.

 She was awarded the Associated Press Player of the Year for two consecutive seasons and is 18-0 in NCAA tournament games while wearing a Connecticut Huskies uniform.

Yet, Breanna Stewart still hasn’t met her own expectations.

After defeating Notre Dame 63-53 in the 2015 NCAA championship game Tuesday night, Stewart reminded the world that her goal was to win four championships at UConn.

Stewart said she is grateful for the individual accolades, but the team’s success is most important to her.

“I think that, you know, it’s a cool feeling that kind of thing,” Stewart said. “But the championship is most important. And as I said on the stage, I thought that Moriah should have gotten the MOP.  I thought the way she played was phenomenal these past two games.  And I think that people wanted to give it to me just because it was my opportunity to win three in a row.”

Stewart shot 4-for-8 on the night and recorded 8 points and 15 rebounds. She finished the 2015 Final Four with 33 points and 23 rebounds.

“I think it’s really surreal, and I think I haven’t had a chance to even think about that — the fact that I’ve won three National Championships,” Stewart said.

It was a historical night for the program. Following the final buzzer, former UConn players, including two time WNBA and NCAA champion Maya Moore, ran onto the court to celebrate with the team and congratulate head coach Geno Auriemma on his 10th championship.

Auriemma is just the third coach in any college or professional sport to win 10 championships. Phil Jackson (Bulls and Lakers) and John Wooden (UCLA) are the others. 

Auriemma fielded questions after the game about his legacy and where he ranks among the greatest coaches. But he said he’ll let other people decide that, and then directed the attention to his players.

“There just hasn’t been a player like Stewy in the women’s game in a long, long time,” Auriemma said. “So for her to get three most outstanding players — as I said — she set her goal to do that. And maybe that’s why she broke down up on the stage today — that she knows how hard she worked to get here, and I’m proud of her.”

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