Nov. 18, 2010
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Darxia Morris scored five points in the second overtime and came up with a big steal to help No. 15 UCLA beat No. 12 Notre Dame 86-83 on Thursday night.
Jasmine Dixon had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Bruins (3-0). Morris added 17 and Markel Walker 16.
Morris opened the second extra period with a 3-pointer and Dixon had a basket as the Bruins went up 84-81.
With the Irish trailing by one, Novosel missed two at the line with 8 seconds left before Walker misfired on two at the other end.
Notre Dame called timeout with 4.2 seconds remaining, but Morris stole the inbounds pass and hit two from the line. The Bruins finally wrapped it up when Diggins’ long attempt was off at the buzzer.
Novosel hit a follow-up shot with 8.9 seconds left in the first overtime to give the Irish a 79-77 lead, but UCLA got the ball down the floor and Dixon got a nice pass from Walker for a layup with 1.9 seconds remaining.
“Basically, it was crunch time, we knew we needed to get an easy bucket,” Dixon said, “so I just put myself in a position where Markel could get me the ball, where I was clear to finish the layup.
“Without Markel, that layup wouldn’t have been possible. I think this win just showed that we can win in hostile environments, we can win on the road, we’re not just a home team.”
Morris also sank a tying 3-pointer late in regulation. Diggins then missed a short shot just before the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
“My team did a great job finding me, everybody did a good job finding me,” Morris said. “I thought I was in the zone, all I did was look at the rim and then the ball just went in.
“We hit adversity, we stood together, nobody had negative talk, we kept encouraging each other. We knew we needed boxing out, rebounds, and make our layups to win the game, and we did that.”
UCLA reeled off eight straight points with Rebekah Gardner hitting a backdoor layup and Dixon driving for a banker to make it 58-51 with just under seven minutes remaining.
The Irish rallied and finally tied it at 63 on Becca Bruszewski’s basket. But the Bruins kept their poise as the noise on Notre Dame’s home court grew louder.
“We just couldn’t get a stop. They just beat us down the floor, it was really frustrating to watch,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said, also pointing to 27 turnovers and nine missed free throws as reasons for the loss. “They made big plays.”
Irish guard Brittany Mallory limped off the court with an ankle injury with just under 14 minutes remaining in regulation. The senior returned to the bench about five minutes later on crutches.
“We looked really young,” McGraw said “And not having Brittany in the game, we’re going to look young. She’s definitely the calming force on our team, and it hurt not having her there.”
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: This was the fourth double-overtime game in Notre Dame women’s basketball history and the first since Nov. 30, 1997, when the Fighting Irish defeated UCLA, 93-91 at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles … Thursday’s game was just the second double-OT women’s basketball game in Purcell Pavilion history — Nebraska defeated Notre Dame, 89-88 in two extra periods on Feb. 25, 1982 … the Fighting Irish were playing their first overtime game at home (of any length) since Nov. 13, 2006, when they defeated Bowling Green, 85-81 in one OT … this marks the eighth consecutive season in which Notre Dame has played at least one overtime game … the Fighting Irish fall to 4-9 all-time against UCLA, with the series in South Bend now knotted at 3-3 … this was the third overtime game in the 13-game series between Notre Dame and UCLA, with the Bruins winning two of those three OT contests (also a 67-65 victory on Jan. 5, 1987, in Los Angeles) … this also was the seventh game decided by single digits in the Notre Dame-UCLA series, with four decided by one possession (three in OT) … the loss snaps a 16-game Fighting Irish winning streak in the month of November, a run that started on Nov. 20, 2007, with a 94-41 win at Central Michigan (following a 75-59 loss at third-ranked Maryland in the Preseason WNIT semifinals four days earlier) … Notre Dame is 63-12 (.840) in November games since joining the BIG EAST Conference in 1995-96 … the Fighting Irish fall to 18-17 (.514) against Pac-10 Conference teams, with the Bruins being the first Pac-10 team to defeat Notre Dame since USC earned a 69-58 win on Nov. 24, 2006, at the Galen Center in Los Angeles … the Fighting Irish also tumble to 9-4 (.692) against the Pac-10 at Purcell Pavilion, ending their seven-game winning streak against that conference; UCLA is the first Pac-10 team to defeat Notre Dame at Purcell Pavilion since Nov. 24, 1991, when No. 5/7 Stanford defeated the Fighting Irish, 88-76 … Thursday’s setback was just the eighth in Notre Dame’s last 95 non-conference home games, and the first since March 22, 2009, when Minnesota upset the Fighting Irish, 79-71 in the first round of the NCAA Championship; it’s the first regular-season non-conference home loss for Notre Dame since Jan. 5, 2008, when third-ranked Tennessee earned an 87-63 win … the Fighting Irish had their 19-game regular-season non-conference winning streak snapped … in the past two-plus seasons (2008-09 to present), the Fighting Irish are 26-2 in regular-season non-conference games, with both losses coming in overtime (the other was a 63-59 defeat at Michigan on Dec. 10, 2008) … Thursday’s game had another rarity, as it was just the fifth time in 147 games (since joining the BIG EAST in 1995-96) that Notre Dame lost when scoring at least 80 points; three of those five defeats came in overtime (also 88-84 vs. Texas A&M and 87-83 at Michigan State in 1995-96), as well as a 106-81 home loss to top-ranked Connecticut in 1998-99 and most recently, an 81-80 loss to DePaul on Jan. 22, 2008, also at Purcell Pavilion … junior guard Natalie Novosel tied her career high with 19 points, having previously set that mark on Jan. 27, 2009, against Rutgers … freshman guard Skylar Diggins posted her eighth career 20-point game and first since March 23, 2010, when she scored a career-high 31 points against Vermont in the second round of the NCAA Championship at Purcell Pavilion … Diggins’ 47 minutes played were the most by a Fighting Irish player in a single game since Nov. 30, 1997, when Mollie Peirick also played 47 minutes in the double-OT win at UCLA … senior forward Becca Bruszewski collected her third career double-double, and first since Nov. 15, 2009, when she nabbed 19 points and 10 rebounds in a season-opening win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Purcell Pavilion … Bruszewski’s 13 rebounds also were a career high, one more than her previous best set on Feb. 8, 2009, against DePaul at Purcell Pavilion, as was her 44 minutes played, topping her old standard of 37 minutes at Providence on Feb. 28, 2009.