December 8, 1998
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Svetlana Abrosimova scored 23 points and Connecticut forced 31 turnovers as the top-ranked Huskies beat No. 6 Notre Dame 106-81 Tuesday night in the Big East opener for both teams.
Connecticut’s press and swarming defense hounded the Irish (6-1, 0-1) as the Huskies (7-0, 1-0 Big East) improved to 9-0 against Notre Dame.
The start of the second half was indicative of how poorly Notre Dame handled the Connecticut pressure. The Irish had turnovers on four of their first five possessions and fell behind 59-39 after Amy Duran hit a 3-pointer, the Irish bumbled the ensuing inbounds play and Swintayla Cash converted the steal into a layup.
Cash finished with 15 points for the Huskies.
The lone bright spot for the Irish was Sheila McMillen, who finished with 21 points after hitting her first five shots. She was 5-for-5 from behind the 3-point arc and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line as she moved into 12th place on the school scoring list.
The loss snapped Notre Dame’s school record 15-game home winning streak, which dated back to a 78-59 loss to the Huskies on Dec. 6, 1997.
Notre Dame’s problems with the press kept them out of their offense most of the first half, preventing them from pounding the ball inside to 6-foot-5 center Ruth Riley, who was averaging 13.8 points a game. The few times the Irish got the ball inside, Riley wasn’t able to convert, going 0-for-4 in the first half. She finished with 10 points and took only six shots.
Meanwhile, the Huskies shot 56 percent from the field and hit 7-of-10 from 3-point range as they scored the most points against an Irish team since 1990 in front of 5,102 fans, the fourth-largest crowd in school history.