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Hannah Hidalgo and Maddy Westbeld Lead Notre Dame To Upset Win Over UConn

Notre Dame's inside-out duo of Hannah Hidalgo and Maddy Westbeld led the Irish to a 82-67 road win over No. 8 UConn
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Storrs, Conn. — Facing a seemingly impossible task, the improbable happened for the No. 15 Notre Dame women’s basketball team Saturday night. Just two days after a home loss to No. 22 Syracuse, the Fighting Irish (15-4) fought their way to an 82-67 win over the No. 8 UConn Huskies to hand the hosts their first loss on the Gampel Pavilion floor in nearly four years.

Two of the top women’s basketball programs of all-time punched back and forth through a first quarter that saw the Huskies (17-4) take a 21-14 lead. UConn pushed the pace and jumped out to a 30-18 lead before Hannah Hidalgo and Sonia Citron hit back-to-back 3-pointers to key a 12-0 Irish run to tie the game 30-30.

Citron had been quiet in the first quarter. The junior took just one shot in the game’s first 10 minutes, but she came to life in the second quarter with nine points to kickstart an offense that hit 12 of its 18 shots in the quarter. Citron finished with 15 points.

Hidalgo beat the buzzer with a 3 to close the half, her third in as many tries, to give Notre Dame a 44-35 lead at the break. Hidalgo’s 19 points at halftime help Notre Dame close the half on a 26-5 run.

The freshman point guard ended her night with a new Notre Dame freshman record 34 points in the upset victory after scoring nine points in a fourth quarter that saw Notre Dame outscore the Huskies 22-10.

Notre Dame was dominated in the paint in Thursday’s home loss to Syracuse, but the Irish established their own paint dominance against UConn Saturday night. Maddy Westbeld and Nat Marshall combined to score 33 points to help the Irish to a 46-26 paint advantage and a 37-27 rebound advantage.

Westbeld was able to score inside and outside. The senior forward missed all three of her first-half 3-point tries, but nailed 3 of 4 from behind the arc in the second half. Marshall gave Notre Dame eight of her 10 points in the pivotal second quarter run. Only four Irish players scored in the game and all four of them finished in double figures.

Aaliaya Edwards did her best to keep UConn in the game in the third quarter with 10 points on 5- 6 shooting from the low post. She led the Huskies with 23 points, while Citron’s defense helped limit Paige Bueckers to 17 points, eight of them coming by the time the game had been decided.

Westbeld, Citron and Hidalgo each played all 40 minutes for Notre Dame to help the Irish pick up just their third all-time win in Storrs. The first win came in 2005, the second was in 2013 when Fighting Irish assistant coach Michaela Mabrey, who was in charge of the Irish scouting report for Saturday’s game, was still playing for the Irish.

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