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UConn women in regional finals for 7th year in row

By Doug Feinberg

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, March 25 2012 4:51 p.m. MDT

Penn State forward Mia Nickson (24) looks for an outlet around Connecticut guard Kelly Faris (34) during the first half of their NCAA women's tournament regional semifinal college basketball game in Kingstown, R.I., Sunday, March 25, 2012.

Stephan Savoia, Associated Press

KINGSTON, R.I. — Bria Hartley scored 20 points to lead a balanced Connecticut offense and help the top-seeded Huskies beat fourth-seeded Penn State 77-59 on Sunday in the Kingston Regional semifinals.

The Huskies' stellar defense stymied a high-powered Nittany Lions offense that averaged 87.5 points in the first two games of the NCAA women's basketball tournament. It's the seventh straight season that Connecticut advanced to the regional finals. The Huskies will face the winner between Gonzaga and Kentucky on Tuesday night with a berth in the Final Four on the line.

Leading 36-27 late in the first half, UConn (32-4) used a 17-2 run spanning halftime to blow the game open.

Mia Nickson scored 19 points and Maggie Lucas added 15 to lead Penn State (26-7), which was making its first appearance in the round of 16 since 2004.

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