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Notre Dame Women’s Basketball: Fighting Irish Lose to UConn 89-71

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The battle between #1 and #2

NCAA Womens Basketball: Connecticut at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was a thing that happened.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish took on the UConn Huskies at Purcell Pavilion. Just like every time these teams meet, it was an epic battle at least for a while. It is clear they are two of the top teams in women’s college basketball. We know what happened with the score, but how did we get to that score?

1st Half

A back and forth half is a total understatement. It was exactly that. Joel Klatt kept over-using the phrase “track meet” in the Big 10 Championship last night. This game today, though, was an actual track meet. Both teams came out FLYING with a lot of energy. The whole half saw insane offensive production. The Irish led for a little bit early in the first quarter, but then UConn started making some shots and kept the lead through the end of the first half.

Arike Ogunbowale led the team in points in the first half with 12 points. Jackie Young had 9. It was pretty spread out in players scoring for the Irish. The same could be said for the Huskies as well. Christyn Williams had 16 points, while Napheesa Collier had 10 points. Like I said, the half was an offensive battle. The Irish shot 51.5% and the Huskies shot 46.3%. A very good showing from both teams. The defenses from both teams are strong as well, but the way both teams find open people and take it to the bucket is insanely impressive.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Connecticut at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

2nd Half

UConn had the early momentum once the third quarter began. They were taking advantage of Irish empty posssessions. But of course, great looks by Arike and Jackie Young kept the Irish in the game in the third quarter. The Huskies hit 50% of their shots in the third quarter. That coupled with the Irish only shooting 30% in the third had the score 65-59 UConn going into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Irish were shooting themselves in the foot by missing FTs and passes. Also, they were getting beat on the defensive glass. It was adding fuel to UConn’s play. The Irish, unfortunately, struggled down the stretch when they needed to be rock solid on offense. The Huskies were just too much offensively in this one. Additionally, the combo of the weaker play plus Arike arguing a call leading to a technical foul let UConn take a 13 point lead. This held, and the Huskies end up being too dominant. Christyn Williams had 26 points for the Huskies while the Irish only shot 30% in the second half. A frustrating end to the game, and UConn won by a final score of 89-71.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Connecticut at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

A benefit, though, was that RED PANDA was the halftime act. Incredible as always.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Connecticut at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Up Next

The Irish will travel to Toledo this coming Saturday, December 8 to take on the University of Toledo. That game will be at 1 PM.