3:30 PM EDT, April 3, 2012
"We huddled," Hayes said. "We were supposed to set a double screen, and Kelly said if they play it wrong, she's going long. I was looking for that first. She went. I threw a perfect pass. She caught it like a running back and she finished."
"It was awesome," Stefanie Dolson said.
This is the Huskies' 13th Final Four. Yes, it has become our annual rite of spring in Connecticut. Yet it also is the first time they go without a stone-cold, matured superstar. No UConn name is among the Wade finalists. Oh, nobody can deny the talent of Bria Hartley or the rising shooting star of Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, but this year isn't like four Final Fours in a row with Maya Moore. This isn't like four Final Fours in a row with Diana Taurasi.
"It's even sweeter," Hayes said. "This is a team effort. There wasn't one or two people getting us there. We all had our foot in. Everybody had their way of helping us get there."
After five players scored in double figures against Penn State in the Sweet 16 and five again scored in double figures against Kentucky, nobody will say they are not a supremely balanced team. After the eye-opening loss to St. John's on Senior Night and after the Huskies were skunked by double figures by Notre Dame at the XL Center, the most important question was who they could look to in the biggest moments.
The answer to that most important question was that they would look within themselves and to themselves.
Tiffany Hayes certainly did.
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