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    Following Flynt - Irish Unwilling to Share

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    With 8:29 left in tonight's game, Connecticut's Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis made a layup, got fouled and completed a three-point play to cut Notre Dame's lead to 62-58. All signs suggested this Big Monday matchup was coming down to the wire.

    From that point on however, the Irish allowed just a single Kelly Faris free throw, closing the game on a 10-1 run, silencing the XL Center crowd and coming away with a 72-59 victory in the regular season finale.

    Holding Connecticut scoreless over the final 7:33 of a game is impressive in its own right, but it's even more eye-opening when you consider the fact that Geno Auriemma's squad had won 99 of its last 100 games on its home floor. (They've now lost two in a row at home - Feb. 18 vs. St. John's at Gampel Pavilion was the other.)

    Notre Dame has won three straight against Connecticut. They've done it in the Final Four, in front of the Purcell Pavilion home crowd, and now, on the road, in an environment where the Huskies once seemed unbeatable.

    Finishing with 21 points, Natalie Novosel led the Irish in the scoring column for the second straight game. Skylar Diggins added 20 points, and Kayla McBride scored 12. Devereaux Peters had another impressive game on the boards, pulling down 15, just two days after tallying a career-high 18 in the Senior Day win over South Florida.

    Notre Dame had already locked up the top seed for the upcoming BIG EAST tournament and at least a share of the conference regular season title. Defeating UConn for the second time in less than two months also means that for the first time ever, head coach Muffet McGraw's team will not have to share the honor - something the Irish admitted (not surprisingly) after Saturday's game that they did not want to do.

    During the 2000-01 season, the same year in which the Notre Dame women's basketball team won its first and only national title, the Irish were co-champions with the Huskies.

    This time however, it's all theirs.

    Tonight's win was the 10th of the season against a ranked opponent, and the fifth against a top-10 team. The ten victories over top-25 opponents sets a school record, topping the previous mark of nine set during the 2000-01 campaign.

    The Irish return home for a few days, before heading back to New England and the same venue where tonight, they earned their 28th victory of the season. They will take on the winner of DePaul vs. USF/Pittsburgh in the BIG EAST quarterfinals on Sunday at 2 pm ET on ESPNU.

    - Josh Flynt ('11)

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