Ir­ish and Huskies ready for lat­est chap­ter of ri­valry

The Sun News (Sunday) - - Scoreboard -

There’s been no better and more entertaining ri­valry in women’s col­lege bas­ket­ball over the past decade than Notre Dame vs. UConn.

From Bre­anna Ste­wart’s dom­i­nance of the Ir­ish in the Fi­nal Four while UConn won four straight na­tional cham­pi­onships to Arike Ogun­bowale’s last­sec­ond shot in over­time of the na­tional semi­fi­nals last sea­son, th­ese sto­ried pro­grams have gone toeto-toe on the game’s big­gest stage.

This meet­ing has a dif­fer­ent feel: The Ir­ish are the clear fa­vorites.

The top-ranked na­tional cham­pi­ons and No. 2 Huskies play Sun­day in South Bend, Ind., in the Jimmy V Clas­sic. They’ve played evenly over the past eight sea­sons, split­ting 16 games.

“When you play each other in De­cem­ber it’s more of a, ‘We’re go­ing all the way over there and they are go­ing all the way over here and we hap­pen to be pass­ing each other on the street cor­ner,’ ” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Wed­nes­day. “We know they’re out there and they know we’re out there and then it just be­comes for a cou­ple days, big. Then af­ter that it goes away.”

Sun­day’s game, the 58th meet­ing be­tween the top two teams in the AP poll, has long been sold out. The 57th in­volved the same teams and lo­ca­tion in 2016, when the Huskies won by 11 points.

“I’m ex­cited that it’s a sell­out,” Ir­ish coach Muf­fet McGraw said. “I think na­tion­ally it’s one of the best ri­val­ries in women’s bas­ket­ball, so I think people will be tun­ing in to see what hap­pens here.”

High­lights

No. 9 Ore­gon State 100, La Salle 46: Kat Tu­dor had a sea­son-high 24 points and nine re­bounds, and the Beavers (6-1) eas­ily dis­patched the win­less Ex­plor­ers (0-7) in Cor­val­lis, Ore. – lead­ing by as many as 55 points in the sec­ond half. The Beavers are 63-7 at Gill Coli­seum since the start of the 2014-15 sea­son.

No. 19 Ari­zona State 80, Louisiana Tech 44: Kianna Ibis led a bal­anced at­tack with 13 points, and 13 play­ers scored for the Sun Devils (4-2) in a rout of the Bull­dogs (4-3) at Tempe, Ariz. Louisiana Tech scored the first bas­ket; Ari­zona State re­sponded with a 26-4 run.

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