No. 2 Notre Dame Falls To No. 3 Connecticut, 76-58; Brianna Turner Sits


For the second consecutive game against Connecticut, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were without one of their top interior players, and it appeared to have a direct impact on the final in the 76-58 loss to No. 3 UConn.

The Irish (8-1) were without freshman star Brianna Turner, who injured her shoulder in their last contest against Maryland. The Huskies (6-1) got a career-game from Morgan Tuck, who seemed to score at will without the presence of Turner. In last season’s NCAA Championship game, the Irish were without Natalie “Ace” Achonwa who injured her knee in the semi-final game.

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“She is our best rebounder. We don’t have her and I think she can rebound and defend,” McGraw said. “Definitely someone we need to get back in the lineup. Don’t know if that would have changed things in the end.”

Tuck scored a career-high 25, and Kiah Stokes pulled down 18 rebounds for the Huskies.

The Irish started off well as Jewell Loyd score 15 in the first 10 minutes as they jumped out to a 28-10 lead. UConn then silenced to sellout crowd with a 22-4 run to close the half up 40-32. Loyd finished with 31, with Lindsay Allen the only other player to score in double-digits with 11.

Before the start of the season, coach Muffet McGraw voiced her concern over the toughness of her team. She once again saw that as a concern following the loss, calling for someone to step up into that role.

"“We need to get tougher. I don’t think we’re tough enough. I don’t think we have the mentality of toughness the last four teams had,” McGraw said. “I think Jewell has it. I think there’s a couple of people that have a little bit of toughness. Sometimes it’s a quiet toughness. We need a vocal leader. Jewell is trying to do that, but she’s got enough to do. I really would like someone else to do that one.”"

The loss snapped two streaks for the Irish. Their 66-game regular season winning streak came to an end, as well as their 34-game home winning streak.

The Irish will visit DePaul on Wednesday.

Highlights courtesy of