The Orange advance to face the tournament's No. 1 overall seed CT on Monday in a rematch of last year's NCAA championship game.
She used that as motivation. The Orange cruised to an 85-65 victory.
The boasting "allows you to play with a bit of a chip on your shoulder", she said.
"We played in that last game possible together", she said.More news: Jets blow four-goal lead, escape with win over Wild
The Huskies shot 62 percent from the floor, 52 percent from 3-point range and had 30 assists on their 33 baskets.
"How much they've changed, how much they've grown", Auriemma said of the difference between UConn-Syracuse 2016 and UConn-Syracuse 2017.
"We knew we had to come out from the jump, like give them no hope", Cooper said on ESPN after the game. Backcourt mate Brittney Sykes added 15 and Briana Day had 13 for the Orange. "We didn't need the game". SU forced 12 turnovers in the first half alone, racing out to a 45-24 lead at the break. Freshman guard Gabby Cooper added 24, with a school record eight 3-pointers. She tied it instead.
"When the first one went in, it felt too natural", Cooper said. "Confidence is half the battle". Syracuse opened to a 15-3 lead early in the opening quarter - all points coming from behind the arc. Sykes ranks third on that list with 1,846. The duo has averaged a combined 42 points and 10.5 assists this season for the Orange. We don't ask twice. "No matter what the odds are, no matter what we're faced with, we're tough". The Huskies also have been to 11 consecutive regional finals and nine straight Final Fours. The Orange had no answer for Nurse, who hit from all over the court.More news: Fore Things: Hadwin overcomes late mistake to win
"Usually when Kia hits the side of the backboard in practice it goes out of bounds", Auriemma said. "Now, you have to do something to help us get there".
Nurse acknowledged she didn't call the bank shot. You've got to keep getting the kind of players that can make you better and better and better. Of this year's UConn starters, senior guard Saniya Chong played just three minutes in that game and Katie Lou Samuelson did not play due to a broken foot.
Both teams struggled to hit shots at the start of the third quarter but every time Iowa State tried to chip away at the lead, Syracuse continued to respond to any attempt the Cyclones made at a comeback. The Huskies have won 25 straight and 32 of 33 against Syracuse. "They learned a lot from that experience of being on the court with those players a year ago". Next, they head to Bridgeport where they will face the victor of No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 Texas A&M.More news: 'Governance' BJP's face in civic polls: Manoj Tiwari
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