UConn-Notre Dame Highlights
A matchup of the league’s top teams more than lived up to its billing as No. 3/3 Notre Dame knocked off No. 2/2 Connecticut 74-67 in overtime at home on Saturday afternoon. The game was nationally televised on CBS.
Skylar Diggins scored 22 points and Natalie Novosel added 20, including six free throws in overtime, to help the Irish rally to beat UConn, to snap the Huskies 57-game BIG EAST winning streak.
“We knew it was going to be a game of runs. We played better in the second half. We knew we had to attack and we knew if we did, it would be worth it,” said Diggins, who had 16 of her points in the second half and OT.
The Irish, who hadn’t beaten UConn at home since 2004, also topped the Huskies in the national semifinals last April, marking the first time they’ve won consecutive games against UConn. A feat not many teams have accomplished.
“We wanted to keep them under pressure,” Diggins said. “We wanted to slow the ball down at the guards and we wanted to protect the home court.”
The Irish (15-1, 3-0 BIG EAST) forced UConn into a season-high 27 turnovers and held the Huskies without a field goal over the final 3:49 of regulation and overtime.
“Our defense late in the game was fantastic,” Irish coach Muffet McGraw said. “We did a really good job down the stretch using the clock and getting to free throw line.”
UConn (12-2, 2-1 BIG EAST), which had beaten Notre Dame 12 straight times before losing to the Irish in the national semifinals last April, got 25 points from Bria Hartley.
Connecticut hadn’t lost a conference game since losing to Rutgers on Feb. 5, 2008.
“We have to make free throws at the end of the game, too. Notre Dame took advantage of the opportunities we gave them,” Auriemma said. “They’re one of the top two or three teams in the country for a reason.”
The teams will meet again in a regular-season finale in Connecticut on Feb.27 at the XL Center at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Other games televised nationally, included No. 10/10 Rutgers (13-2, 2-0 BIG EAST) win at home over Cincinnati (9-7, 0-3 BIG EAST) by the score of 58-47. It was the BIG EAST Game of the Week televised on SNY and other regional sports networks.
RU senior guard April Sykes had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Sykes posted 0her third double-double of the season and fourth of her career. Junior center Monique Oliver also scored in double figures with a team-high 15 points.
In Providence, R.I., Teya Wright had 19 points and 12 rebounds to help Providence upset No. 20/18 DePaul 60-52. It was the Friars’ first win over a ranked opponent since Jan. 7, 2009, when they took down then-No. 20 Pittsburgh.
The Blue Demons (14-3, 2-1 BIG EAST) played with a depleted lineup due to injuries that left them with eight available players. Keisha Hampton, who averages 16.6 points, missed her second straight game with an injured leg.
Anna Martin led the Blue Demons with 17 points.
Wright had 10 points by the middle of the first half, and Providence (9-7, 1-2 BIG EAST) led 35-28 at halftime.
No. 15/16 Georgetown (13-3, 2-1 BIG EAST) won at USF (9-7, 1-1 BIG EAST) by the score of 66-56. Three GU players scored 12 points, including Sugar Rodgers.
West Virginia (11-4, 2-1 BIG EAST) beat Villanova (11-4, 2-1 BIG EAST) at home 61-56 using a 42-27 edge on the glass. Brooke Hampton led WVU with 18 points. Villanova was 11-of-27 from 3-point range (40.7-percent) but it was not enough.
Marquette (10-6, 1-2 BIG EAST) beat Seton Hall (7-10, 0-3 BIG EAST) by the score of 69-60 at home. Katherine Plouffe scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting to lead the Golden Eagles. Jasmine Crew led the Pirates attack with 26 points, including five 3-pointers.
Syracuse (12-5, 1-2 BIG EAST) beat Pittsburgh (8-8, 0-3 BIG EAST) by the score of 83-60. Iasia Hemingway poured in career-high 33 for the Orange.
In Sunday’s action, St. John’s (9-6, 1-1 BIG EAST) hosts No. 14/12 Louisville (13-2, 2-0 BIG EAST) at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Louisville leads the all-time series 6-2, but St. John’s won the last time the teams met in Carnesecca Arena (91-56) on Feb. 10, 2010.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.