Irish get second chance at title after beating Huskies

Notre Dame women 83, Connecticut 75 (OT)

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DENVER — Notre Dame is back in the national championship thanks to Skylar Diggins’ steady leadership and Brittany Mallory’s clutch shooting.

Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins shoots over Connecticut's Bria Hartley during the first half of the Fighting Irish's eight-point overtime win.  JULIE JACOBSON/ASSOCIATED PRESS
JULIE JACOBSON/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins shoots over Connecticut's Bria Hartley during the first half of the Fighting Irish's eight-point overtime win.

Diggins scored 19 points, Mallory hit two big 3-pointers in overtime and Irish beat Connecticut 83-75 on Sunday night.

Notre Dame (35-3) also beat the Huskies (33-5) in the semifinals last year, ending the Huskies’ bid for a third consecutive national championship. But Notre Dame stumbled 48 hours later, losing to Texas A&M in the title game in Indianapolis.

Unfinished business has been their mantra all season, and now they get a chance to take care of business Tuesday night against the Baylor-Stanford winner.

The game was tied at 67 after regulation following an 8-2 run by UConn that was fueled by a series of hustle plays from Kelly Faris, who had a steal and a basket and four free throws in the final 90 seconds.

The Huskies, who were led by Stefanie Dolson’s 20 points despite foul trouble, stretched their run to 11-3 when Bria Hartley opened the extra period with a 3-pointer.

The Huskies had the ball again after a missed free throw but Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis fired up an off-target
3-pointer early in the shot clock and UConn never recovered.

Diggins tied it with a 3-pointer, and then Mallory hit back-to-back 3s and a free throw to push Notre Dame to a 77-72 lead.

“My teammates just kept talking to me, ‘You’re going to hit a shot. You’re going to hit a shot,’” said Mallory, who had seven of her 11 points in OT. “I was getting a little down on myself and I just happened to keep finding the 3-point line and my teammates found me and they couldn’t have come at a better time.”


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