Originally posted on Sox and Dawgs  |  Last updated 3/27/12

For the better part of the first half, it looked as though the UConn Huskies women's basketball team wouldn't get to the Final Four.

They started out quickly only to see the Kentucky Wildcats battle back. But as we've seen for the entire season, when UConn clamps down on defense and plays UConn basketball, the other teams are in trouble.

That strong second half defensive effort along with the play of Tiffany Hayes turned out to be the difference in UConn's 80-65 win over the Wildcats at The Ryan Center in Kingston, RI on Tuesday night.

It's the fifth straight Final Four for the Huskies (33-4) as they'll face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for the fourth time this season. The Wildcats finish up the season at 28-7.

Hayes led five Huskies in double digits with 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had another great game with 18 points and seven rebounds while Stefanie Dolson added 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Bria Hartley added 13 points while Kelly Faris had 11 points, five rebounds and five assists before fouling out late in the game.

Former Husky Samarie Walker led Kentucky with 14 points and had five rebounds. Bria Goss chipped in with 12 points while Connecticut native Kastine Evans had 10. A'Dia Mathies led the Wildcats with eight rebounds to go along with her seven points.

Here are the highlights of the game:

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UConn Huskies vs Kentucky Wildcats 2012 Elite Eight box score

UConn Huskies women's basketball Final Four merchandise

Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.

Photo credit: AP Photo

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