No. 2 UConn beats No. 1 Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The UConn women strolled into enemy territory, an arena that was loud, rowdy and packed to the brim with fans in neon green, wearing all-black uniforms. It was a new look for a team determined to write a new ending. With last year’s national championship banner hanging in the rafters, the Huskies showed no fear.
Any doubts about whether Christyn Williams would be intimidated in the biggest game of her young college career were erased by a sensational start — a 16-point opening quarter. And Megan Walker, the former No. 1 overall recruit, who did not play a single minute in last year’s Final Four, threatened with a double-double.
Despite an unusually quiet day for All-American Katie Lou Samuelson, these Huskies showed this time around that things would be different. In a battle of the top two teams in women’s college basketball, it was the Huskies who had the upper hand, topping No. 1 Notre Dame 89-71 on Sunday at Purcell Pavilion.
It was the 122nd straight regular season win for the Huskies (7-0), who, in all likelihood, will take over the top spot in the AP poll next week. The Fighting Irish dropped to 7-1 on the season.
Williams did most of the heavy lifting for the Huskies in the first half, when she scored 16 of her career-high 28 points. She vaulted her team in front, 44-41, when two of the Huskies’ biggest stars went cold.
Samuelson had an especially rough go of it early, missing all seven of her attempts and picking up two fouls over the first 20 minutes. Crystal Dangerfield, meanwhile, shot only 3-of-10 in the opening half.
Napheesa Collier scored 16 points and 15 rebounds while Walker ended up with 12 points and eight rebounds. Jackie Young led Notre Dame with 18 points.