March 5, 2006
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Barbara Turner scored 19 points and Ketia Swanier added a career-high 11 to lead No. 7 Connecticut to a 71-60 win over Notre Dame on Sunday in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals.
The second-seeded Huskies (27-4) advance to play the winner of Sunday’s late game between Pittsburgh and DePaul.
Notre Dame’s Megan Duffy had 14 of her game-high 20 points in the final 10 minutes of the game as the Fighting Irish tried to rally from 21 down.
Willnett Crockett had a team-high 11 boards for UConn, which finished with a 36-23 advantage on the glass and outscored the 10th-seeded Irish 34-20 in the paint. The Huskies’ 27 defensive rebounds afforded the Irish few second chances and helped UConn get out in transition quickly. Guards Renee Mongtomery and Swanier directed UConn’s uptempo attack with a combined 10 assists as the Huskies shot 58 percent from the floor.
UConn, the defending tournament champ, is looking for its 13th conference tournament title. It was Turner’s ninth tournament game and the senior forward’s 19 points were a tournament high for her. Ann Strother added 10 for UConn.
Courtney LaVere finished with 15 points and two blocked shots for the Irish.
The Huskies relied on their post game early to take control. Fifteen of their 19 first-half boards were on the defensive end resulted in several breakaway layups.
Turner and Charde Houston muscled their way inside for two layups in a 9-0 UConn run. Turner capped the spurt with an up-and-under around 6-foot-5 Melissa D’Amico with 10:38 left in the period for an 18-11 lead.
The Huskies led by as many as 18 in the period and led 38-24 at the break. UConn stretched the lead to 21 in the first five minutes of the second half. The Irish would get no closer than 11 the rest of the way.
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame sees its four-game winning streak snapped, as well as its four-game run of 70+ point games … the Irish are 14-11 all-time in BIG EAST Championship play (0-7 vs. Connecticut, 14-4 vs. the rest of the league) … Notre Dame is 2-6 all-time at the Hartford Civic Center, having won its opening game at the facility in each of the past two BIG EAST Championships (West Virginia in 2005, South Florida in 2006) … for the first time in 11 games (and just the seventh time all seaason), the Irish did not have at least three double-digit scorers … even in defeat, Notre Dame’s ball protection remained strong, as the Irish had less than 15 turnovers for the 10th time in 11 games, averaging a mere 12.1 giveaways in that time … Sunday’s loss was the third this season for Notre Dame vs. a Top 25 opponent by exactly 11 points (also #24/23 Purdue and #1 Tennessee) … six of Notre Dame’s 11 losses this season have come at the hands of ranked opponents, including each of its last three setbacks … the Irish are 10-6 away from home this season … Notre Dame lost for the first time in four outings this season when wearing its green uniforms … senior All-America guard Megan Duffy extended her streak of double-figure scoring games to 14 in a row, picking up her eighth 20-point game of the season in the process … Duffy is five assists away from becoming the third player in school history with 1,000 points, 500 assists and 200 steals in her career (currently with 1,275 points, 495 assists and 220 steals) … Duffy ranks second in the Irish record books with 4,148 minutes played, trailing only Alicia Ratay (4,231 minutes from 1999-2003) … senior forward Courtney LaVere scored in doouble figures for the eighth time in 10 games (12.1 ppg. in that time); she also had two more blocked shots and is averaging 3.0 blocks in her last seven games … the pairings for the 2006 NCAA Tournament will be announced live on ESPN Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m. (ET).