Irish maintain mastery of UConn

Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride, front, and Skylar Diggins battle for possession with UConn’s Breanna Stewart in the second half.

Associated Press

Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride, front, and Skylar Diggins battle for possession with UConn’s Breanna Stewart in the second half.

STORRS, Conn. — Skylar Diggins and Notre Dame just seem to have Connecticut's number.

The senior All-American scored 19, hitting big shot after big shot in the second half to lift the fifth-ranked Irish to a 73-72 victory over the top-ranked Huskies in a Big East opener Saturday, Notre Dame's fifth win in the past six meetings in this rivalry.

The Irish (12-1) also beat the Huskies (12-1) in the past two Final Fours.

"I think when we play them, there is a lot on the line, whether it is a Big East championship or them being ranked higher than us or in the Final Four," Diggins said. "This is good for us."

The last team to beat the Huskies five out of six times was Miami in the early 1990s.

The Irish were expected to be down this season with three starters graduated. It didn't matter with Diggins still on the team.

With UConn poised to pull away in the second half, Diggins hit back-to-back 3s to keep her team in the game. Later, with the shot clock about to run out, Diggins hit a leaner from the wing.

Finally, with the Irish down by one with 49 seconds left, she got fouled on a drive and calmly sank both free throws. It would be the last points of the game.

"I think Skylar has changed things for us," Irish coach Muffet McGraw said. "She believed we can win and has the confidence and that is contagious."

DEPAUL 86, NO. 11 L'VILLE 80: Anna Martin scored 22 for the host Blue Demons, who snapped a three-game winning streak by the Cardinals (12-3).

NO. 14 PURDUE 69, NO. 25 NEBRASKA 66, OT: Sam Ostarello had 17 points and a career-high 19 rebounds for the visiting Boilermakers (13-2, 2-0 Big Ten), who beat the Cornhuskers (11-4, 1-1) in the third overtime game the teams have played in three meetings.

NO. 17 OKLAHOMA 78, TEXAS 70: Sharane Campbell scored 24 and made all three of her 3-pointers for the visiting Sooners (12-2, 2-0 Big 12).

NO. 21 KANSAS 60, W. VA. 59: Carolyn Davis hit a go-ahead layup with 42 seconds left for the visiting Jayhawks (11-2, 2-0 Big 12).

NO. 12 TENNESSEE: Forward Cierra Burdick could return to action in early February if she's able to avoid surgery on her broken right hand. Burdick is scheduled to be re-evaluated this week.

State

TAMPA 52, ROLLINS 49: Moriah Hodge had 16 points for the host Spartans (10-0), who won their Sunshine State opener and passed the 2009-10 squad for the most consecutive wins to start a season in program history.

NOVA SE 84, ECKERD 58: Danielle Robinson had 20 points and six rebounds for the Sharks as the Tritons (4-5, 1-1 SSC) lost their conference home opener.

LYNN 68, SAINT LEO 51: Kira Harvey had 20 points and made 4 of 10 3-pointers as the Knights held off the Lions (6-6, 1-1 SSC).

Irish maintain mastery of UConn 01/05/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 5, 2013 11:09pm]

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