Notre Dame's Natalie Novosel, left, drives past West Virginia's Linda...

Notre Dame's Natalie Novosel, left, drives past West Virginia's Linda Stepney during the first half of Notre Dame's 73-45 victory in an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Big East women's tournament. (March 5, 2012) Credit: AP

HARTFORD -- This time, Notre Dame made it look easy against West Virginia.

The top-seeded Fighting Irish led by 30 points en route to a 73-45 win over the fifth-seeded Mountaineers -- the only Big East team to defeat Notre Dame this season -- Monday night in a Big East Tournament semifinal at XL Center.

Notre Dame (30-2) will face third-seeded UConn in Tuesday night's championship game. Notre Dame beat the Huskies twice during the regular season.

Natalie Novosel led the Irish with 18 points (including 4-for-4 shooting from three-point range). Kayla McBride added 15 and Big East Player of the Year Skylar Diggins had nine points and six assists.

Asya Bussie had 15 points for West Virginia.

The Mountaineers ended Notre Dame's streak at 21 games with a 65-63 victory Feb. 12. But this time, it was all Irish.

Notre Dame scored 12 of its first-half points off 10 West Virginia turnovers to take a 37-19 halftime lead. The Mountaineers (23-9), who had 22 turnovers for the game, didn't score a basket in the first 2:39 and went scoreless in a 5½-minute span in the first half as Notre Dame took a 20-6 lead.


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