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With Charles and Kalana Greene departing, maybe there's a chance for turnover on top.
Then again, maybe not. The Huskies will still have Moore.
"Maya Moore was the difference," VanDerveer said. "If she's on our team, we win. She really stepped up and made big plays for them. Really, she's a great player and she made big plays."
Moore finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Charles added nine points, 11 rebounds, and 6 blocks.
Stanford center Jayne Appel closed her career with a game to forget, going 0 for 12 and failing to score. That put more of a burden on Pac-10 player of the year Nnemkadi Ogwumike, and it was too much for the sophomore to handle.
After scoring 38 points in the semifinals, she was held to 11, much of her energy perhaps burned while trying to chase Moore on defense.
"Nneka is a young player," VanDerveer said. "She will learn from this and watch it and say, `Hey, this is what I need to be doing.'"
Kayla Pedersen led the Cardinal with 15 points and 17 rebounds.
The game was played in front of a crowd of 22,936 that included Vice President Joe Biden, who hugged the UConn players after the game, as well as former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. While Biden showed impartiality in his cheering, Rice was rooting for Stanford -- the school at which she served as provost for six years.
She visited with the team at a morning shootaround, offering words of encouragement. Rice had hoped to see the Cardinal win their third championship and first since 1992; they'd already come into the game with the most wins in school history and riding the longest winning streak, 27 in a row.
Stanford allowed the game's first five points, then ripped off the next 12. The Cardinal lead peaked at 18-9.
Moore put UConn back ahead 23-22 with a 3-pointer from the top of the key, then added a jumper. Charles blocked Ogwumike, starting a fast break that ended with a layup by Moore.
JJ Hones' 3-pointer with 11:46 left cut Stanford's deficit to 29-25, but then Charles made her presence felt, scoring seven of the Huskies' next nine points to make it 38-27 with 7:42 left.
Stanford would only get as close as five the rest of the way.
"Twelve points in the first half was extremely helpful for us, but we weren't able to capitalize," Pedersen said. "We kept fighting, kept fighting and things weren't falling for us. We needed to make our own run and we didn't really do that."
This was the sixth time the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the final AP Top 25 poll met for the title. The last came in 2002 when UConn beat Oklahoma in San Antonio.
It also was the lowest-scoring NCAA women's final, just like Auriemma had jokingly predicted after seeing his team and Stanford struggle to shoot 3s in the semifinals.
"I said the first team to 50 (points) wins, right?" he said. "Who knew?"
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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