No. 2 UConn Beats No. 1 Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Trainer Geno Auriemma believes there’s a lot to love about Connecticut’s newest famous person within the making, Christyn Williams.

Williams, a freshman guard, scored 16 of her season-high 28 issues within the first quarter on Sunday to lend a hand the No. 2 Huskies dominate No. 1 Notre Dame, 89-71.

“Christyn provides a large measurement to our staff,” Auriemma mentioned. “She’s fearless.”

Williams hit 7 of eight pictures from the sphere within the first quarter and made 11 of 16 within the recreation, main 5 Huskies in double figures. Her 16 first-quarter issues had been simply shy of her earlier recreation excessive of 17, in opposition to Purdue on Nov. 24.

“I didn’t even know I did that,” Williams mentioned. “I used to be simply being competitive, being attentive to my coaches and enjoying off my teammates. We would have liked this one unhealthy.”

Williams’s basket with 6 mins 36 seconds left within the first quarter gave UConn a lead that it will no longer relinquish in opposition to Muffet McGraw’s Irish (7-1), who had entered with a 28-game profitable streak at house. UConn has passed the Irish all 3 in their losses of their previous 100 house video games at Purcell Pavilion.

Napheesa Collier had 16 issues at the side of 15 rebounds and 3 blocks, the all-American Katie Lou Samuelson had 15 issues after being held scoreless within the first part, Crystal Dangerfield scored 13 issues, and Megan Walker added 12 for the Huskies (7-Zero).

Jackie Younger, who had 32 issues within the groups’ closing assembly — an N.C.A.A. semifinal that the Irish received, 91-89, in extra time on Arike Ogunbowale’s first of 2 buzzer-beaters within the Ladies’s Ultimate 4 — scored 18 issues on Sunday to steer 5 Irish gamers in double figures.

Ogunbowale completed with 17 issues, however simplest five after halftime, and grabbed 10 rebounds. Jessica Shepard had 13 issues, Marina Mabrey scored 11, and Brianna Turner had 10 issues and four blocks for Notre Dame.

“I assumed our defensive transition used to be deficient, I assumed our halfcourt protection used to be deficient, I assumed our offensive execution used to be deficient, after which we misplaced our poise and that used to be sudden,” McGraw mentioned. “This time, the staff we performed used to be just right sufficient to benefit from it. We’re a greater staff than we confirmed.”

UConn led via 27-22 after the primary quarter and via 44-41 at halftime in spite of getting no issues from the 6-foot-Three Samuelson, who used to be Zero for 7 from the sphere. However she helped in different spaces, with six assists, 3 rebounds, a block and a thieve.

“To be up no matter we had been at halftime with out Lou getting a basket, that used to be a just right signal for us,” Auriemma mentioned.

The Huskies higher their result in 65-59 heading into the general quarter and regularly pulled away. Samuelson transformed a Three-point play for a 74-64 lead with 6:08 to play. She then made a couple of unfastened throws for a 79-66 lead after Ogunbowale and Auriemma exchanged phrases and the Irish participant used to be hit with a technical with four:25 to play.

McGraw sooner or later took out Ogunbowale with 1:43 final when she won an unsportsmanlike foul, and Dangerfield hit two unfastened throws for an 89-70 lead.

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