Notre Dame vs UConn: Irish Fall to Huskies in Close Game


Notre Dame suffered their first loss of the season to the hands of #1 UConn.

The Fighting Irish played exactly as they were expected to, right up until the final five minutes. Notre Dame might not have lost this game if it wasn’t for a late game run by UConn, and some costly turnovers in the fourth quarter.

Despite Notre Dame’s third quarter lead and a tightly contested game, the UConn Huskies were able to hold on for a late game victory.

It’s hard to say if the win was due to the Huskies late game push, Notre Dame’s costly turnovers, or the Irish’s inability to hit shots during the second-half. It seemed that it was a combination of all, as UConn continued to build momentum off of Notre Dame’s mistakes.

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The Huskies relied heavily on their stars in this game. Napheesa Collier, Gabby Williams, and Katie Lou Samuelson combined for 47 of UConn’s 72 points. Williams finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, five steals, and two blocks, be the clear-cut MVP of this matchup.

Brianna Turner and Jackie Young were the bright spots for the Irish. Turner finished the game with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Young recorded seven points and four steals.

Young left the game with a right ankle injury late in the fourth. The 6’0 freshman was Notre Dame’s most impactful player throughout the entire game. A lengthy absence will be a major downfall for the Irish.

When it came down to it, UConn seemed to want it more. It’s simple, the Huskies came out of every play with more energy and made sure they won every hustle play. Notre Dame seemed to flat for periods of time and then suddenly make a run to keep them in the game. Once the fourth quarter started, the Huskies maintained the momentum long enough for Notre Dame’s chance to slim down, and it was all over from there.

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The game was exactly what it was supposed to be. A tied game at halftime, these teams showed why they are the top two teams in college basketball. If Notre Dame could’ve shot better in the second-half, the outcome would have been much different.

Moving forward, the Irish will travel to DePaul looking to redeem themselves. They then enter a six-game stretch of unranked teams, where they’ll look to gain confidence and momentum heading into Miami.

The Huskies will play Ohio State and Maryland within the next four games. It seems like UConn continues to play the best of the best and come out on top. Their goals now are to keep their winning streak alive, and remain the top seed in the AP Poll.

This isn’t the end of Notre Dame. The Irish need to learn to play their game and stop playing to other team’s gameplan. If they can fix their turnover issues and establish an identity in pace, the Irish should remain one of the best.