Irish and Huskies ready for latest chapter of rivalry
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.”
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.