Jan. 30, 2005
By DONNA TOMMELLEO
AP Sports Writer
STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Notre Dame snapped Connecticut's BIG EAST home winning streak at 112 games Sunday, with Courtney LaVere scoring 14 points and anchoring a dominating inside game in the Fighting Irish's 65-59 victory.
UConn hadn't lost a home conference game since a 64-62 defeat to Georgetown on Feb. 27, 1993. The Irish also ended the Huskies' 55-game streak at Gampel Pavilion. UConn's last defeat at Gampel was a 72-71 loss to Tennessee on Feb. 1, 2001.
The sixth-ranked Fighting Irish (18-3, 6-2 BIG EAST) lost 18 days ago to the No. 9 Huskies (13-5, 6-1) in South Bend. In avenging that loss, the Irish were able to post their first win in eight meetings in Connecticut.
The Irish led by 10 at the half and countered every UConn move down the stretch with backdoor cuts to LaVere or 3-pointers from Megan Duffy and Charel Allen.
Ann Strother kept the Huskies in the game with her perimeter shooting. She had a season-high 25 points on 7-of-9 3-point shooting. Her final 3 with 12.6 seconds cut the Irish's lead to 61-59. But Notre Dame iced it by hitting four straight free throws.
Duffy finished with 12 points, and Teresa Borton matched her career high with 11 rebounds for the Irish. Charde Houston had 10 points and 12 boards for the Huskies.
Notre Dame outscored UConn 36-16 in the paint and had 19 points off 20 UConn turnovers. Led by LaVere, a reserve forward, Notre Dame's backup outscored the UConn reserves 29-12.
The Irish established their inside dominance early, outscoring UConn 22-6 in the paint in the first half. LaVere, who had 10 points in the period on 4-of-5 shooting, was nearly unstoppable with her hook shot.
UConn clung to a two-point lead with 7:49 remaining when the Irish went on a 10-0 run to take a 28-20 lead. The Huskies spent most of the period without center Jessica Moore, who picked up her third foul just 8 minutes in.
The Irish also scored 17 points on 16 UConn turnovers in the first half and led 34-24 at the half.
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame snaps Connecticut's 112-game regular-season BIG EAST home winning streak, becoming the first league team to defeat the Huskies in the Nutmeg State during conference play since Feb. 27, 1993, when Georgetown ousted UConn, 64-62 at Gampel Pavilion ... speaking of the Huskies' on-campus home, Notre Dame also ended Connecticut's 55-game winning streak at Gampel, handing the Huskies their first setback on that floor since Feb. 2, 2000, when Tennessee edged UConn, 72-71 ... coupled with a 78-74 win for Notre Dame's men over 16th-ranked Connecticut earlier Sunday at the Joyce Center, both Irish hoops teams defeated ranked opponents on the same day for the first time since Feb. 19, 2000, when the men won at No. 23/25 Seton Hall, 76-74, and the fifth-ranked women pulled out a 78-74 overtime win at No. 8/11 Rutgers (a game remembered for Alicia Ratay's 7-for-7 effort from three-point range, including two treys in the final 16 seconds of regulation to force OT) ... for the second consecutive year, both Irish basketball teams have defeated the defending national champions -- Notre Dame is the only school to have pulled off this feat more than once, while Duke (1998-99), Tennessee (1999-2000) and Michigan State (1999-2000) also have turned this trick, although MSU is the only other school to do it in the regular season ... Notre Dame defeats its fourth top-10 opponent of the season and second in a week, following a 63-47 conquest of No. 6/7 Rutgers last Sunday ... the Irish are 5-2 against ranked opponents this year, with one of the losses being an overtime setback to No. 15 Michigan State ... Notre Dame's four top-10 wins are second-most in school history, topped only by the seven victories posted by the 2000-01 club ... Notre Dame collects its first-ever win at Connecticut in 10 tries (now 1-7 at Gampel Pavilion, 0-2 at the Hartford Civic Center) ... after UConn won the first 11 games in the series with Notre Dame, the last nine games have been decided by a slim 5-4 margin in favor of the Huskies ... in the past 11 seasons (1994-95 to present), Notre Dame and Tennessee are the only schools with at least three wins over Connecticut (the Lady Vols have beaten the Huskies six times during that span) ... the six-point margin is the widest home margin of defeat for Connecticut since Jan. 10, 1999, when Tennessee defeated the Huskies, 92-81, also at Gampel Pavilion ... Notre Dame is 7-1 on the road this season and has allowed only one opponent to crack the 60-point mark (Syracuse had 61 on Jan. 19, although it took a last-second bucket by SU's Rochelle Coleman to break the 60-point barrier) ... the Irish are 12-1 this season when holding opponents under 60 points and 141-8 (.946) in such contests during the past 10 seasons (1995-96 to present) ... Notre Dame's bench outscored the UConn reserves, 29-12; the Irish are 13-0 this season when they hold the edge in bench points ... Notre Dame is 14-0 this year when it leads at halftime and 91-7 (.929) in such games during the past five seasons ... the Irish registered double-digit steals (13) for the ninth time this year and forced at least 20 turnovers for the 10th time in 2004-05 ... junior guard Megan Duffy tied her career high with seven steals, matching the mark she originally set vs. Colorado State (Nov. 22) and equalled at Marquette (Dec. 19) ... Duffy also logged at least five assists for the eighth consecutive game (7.5 apg. in that time) ... senior center Teresa Borton tied her career high with 11 rebounds, matching her personal standard for the fourth time (most recently earlier this season vs. Nebraska on Nov. 14) ... senior All-America forward Jacqueline Batteast was held to a single-digit scoring total for just the third time all season (also Dayton and the first UConn game), although she was hindered by the effects of a stomach virus.