Jan. 20, 2003
* Notre Dame started the same lineup it has fielded for the past seven games — sophomore Jacqueline Batteast and freshman Courtney LaVere at the forwards, sophomore Teresa Borton at center, and junior Le’Tania Severe and senior Alicia Ratay at the guards. It was Ratay’s 55th consecutive start and she now has started 113 of a possible 114 games in her career (sixth in school history, one behind Niele Ivey and Beth Morgan). The Irish are 3-4 this season (2-3 in BIG EAST Conference play) when they field this lineup.
* For the 11th time in 16 series meetings, both Notre Dame and Connecticut were ranked at tipoff. The Huskies are 9-2 in those games.
* Notre Dame has lost its last four home games, the most consecutive home losses in school history. The previous mark was three, achieved three times before (1979-80, 1981-82 and 1993-94). The 1981-82 campaign signalled the only time the Irish had lost three straight home games in the same season.
* After having at least three players score in double figures in 13 of their first 14 games, the Irish have not turned that trick in the last two games. Notre Dame had two players reach double digits today (Jacqueline Batteast – 16, Courtney LaVere – 12), while two others tallied nine points (Le’Tania Severe and Alicia Ratay).
* Today’s crowd of 8,265 was the ninth-largest audience for a women’s basketball game in Joyce Center history. The last four games have seen the Irish top 7,300 in attendance each time, including a season-high 9,483 fans for the Jan. 4 game vs. Purdue, the fifth-largest women’s basketball crowd in school history.
* Connecticut’s 46 first-half points were the most by an Irish opponent in the opening 20 minutes this season (previous: 44 by Miami, 1/11/03).
* Connecticut shot an opponent season-best 49.1 percent from the floor (27-55), including 64 percent (16-25) in the first half.
* Connecticut dished out an opponent season-high 20 assists, led by six from junior guard/forward Diana Taurasi.
* Notre Dame collected a season-low 28 rebounds, one fewer than their 29 caroms against Rutgers last Saturday.
* The Irish made at least 75 percent of their free throws for the eighth time this season, connecting at an 85.7 percent rate (12-14) from the stripe.
* Freshman forward Courtney LaVere scored in double figures for the 10th time in her last 12 games, and her fourth in a row. She ranks second on the team with 11 double-figure scoring games this year, including three 20-point outings.
* Sophomore forward Jacqueline Batteast scored the 600th point of her career on a free throw from 16:57 to play. Batteast has scored 605 points in 42 career games, good for a lifetime scoring average of 14.4 points per game (fifth-best in school history).
* Freshman guard Megan Duffy tied her career high with two field goals made and set a new personal best with 28 minutes played.
* Senior guard Alicia Ratay made all four of her free throws today, giving her a career mark of .871 (316-363) at the charity stripe. That’s good for sixth-best in NCAA history. Ratay also made her only three-point attempt, pushing her career percentage to .476 (230-483), maintaining her NCAA-record pace. Ratay’s three-pointer today moves her within one of tying Beth Morgan (1993-97) for second place on Notre Dame’s career three-point field goals made list.
* Notre Dame will be back in action Saturday at noon (EST) when it takes on No. 20 Villanova at The Pavilion in Villanova, Pa. That game will be televised regionally as part of the BIG EAST television package, airing live on Metro Channel New York, Fox Sports Net Florida, Fox Sports Net New England and the CN8 network. The game also will be shown on a tape-delayed basis on WHME-TV (Channel 46) in South Bend at 11 p.m. (EST) Saturday.
— ND —