Rebecca Lobo was on the ground floor of Connecticut’s women’s basketball dominance, the star of the Huskies’ first NCAA championship team in 1995.
The Huskies would come to rule the sport, winning a total of 10 national titles and carrying a remarkable 111-game winning streak and heavy favorite tag into the Final Four game against Mississippi State on Friday in Dallas.
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The title quest and streak ended with the Bulldogs’ stunning 66-64 triumph on Morgan William’s jumper with no time remaining.
It was a moment even Lobo, who has spent much of her post-playing career as an ESPN analyst, could appreciate … because she’s an analyst.
“For years or so I’ve had to really focus and concentrate on creating sort of a separation to do my job well,” Lobo said. “So after the game, those of us who worked for ESPN were on a high not because of who won but because the games were so great. It makes our jobs so much easier.”
South Carolina defeated Stanford in the other semifinal, setting up Sunday’s All-SEC championship game.
On Saturday, Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma congratulated Lobo during ESPN’s broadcast of the Naismith Hall of Fame announcement. Lobo was one of 11 named in the Class of 2017.
“I love Coach,” Lobo said. “I feel bad for him, as bad as you can for somebody who has won as much as he has.”