A Look At UConn-Notre Dame

by Categorized: 2014 NCAA women's tournament, Notre Dame women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

NOTRE DAME vs. UCONN WOMEN
Time: 8:30 p.m.
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
TV: ESPN (Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke and Holly Rowe)
Radio: WTIC-AM 1080, WILI-AM 1400 (Bob Joyce and Debbie Fisk)
Series history: UConn, 30-11
Last meeting: UConn, 83-65, April 7, 2013, national semifinals in New Orleans
Streaks:  Notre Dame W37, UConn W45
Notre Dame (37-0)
23 Kayla McBride, G, 5-11, Sr., 17.5 ppg – Scored 28 points (12 of 21) with seven rebounds in national semifinal
12 Taya Reimer, C, 6-3, Fr., 7.5 – Replaced injured Natalie Achonwa in starting lineup with nine points, five rebounds
32 Jewell Loyd, G, 5-10, So., 18.7 – Along with McBride a WBCA All-American, shooting 52.5 percent from field
44 Ariel Braker, F, 6-1, Sr., 4.1 – Averaging 4.8 rebounds with 45 steals
34 Markisha Wright, F, 6-2, Jr., 2.4 – Averaging 8.9 minutes off the bench, shoots 57.7 from floor
15 Lindsay Allen, G, 5-7, Fr., 6.3 – Shooting 81.5 percent from free throw line
22 Madison Cable, G, 5-11, Jr., 5.6 – One of the nation’s top three-point shooters (25 of 53, 47.2 percent)
23 Michaela Mabrey, G, 5-10, So., 8.5 – Has one start, leads team with 165 three-point attempts (42.4 percent)
UConn (39-0)
4 Moriah Jefferson, G, 5-7, So. 10.2 ppg – Shooting 58.5 percent from the field; 14 assists, five turnovers in NCAAs
30 Breanna Stewart, F, 6-4, So. 19.4 – Unanimous first-team selection as Associated Press All-American
14 Bria Hartley, G, 5-7, Sr. 16.3 –  Needs 19 points to reach 2,000 in her career
31 Stefanie Dolson, C, 6-5, Sr. 12.4– Had 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks in Lincoln regional final
23 Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, F, 6-0, Jr. 13.2 – Scored all 15 points in second half of national semifinal
41 Kiah Stokes, C, 6-3, Jr., 4.5 – Had nine points in 22 minutes in national semifinal
WHAT TO WATCH
Historic night: For the first time in the history of the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournament unbeaten teams will play for the national championship. And to make it even better, the teams are perhaps the most heated rivals in the sport after years of battling each other in the Big East for regular-season and tournament championships… This is Notre Dame’s fourth straight Final Four appearance … Notre Dame’s 48 points were the most ever scored in the first half in women’s Final Four history, as was their rebounding margin (29) against Maryland.
Rebounding: The loss of Achonwa, one the team’s leaders and strong post presence, was hardly felt as the Irish demolished Maryland off the boards in the national semifinals. But UConn’s front line almost certainly will provide a great challenge off the glass.
Stars: The teams combined for five WBCA All-Americans this season. Stewart was the Associated Press player of the year; Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw its coach of the year. McBride, Hartley and Dolson almost certainly will be among the top 10 players taken in next week’s WNBA draft at Mohegan Sun Arena
JOHN ALTAVILLA/ jaltavilla@courant.com

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