New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - It may have taken four tries, but
Connecticut finally defeated Notre Dame when it mattered most.
Breanna Stewart recorded 29 points and four blocks and led Connecticut to a
83-65 rout against Notre Dame in the Final Four on Sunday.
Connecticut lost to Notre Dame twice in the regular season, including a 96-87
triple overtime game on Mar. 4, and then again in the Big East Conference
Tournament final, 61-59, just eight days later.
However, the Huskies (34-4), the top seed in the Bridgeport regional, were
able to take down the Fighting Irish, whose only loss this season was against
Baylor on Dec. 5.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 16 points and Bria Hartley had 15 points and
four steals off the bench for the Huskies.
With the win, Connecticut will be looking for its eighth national championship
under coach Geno Auriemma, but will have to face another Big East foe in
Louisville on Tuesday to win it.
Kayla McBride had a team-high 16 points and six rebounds while Jewell Loyd
tallied 11 for the Fighting Irish (35-2), the top seed in the Norfolk region.
Two-time Big East Player of the Year Skylar Diggins had 10 points, eight
assists, four steals and three blocks in defeat.
The first half was tight with neither team managing a lead of more than two
points. However, down 26-25 with 2:56 left, Hartley drilled a 3-pointer to
not only give the Huskies the lead, but also started a 14-3 surge over the
remainder of the half.
At halftime, Connecticut had a 39-29 advantage.
Notre Dame improved in the second half, shooting 36.1 percent compared to 23.7
percent in the first half, but it was not enough to warrant a comeback.
With 5:45 remaining in regulation, the Huskies had a 14-2 run and led 75-57
with 1:43 left. The Huskies would extend their lead by as much as 19 points
thirty seconds later, sealing the win.
The Sports Network