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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, December 02, 2018 6:20 pm

Huskies get the better of Irish in matchup of No. 1 vs. No. 2

ELIZABETH WYMAN | The Journal Gazette

SOUTH BEND – There was no miracle shot this time around as No. 1 Notre Dame fell to No. 2 UConn 89-71 in front of a sold out crowd at Purcell Pavilion Sunday.

Christyn Williams got the Huskies off to a fast start. The freshmen guard scored 11 points in the first five minutes of her inaugural Uconn/Notre Dame showdown, getting to the rim and pulling up from deep. She cooled off after picking up her second foul in the second quarter, but still put on a masterful performance against the No. 1 team in the country, finishing with 28 points.

Jackie Young started the game slowly for the Irish, taking just one shot in the first quarter. Arike Ogunbowle and the whole Irish team couldn't hit from deep, going 0 for 6 in the first half, but produced a nice mix of jumpers and points in the paint. The team would hit only one 3-pointer in the game.

The Irish went two and a half minutes without a field goal in the second quarter all while UConn hit 5 of 7 and sat on an eight point lead. Muffet McGraw called a timeout and the Irish defense turned it up a notch, forcing the Huskies to go 1 for 6 from the floor to finish the half and held scoreless for 2:02 and saw only a 44-41 halftime deficit.

The Huskies came out in the second half on an 11-5 run to put the Irish on their heels. The Irish ended the quarter 1 for 7, resulting in scoring drought of 3 minutes, 57 seconds heading into the fourth.

Katie Lou Samuelson was held scoreless in the first half, but added eight in the third quarter then opened the fourth with a tough baseline jumper to set the tone for the final 10 minutes of play. Samuleson would finish with 15 points.

A 7-0 run by UConn, a 3:20 field goal drought for the Irish, an Ogunbowale technical foul along with a slew of fouls by the Irish much to the argument of the sold out crowd – and the Irish got run out of their own building.

Ogunbowale put up a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds but it wasn't enough. Young would add 18 points and Marina Mabrey contributed 10 for the Irish, but they shot just 40 percent from the field for the game.

ewyman@jg.net