No. 5 NOTRE DAME AT NO. 1 UCONN
Time: 4 p.m.
Where: Gampel Pavilion
TV: WFSB-3 (Don Criqui and Mary Murphy)
Radio: WTIC-AM 1080, WILI-AM 1400 (Bob Joyce and Debbie Fisk)
Series history: UConn, 29-8
Last meeting: Notre Dame, 83-75 (OT), NCAA national semifinal, Denver, April 1, 2012
Streaks: Notre Dame W6; UConn W12
NOTRE DAME (11-1)
4 SKYLAR DIGGINS, G, 5-9, Sr., 14.5 – First team All-American; reigning Big East Player of the Week
23 KAYLA McBRIDE, G, 5-11, Jr.,15.3 – Just 4 of 22 from three-point range, but 95.5 free throw percentage
11 NATALIE ACHONWA, F, 6-3, Jr., 14.4 – Played for Canadian Olympic team this summer; leading rebounder (9.3) with seven double-doubles
32 JEWELL LOYD, G, 5-10, Fr., 12.8 – Team’s top three-point shooter (46.2 percent)
44 ARIEL BRAKER, F, 6-1, Jr., 7.2 – 18 blocked shots; 60.4 field goal percentage
34 MARKISHA WRIGHT, F, 6-2, So., 6.5 – Averaging 17.2 minutes; 20 points vs. St. Francis.
15 KAILA TURNER, G, 5-8, Sr., 4.3 – Has 26 assists, 22 steals
5 CAROLINE DOTY, G, 5-10, Sr., 4.8 – Career-high 12 rebounds against Oregon
30 BREANNA STEWART, F, 6-4, Fr, 15.2 – As many fouls (four) as points in Oregon win; has 18 blocked shots
14 BRIA HARTLEY, G, 5-7, Jr., 9.3 –Played only seven minutes at Oregon; 33 assists this season
31 STEFANIE DOLSON, C, 6-5, Jr., 11.9 – Tied with Stewart for rebounding lead (6.7)
34 KELLY FARIS, G, 5-11, Sr., 9.8 – Leads nation in assist/turnover ratio (47 to 10)
13 BRIANNA BANKS, G, 5-9, So., 9.1 – Averaging 19.3 minutes off the bench
23 KALEENA MOSQUEDA-LEWIS, F, 6-0, So., 16.9 – Shooting 52.3 percent from three-point range
WHAT TO WATCH
Notre Dame is off to an 11-1 start for the fifth time in six years and seventh time in school history. The Irish tied the school record for points in a game by scoring 128 against St. Francis (Pa.) on Dec. 31 in South Bend, Ind. It is the most points by an NCAA Division I team this season. It was Notre Dame’s third 100-point game of the season (all in the past six contests), marking the first time in school history the Fighting Irish have topped triple digits three times in one season. Diggins, who took only four shots in 17 minutes, set a career mark for assists with 14. The team had 38 assists with 10 turnovers.
No one knows how Notre Dame’s impending departure to the ACC will impact this intense rivalry. The teams have played eight times in the last two seasons; the Irish winning 3 of 4 last year, 4 of the last 5. Of course, Notre Dame has also defeated UConn in the last two national semifinals.
Back in the flow
Geno Auriemma used much of Monday’s 95-51 win over Oregon to get freshmen Morgan Tuck (knee) and Moriah Jefferson (illness) back into the flow. The pair combined for 50 minutes, while Hartley (seven) and Stewart (12) sat. … Kiah Stokes is likely to miss her fifth straight game (stress reaction).
Unanimous No. 1
The Huskies play for the first time this season as the nation’s consensus No. 1. UConn was voted No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 shortly before the Oregon game began. That was followed by its ascension on Tuesday in the coaches’s poll.
JOHN ALTAVILLA/ email@example.com