Of course Connecticut would break the game open with one of its trademark runs. As expected, the Huskies received a herculean effort from all-American Maya Moore, and they are going back to the Final Four.
Moore finished with 28 points to lead top-seeded Connecticut to Tuesday's 75-40 Philadelphia Regional final victory over second-seeded Duke at the Liacouras Center.
The win advanced the two-time defending national champion Huskies (36-1) to their fourth consecutive Final Four and 12th in school history. Connecticut will face Big East rival Notre Dame on Sunday in Indianapolis. The winner advances to the NCAA championship game on April 5.
Duke (32-4) gets the satisfaction of advancing to the Elite Eight for the second consecutive season.
Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, the Huskies swept this season's two meetings between the schools by a combined 71 points.
"What this team did with the schedule that we play was an incredible accomplishment," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said, "and to do it in the manner that they did, and to beat a really, really, really good team.
"I know we beat Duke twice, and obviously they're an incredible team from a great conference [Atlantic Coast Conference]. But there's something special about this group."
If so, there might be something extremely special about Moore.
The senior's 28 points gave her 3,000 for her career. The 6-foot forward became the seventh NCAA women's basketball player to reach that milestone.
However, the milestone was almost put on hold until the Final Four. Moore left the game shortly after suffering a knee injury while she had 26 points.
After riding the bike behind the bench for a few minutes, she reentered the game with 4 minutes, 46 seconds remaining. Moore exited the game for good shortly after scoring the milestone basket with 3:44 left.
"It was just a little bruise right above my knee," said Moore, voted the regional's outstanding player. "It just stung a little bit. But I got up, tried to play through it. I'm not worried about it."
The Lawrenceville, Ga., native also had 10 rebounds, seven steals, and two blocks Tuesday.
"I don't really think about it right now," Moore said of her milestone. "Of course, I'm really excited to be in a program where I am able to flourish as an offensive player."
Freshman point guard Bria Hartley (14 points), freshman center Stefanie Dolson (12) and junior guard Tiffany Hayes (11) were the Huskies' other double-digit scorers.
"It was just an all-around good win for us," said Moore, whose squad shot 72 percent in the second half. "If you look at the stats for all our players, especially our starters, something jumps out."
The Blue Devils can't say the same.
Senior guard Jasmine Thomas led Duke with 17 points, four assists and three steals.
But it was her team's poor shooting (25.4 percent) combined with Connecticut's 29-3 run that stretched 11:41 through the first and second half. That turned the Huskies' three-point cushion into a commanding 29-point lead with 10:34 remaining.