No. 3 UConn routs No. 2 Notre Dame 76-58
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Morgan Tuck scored a career-high 25 points and Kiah Stokes added 18 rebounds to help No. 3 UConn beat second-ranked Notre Dame 76-58 on Saturday in the Jimmy V Classic.
When the two teams met last April in the national championship game, the Huskies came away with a 79-58 victory.
Both teams were unbeaten at that point setting up the first matchup of undefeated teams in NCAA championship history.
Tuck didn't play in that game as she was recovering from microfracture surgery in her right knee last January. She made her presence felt on Saturday.
UConn (6-1) trailed 28-18 midway through the first half before Tuck and Stokes took over, keying a 22-4 run over the next 10 minutes and giving the Huskies control of the game.
Jewell Loyd scored 31 points to lead Notre Dame (8-1), which had won its first eight by an average of 43 points.
Loyd got the Irish going early, hitting her first five shots to give Notre Dame a 28-18 lead on a 3-pointer with 10:13 left in the first half. Then UConn took over.
After a timeout by Geno Auriemma, the Huskies scored the next 16 points quieting the sellout crowd. Stokes was a huge part of the surge. The senior had 12 rebounds in the first half much to the delight of her family who was sitting right behind the Huskies' bench.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis' layup with 4:15 left in the half made it 34-28. After Taya Reimer's basket ended a 6-plus minute drought for the Irish and cut it to four, the Huskies closed the half scoring six of the final eight to make it 40-32.
It didn't get much better in the second half for the Irish. Tuck scored six points during a 10-2 run to open the second half.
Loyd tried to keep the Irish in it. She caught an acrobatic alley-oop and was fouled to get Notre Dame within 14, but she had little help. The rest of the Irish starters combined for 20. Notre was missing freshman Brianna Turner, who injured her right shoulder against Maryland. She's averaging 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Irish.
This was the 17th meeting between the schools since Jan. 16, 2010. UConn has won 10 of them, but the Irish won seven of eight in the series from 2011-2013. The two former Big East rivals didn't meet during the regular season last year after Notre Dame left for the ACC. The two teams will play again next year in the Jimmy V Classic in Connecticut.
Notre Dame: The loss snapped a 34-game home winning streak for the Irish. It was the longest active streak in the country. The last defeat at home came against Brittney Griner and Baylor on Dec. 5, 2012. Saturday's loss also snapped a 66-game regular-season winning streak for the Irish dating back to that same game. Former Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins was sitting across from the Irish bench.
UConn: The Huskies are winless in eight games decided by five points or fewer or in OT since Maya Moore graduated in 2011. Five of those losses have been to Notre Dame.
UConn: hosts No. 25 DePaul in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on Dec. 19. The Huskies have exams coming up next week.
Notre Dame: visits DePaul on Wednesday.
The V Foundation and ESPN announced a $100,000 grant to fund pediatric brain cancer research in honor of Lauren Hill. Hill, the Mount St. Joseph University women's basketball player, has shared her fight against cancer and inspired a national audience when scoring the first and last baskets of her team's season-opening win.
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