Three keys to UConn's dominant victory over Louisville in the 2013 National Championship game

The Connecticut Huskies aggressive defense against the Louisville Cardinals was a major factor in their win. - USA TODAY Sports

The Connecticut Huskies peaked at the right time, clicking on all cylinders in a dominant victory over the Louisville Cardinals as shown clearly by the stats.

It is well known that Connecticut Huskies coach Geno Auriemma follows and reveres the coaching philosophy of legendary men's basketball coach John Wooden. Many of the traits in his UConn program were evident during the glory days in Westwood. This came to mind early in the second half of the NCAA championship.

Often teams would stay with UCLA for a while, then the knockout punch would come. It may be just a few minutes but over that time the game was altered. With UConn that has transpired many times, as it did on Tuesday.

Louisville 'won' the first four minutes 9-7. They extended the margin to 14-10. The Huskies then went on a 19-0 run which, for all purposes, changed the game putting it in their overwhelming favor. The 'knockout punch' leading to a 93-60 victory.

The numbers:

UConn

Louisville

Possessions

77

76

Offensive Efficiency

121

79

eFG Percentage

63

42

FT Rate

22

17

OREB Pct

40

26

Turnover Rate

22

23

UConn had the advantage in each of the Four Factors. The turnover rate, still in the Huskies favor, was a bit high for Auriemma's liking.

Ball control index. A metric that divides turnovers by assists plus steals. For this game the BCI showed a UConn advantage, despite that 22 percent TO rate.

BCI

UConn 2.18

Louisville 1.36

A look at the efficiencies (NBA metric) of some of the key players:

Points

Efficiency

Minutes

Eff. Per Min.

Stewart, UConn

23

31

30

1.040

Dolson, UConn

12

22

26

.850

Faris, UConn

16

26

33

.790

Mosqueda-Lewis, UConn

18

22

35

.630

Hammond, Louisville

15

15

30

.500

Stewart was outstanding posting an excellent per minute efficiency. The nine, rebounds, three blocks and steal complemented her scoring. Dolson had 6 rebounds and five assists to increase the efficiency. Mosqueda-Lewis enjoyed 6 of 12 shooting and 9 boards. Faris virtually did it all. The UConn senior added nine rebounds, 6 assists and two steals to her scoring.

Hammond was Louisville's leading scorer. Her efficiency was affected by 6 of 16 shooting.

Three points of emphasis:

UConn defense. In his excellent game plan article, Brian McCormick pointed out that stopping three point attempts is crucial. The Cardinals did take 23 of their 62 attempts beyond the arc. They hit only five for a 21.7% figure. Credit the UConn defense for not giving easy looks and forcing Jeff Walz's club to take contested three. Shoni Schimmel and Antonita Slaughter, two perimeter threats, combined for 2 of 12 shooting from downtown. In their halfcourt sets Louisville never seemed to get into a rhythm. Again, credit to UConn defense.

Breanna Stewart. What more can you say about the Final Four Most Outstanding Player? Stewart has really emerged in the latter part of the season. In this game alone she showed her ability to step out on the perimeter, post up and use screens effectively as she moved very well without the ball. It's scary (for opponents) to think she just finished her freshman season.

Ball movement by the Huskies. UConn showed crisp ball movement and reversals for perimeter shots resulting in 13 (final game record) of 26 for 50% from three. Granted there were 17 turnovers but the Huskies assisted on 69% of their field goals. If Walz paid too much attention to Stewart and/or Mosqueda-Lewis, the defense paid as UConn found someone open.

An impressive eighth national title goes to Storrs. The two Final Four games saw UConn at their best. Dismantling a strong momentum riding Louisville in the final after handling an excellent Notre Dame team in the semis.

For more on the 2013 Final Four, check out our storystream.

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