Notre Dame women take down UConn in OTJan 8, 2012 - 12:04 AM South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Skylar Diggins posted 22 points and Natalie Novosel added 20, helping third-ranked Notre Dame topple No. 2 Connecticut in overtime, 74-67.
The teams hadn't played since last season's four-game series, in which the Fighting Irish dropped the first three before beating the Huskies in the Final Four.
Saturday's contest renewed the rivalry in thrilling fashion. With the score tied about a minute into overtime, Novosel made it to the free throw line twice and sank 4-of-4 shots to give the Irish a 69-65 edge.
Connecticut missed a shot after each of Novosel's trips to the line, then turned the ball over twice. The Huskies' offensive failures were followed by a jumper by Notre Dame's Kayla McBride with a minute to play, and the Irish (15-1, 3-0 Big East) held on for their 12th consecutive victory.
McBride also sank a layup near the end of regulation to force the extra period.
Bria Hartley had 25 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Huskies (12-2, 2-1), but turned the ball over seven times as they had a three-game win streak broken.
Stefanie Dolson grabbed 10 rebounds and scored nine points in the setback.
UConn built a 26-18 lead with 5:25 left in the opening half, when Hartley's layup ended a five-point burst. However, Notre Dame countered with an 11-0 run, capped by two McBride free throws, and the teams went into the break tied at 31.
The Huskies again threatened to take control in the second half, when layups from Dolson and Hartley made it a 53-45 game with 9:19 to play. However, Notre Dame again rallied -- Diggins sank two free throws, then converted a three- point play.
Diggins' three-point play a few minutes later pushed the Irish in front by two, but UConn followed with the next six points and led down the stretch. The Huskies were still ahead, 63-61, after Tiffany Hayes made two free throws just inside the final minute.
However, McBride's layup with 19 seconds left evened the score, and the Irish had an opportunity to win after UConn turned the ball over. But Novosel missed a jumper as time expired.
- CONNECTICUT: 67
NOTRE DAME: 74
Final - OT
Jan 7 6:22 PM
- CONNECTICUT: 63
NOTRE DAME: 63
End of Regulation
Jan 7 6:05 PM
- CONNECTICUT: 31
NOTRE DAME: 31
Jan 7 4:57 PM
- CONNECTICUT: 0
NOTRE DAME: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Jan 7 4:08 PM
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