Women's Basketball

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Women's Basketball Falls At The Buzzer To UConn, 78-76
Notre Dame's Niele Ivey, left, drives toward the basket in front of Connecticut's Diana Taurasi, right, during the first half of the Big East championship game at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn., Tuesday, March 6, 2001.
 
Notre Dame's Niele Ivey, left, drives toward the basket in front of Connecticut's Diana Taurasi, right, during the first half of the Big East championship game at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn., Tuesday, March 6, 2001.

March 6, 2001

Box Score

By DONNA TOMMELLEO
AP Sports Writer

STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Sue Bird hit a fadeway jumper at the buzzer to lift No. 2 Connecticut to a 78-76 victory over No. 1 Notre Dame on Tuesday night and give the Huskies their 10th Big East tournament championship.

Bird raced down court with the inbounds pass with 5.1 seconds left after Ruth Riley made the second of her two free throws after missing the first. Bird drove down the left side of the lane and fired the winner.

It was sweet redemption for the junior point guard, who lost her dribble out of bounds with 38 seconds and UConn up 76-75. The Irish worked the ball inside to the 6-foot-5 Riley, who was fouled by Kelly Schumacher.

It was the eighth straight tournament title for the Huskies (28-2), who avenged a Jan. 15 loss to the Irish (28-2). Notre Dame has been to the title game four times since joining the conference six years ago, and has lost each time to UConn.

Bird finished with a team-high 15 points that included a half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer to close out the first half and give UConn a 52-46 lead at the break.

Riley, the Big East player of the year, had a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds.

Riley's 3-point play with 5:24 left started a 7-3 Notre Dame run and the Irish pulled even at 73-73 with 3:51 left. UConn regained the lead on Bird's 3-pointer with 49.8 seconds remaining. Riley brought the Irish within one at 75-76 with an inside bucket and tied it on Notre Dame's next possession, setting up Bird's heroics.

The officials reviewed the tape to make sure time was on the clock when Bird launched the game-winner. And after a few anxious moments in the sold out 10,000-seat Gampel Pavilion, the basket was counted.

UConn freshman Diana Taurasi, the tournament MVP, scored 14 points before fouling out.

The Huskies lost senior guard Shea Ralph with 5:18 left in the first half to a leg injury. Ralph, last year's Final Four MVP, came down hard on her left knee while scrambling for her missed layup. She had 11 points and six assists when she went down. Ralph returned in the second half wearing an air splint and watched from courtside as her teammates played one of the closest games of the season.

 

 

There were seven lead changes, and UConn never led by more than seven points and focused on shutting down Notre Dame's 3-point game. Riley didn't face many double teams and the teams played even in the paint, scoring 42 points apiece.

The Irish, the best 3-point shooting team in the nation at 46 percent, shot 40 percent on 9-of-25 from behind the arc.

UConn's Kelly Schumacher, Asjha Jones and Swin Cash had six rebounds each.

Kelley Siemon finished with 16 points for Notre Dame.

Event Calendar

Delta

November 3
7:00 PM
Roberts Wesleyan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
November 11
7:00 PM
Central Michigan Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 14
7:00 PM
WNIT Quarterfinals
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 17
7:00 PM
WNIT Semifinals
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 20
3:00 PM
WNIT Final
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

CBS Sports Network
November 22
8:00 PM
UL-Lafayette
Houston, Texas (Campbell Center)
November 26
1:00 PM
TCU
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 30
9:00 PM
Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa (Carver-Hawkeye Arena)

BTN
December 4
1:00 PM
Valparaiso
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
December 7
7:00 PM
UConn
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
December 10
8:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill. (McGrath-Phillips Arena)
December 18
2:00 PM
Toledo
Toledo, Ohio (Savage Arena)
December 20
7:00 PM
Michigan State
East Lansing, Mich. (Breslin Center)

BTN
December 27
6:30 PM
Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tenn. (McKenzie Arena)
December 29
7:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C. (Reynolds Coliseum)

ACC Network Extra
January 2
7:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (McCamish Pavilion)
January 5
7:00 PM
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
January 8
3:00 PM
Miami
Coral Gables, Fla. (BankUnited Center)

ESPN Flex
January 12
7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Notre Dame, Ind.

ACC Network Extra
January 16
7:00 PM
Tennessee
Knoxville, Tenn. (Thompson-Boling Arena)

ESPN2
January 19
7:00 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Conte Forum)
January 22
12:00 PM
North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Carmichael Arena)

ESPNU
January 26
7:00 PM
Duke
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
January 29
12:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPNU
February 2
7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va. (Cassell Coliseum)
February 6
7:00 PM
Louisville
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
February 12
1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
February 16
7:00 PM
Clemson
Clemson, S.C. (Littlejohn Coliseum)
February 19
5:00 PM
Syracuse
Syracuse, N.Y. (Carrier Dome)

ESPN2
February 23
7:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
February 26
1:00 PM
Florida State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
March 17
TBA
NCAA First/Second Rounds
TBD
March 24
TBA
NCAA Regionals
TBD
March 31
TBA
NCAA Semifinals
Dallas, Texas (American Airlines Center)
April 2
TBA
NCAA Final
Dallas, Texas (American Airlines Center)

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