Dec. 6, 2014
Inside The Game: #3/3 UConn 76, #2/1 Notre Dame 58
December 6, 2014 – Notre Dame, Indiana (Purcell Pavilion)
It Was Over When: UConn went on a 11-2 run during the opening six minutes of the second half to take a 53-36 lead, creating a double-digit lead it would not relinquish as Notre Dame could only claw back within 13 points once from that point forward.
Game Ball Goes To: It’s a tie between Notre Dame junior guard Jewell Loyd, who almost singlehandedly tried to keep the Fighting Irish within striking distance while scoring a career high-tying 31 points, and UConn sophomore forward Morgan Tuck, who scored a career-best 25 points.
Unsung Hero: UConn senior center Kiah Stokes had a game- and career-high 18 rebounds (15 on the defensive end), and a game-high four blocks to go along with six points and two steals despite not earning the start and playing only 24 minutes.
Unofficial Play of the Game: At halftime, the V Foundation for Cancer Research officially presented a donation of $100,000 to pediatric brain cancer in honor of ailing Mount St. Joseph University freshman basketball player Lauren Hill, who has been battling an inoperable brain tumor. Hill also spoke to the Purcell Pavilion crowd, via a pre-taped video message, during the halftime presentation.
Stat Of The Game: Notre Dame stormed out to a 10-point lead (28-18) on Loyd’s third three-pointer of the first half with 10:13 left in the period, as the Fighting Irish opened the game by making 10 of 19 shots. However, Notre Dame missed 18 of its final 19 shots in the first half, while UConn rallied with a 22-4 run during that span to take the lead for good.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame’s 34-game home winning streak (second-longest in school history) and 60-game regular season winning streak (not including conference tournaments games and like the home string, the longest active run in the nation) both were snapped with Saturday’s loss — the last time the Fighting Irish either lost at Purcell Pavilion or in the regular season was the same game (Dec. 5, 2012 – a 73-61 setback to another third-ranked opponent, Baylor) … Saturday was just the eighth loss for Notre Dame in the past four seasons (the Fighting Irish are 115-8, .935, since 2011-12), and seven of those losses have come to opponents ranked fourth or higher in both major national polls (UConn four times, Baylor three times) … the Fighting Irish lost after holding a double-digit lead for the first time since Feb. 12, 2012, when they gave up a 48-37 lead with 13:05 left against West Virginia, losing 65-63 at Purcell Pavilion … Notre Dame now has forced 105 UConn turnovers in the Huskies’ last four visits to South Bend (averaging 26 takeaways per game in that span) … Loyd tied her career high with 31 points, having first scored that many at Maryland on Jan. 27, 2014 … this was Loyd’s fourth career 30-point game, tying her for fourth in Notre Dame history and making her just the fifth Fighting Irish women’s basketball player with four career 30-point nights … Loyd also tied her career best with four steals, a mark she had set three times previously (the last at Duke on Feb. 2, 2014) … Loyd scored in double figures for the 52nd consecutive game, still the second-longest run of its kind in program history … Notre Dame drew its first sellout crowd of the season (9,149), as well as its 36th since 2009-10 and the 42nd in program history.
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame makes the quick trip over to Chicago for a 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. CT) Wednesday game against No. 25/24 DePaul at McGrath-Phillips Arena. Fans can watch the game live nationally on Fox Sports 2, listen live in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and worldwide on WatchND, or follow live in-game stats through Gametracker — all links are on UND.com.
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director