8:37 pm, Irish 120-44, Final: An absolutely dominant game for the Irish and a 76-point victory tonight at the Purcell Pavilion. The 120-point night was the second highest scoring performance of the season for Notre Dame, topped only by the 128-point day at Mercer. A great night for the fans who exited the arena to the sounds of "The Blood of Cu Chulainn," better know as the awesome and ubiquitous-on-the-Notre-Dame-campus theme song from Boondock Saints. The Irish ladies will have a few days to practice and get back into the swing of the academic semester before taking on Villanova on Saturday at home. The game begins at 1 pm ET and you can catch it live on UND.com. With hockey, men's basketball, track & field, men's and women's swimming and women's tennis all at home, it will be a very busy weekend on campus. 8:29 pm, Irish 107-41, 3:53 2nd half: At the final media timeout, the Irish are up by 66 points. A few impressive stats for Notre Dame: 29 assists, 39 points off turnovers, 22 second chance points, 41 bench points, 62 points in the paint and 7 players in double-figures. An all-around dominant performance tonight at the Purcell Pavilion. 8:24 pm, Irish 100-37, 7:22 2nd half: 100! A midrange jumper from Kaila Turner gives the Irish 100 points for the second time this season. 8:22 pm, Irish 98-37, 7:49 2nd half: At this point, it's only a question of "by how much." Notre Dame is cruising to its 18th win over the season and a 6-0 start to the BIG EAST schedule. Six players have scored in double-figures. 8:15 pm, Irish 88-34, 10:39 2nd half: The BIG MAC basket! Thanks to Fraderica Miller's layup, everyone in attendance gets a Big Mac. With more than 10 minutes to play, it looks like the Irish will have no problem eclipsing the 100-point mark this evening. 8:13 pm, Irish 83-34, 11:33 2nd half: Freshman Markisha Wright makes a couple of nice moves down low on back-to-back possessions for Notre Dame. The Panthers are finding the basket more frequently than they did during the first half, but they've still been unable to shut down the Irish offense, and find themselves down by 49 points with 11:33 to play. 8:04 pm, Irish 70-26, 15:34 2nd half: At the first media timeout of the second half, the Irish already have 70 points, thanks to their continued hot streak from the field (62%). Peters leads with 20 points, while Novosel has 13 and Mallory and McBride have 11 apiece.
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No. 3 Notre Dame welcomes No. 2 Connecticut to Purcell Pavilion today for a battle between two of college basketball's top programs. Irish UNDerground will have all the angles in and around the action covered throughout tonight's game. Be sure to share your questions, comments and complaints and let your voice be heard throughout the Notre Dame nation. Want to track all the action from your mobile device? No problem. Simply click (or to be phone friendly, "touch") HERE.
The women's hoops team takes on Longwood today at 2:00 p.m. (ET) inside Purcell Pavilion. Kick up your feet and enjoy the action right here on UND.com. Irish UNDerground will have all the angles in and around the action covered throughout today's game. Be sure to share your questions, comments and complaints and let your voice be heard throughout the Notre Dame nation. Want to track all the action from your mobile device? No problem. Simply click (or to be phone friendly, "touch") HERE.
The Irish women's hoops team tips off against UCF tonight at 7:00 p.m. (ET) inside the friendly confines of Purcell Pavilion. Irish UNDerground will have all the angles in and around the action covered throughout tonight's game. Be sure to share your questions, comments and complaints and let your voice be heard throughout the Notre Dame nation. Want to track all the action from your mobile device? No problem. Simply click (or to be phone friendly, "touch") HERE.
ESPN.com - With one bold decision to launch the basketball skyward and an afternoon otherwise spent protecting it like it had a Secret Service code name, Skylar Diggins made sure there was one fewer member of the undefeated club by the end of Sunday's game between No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 7 Kentucky. Just how hard she and the Fighting Irish had to fight to do so suggests the club of championship contenders extends to Lexington. Behind 16 points and 11 assists from Diggins and 40 combined points from Natalie Novosel and Kayla McBride, Notre Dame beat Kentucky 92-83. For the Fighting Irish, it was a the third win against a top-12 team since a loss at top-ranked Baylor before Thanksgiving, leaving them with at least a case to reclaim the No. 2 ranking regardless of the outcome of Sunday's showdown between Baylor and Connecticut. For the Wildcats, who beat Louisville and Duke at home earlier this month, it was the first loss of the season and the cause of coach Matthew Mitchell's angst. "They clearly wanted the game more than we did today, and they played with much more effort than we did today," Mitchell said. "They played with much more precision, they executed better, they were better coached today. They had an outstanding game, an outstanding game plan, and they thoroughly beat us today." Many of those who watched the action in a sold-out Purcell Pavaillion would disagree. Start with the managers responsible for washing Notre Dame's jerseys. It's going to take some bleach to dispatch the lingering traces of blue left by Kentucky defenders with little regard for personal space. From the opening moments, when Kentucky's Amber Smith swiped the ball away from Novosel after six seconds, to the final whistle, when Smith seemed to have to hold herself back rather than go for the steal as Brittany Mallory dribbled out the clock, the Wildcats pressured, pestered and punished the Fighting Irish with physical defense from end line to end line. And check with the scoreboard operator, the one responsible for pushing the buttons to reflect Kentucky's 75-74 lead with just more than five minutes to play in the second half, the culmination of a Kentucky comeback from a 10-point deficit. Kentucky's spirt didn't ebb until Diggins, all of eight seconds out of a timeout that gave the Fighting Irish possession of the ball at the other end of the court, took a pass in the corner from Mallory and hit a 3-pointer to extend her team's lead to 81-75 with 3:35 to play. With the crowd at maximum volume, Kentucky turned the ball over off the ensuing inbounds, Novosel hit two free throws and Notre Dame eased to the finish line. Diggins initially suggested after the game that the quick shot might not have been the approved plan for that possession. Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw quickly corrected her. Letting Diggins be Diggins is always the plan. "That was the nail in the coffin," McGraw said. "I thought the 3 was huge and then to come up with the steal after it, I think that was a momentum killer for them. That was such a huge play for us. When she let it go, I just thought to myself, 'It's in.' "I didn't see the trajectory of the ball or anything, I just knew she was going to will it in." That shot aside, Diggins took control of the game by doing everything but shooting well. She hit just 5-of-12 shots for the game, and with Novosel on the bench in foul trouble in the second half, Diggins struggled to find points as Kentucky made its run to take the late lead. What Diggins did all day was manage the game. She finished with 11 assists but also just three turnovers in 37 minutes against a defense that entered forcing 35 turnovers per game. Even as it took a lead in the first half, Notre Dame looked flustered against a level and style of pressure that if not unique, certainly given McGraw's experience against teams like Rutgers, is rarely seen. The Fighting Irish committed 15 first-half turnovers, including nine in the first eight-plus minutes. But time and again Diggins made her way into the teeth of the defense and distributed the ball to McBride, Novosel or someone else to ensure the Wildcats never pushed their momentum beyond the breaking point.
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