Why Diana Taurasi is the Greatest UConn Women's Player...EVER ! 2003

Of the 11 National Championships the UConn Women have won, the most improbable one wasn't 2013, it was 2003.. And it's not even close. Coming off a perfect 39-0 season with arguably the best starting five UConn has ever had, only one was back for the 2003 season. Junior Diana Taurasi. Yes, Maria Conlon, Ashley Battle and Jessica Moore were back along with a talented group of freshman that included Barbara Turner, Wilnett Crockett, Nicole Wolff and the #1 recruit in the nation in Ann Strother....And while games were closer and more suspenseful, all they did was win and move up the rankings. The stunning day was February 1st in Durham, when the Taurasi led Huskies regained the #1 ranking by spanking previously unbeaten Duke 77-65. There was a bump in the road at the Big East Tournament Final, losing to a veteran Villanova Team 52-48 to end the Huskies 70 game win streak...It's the best thing that happened to UConn !!

They disposed of BU and TCU in Storrs, then knocked off BC and PUrdue in Dayton to punch it's Ticket to Atlanta. Where they stole one from Texas in the National Semi Finals only to see the Tennessee Lady Vols waiting for them at the finish line. Taurasi was the ultimate Lady Vol villain...losing to the hated rival wasn't an option. Back in January in Hartford, Taurasi hit big shot after big shot in a 63-62 OT win, where Kara Lawson had a chance to win it in the final seconds and missed.

A big crowd at the Georgia Dome readied for the duel of Women's BB Superpowers. And it's a game the Huskies led most of the way. Establishing a 16-10 without Taurasi playing much of a role, yet. Ann Strother led the way early with a few threes as the players not named Taurasi made 6 of their first 7 shots. The Huskies couldn't extend the lead as Lawson and Gwen Jackson kept the Vols close, but Taurasi got going - scoring 11 first half points and UConn led 35-30 at the break. As the Huskies made 6 three's but the rebounding was all Tennessee...

The Huskies, led by Taurasi, Conlon and Strother kept making key threes, 10 for the game in all as UConn built a 13p point lead with 6:11 left, where Taurasi, who was just spectacular all tournament long had 28. While making players around her better to believe they could do it. Tennessee made a furious comeback and within 4 at 70-66 when in the the final moments, Taurasi rebounded her own miss, got the ball to Conlon who was fouled and made free throws. Followed by an Ashley Battle steal where the Huskies played keep away over the last 22 seconds and won 73-68 for back to back titles at 37-1. Taurasi was the Final Four MOP...averaging 25ppg in the 6 wins...Strother added 17, Conlon 11 with 6 assists and no turnovers and Barbara Turner had 10.

People believe because Breanna Stewart won four Natty's, shes the GOAT. And that's fine, BUT when they won, there was always one or two other All Americans on the team. When the Huskies won the 2003 and 2004 Championships, the ONLY All American was Diana Taurasi. That's why she is the Greatest UConn Women's Basketball Player EVER !! Dee carried the Huskies to the 2003 National Championship.

View the game at UConnHuskyGames.com

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