SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Napheesa Collier scored 20 points, Gabby Williams had 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and No. 1 Connecticut beat No. 2 Notre Dame 72-61 on Wednesday night for its 83rd straight victory.
The Huskies (8-0) trailed briefly in late in the second quarter, but played with the lead most of the game as they controlled the inside, outscoring the Irish 42-30 in the paint and finishing with a 35-32 edge in rebounding.
Brianna Turner led the Irish (8-1) with 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Lindsay Allen added 11 points.
After Notre Dame tied it at 42 with just under 2 minutes left in the third quarter, the Huskies forced a pair of turnovers leading to layups by Katie Lou Samuelson and Williams. Collier added a pair of free throws to give Connecticut led 50-43 at the end of the third quarter.
The Huskies stretched it to 65-54 on a 3-point play by Samuelson with 3:06 left to put the game away.
The Huskies were just 1 of 9 from 3-point range, but the Irish were just 3 of 14. The Huskies had a big advantage in foul shooting, making 19 of 20 while the Irish were just 4 of 8.
Notre Dame, which had trailed twice all season for a total of 18 seconds, fell behind 11-2 in the first 4 minutes as it started 1 of 5 from the floor while the Huskies were 3 of 6.
The Huskies shot 60 percent in the first quarter to grab a 23-14 lead and extended the lead to 11 early in the second on a basket by Kia Nurse. But the Irish used a pair of 9-0 runs in the second quarter to move ahead 34-30 before the Huskies responded with a 12 run, tying the score at 34-34 at halftime and then moving ahead 42-34 in the third quarter when Dangerfield banked in a layup. The Irish bounced back with an 8-0 run.
The Huskies’ last loss was 88-86 in overtime to Stanford on Nov. 17, 2014.
UConn: After winning four straight national championships, many thought the inexperienced Huskies looked vulnerable this season, especially after narrowly eking out a 78-76 win over No. 7 Florida State to start the season. The Huskies have beaten five ranked teams, including No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Baylor, and have staked their claim as the clear No. 1.
Notre Dame: The Irish faced adversity for the first time this season and couldn’t respond as they struggled offensively and defensively. The Irish lost to the Huskies for a sixth straight time and have work to do if they hope to challenge Connecticut by the end of the season. No one on the roster has ever beaten the Huskies.
UConn: The Huskies stay on the road to play at Kansas State, ending a streak of three straight games against ranked teams. They then play No. 12 Ohio State in Storrs on Dec. 19.
Notre Dame: The Irish, who have played only one true road game, play six straight on the road starting Saturday at No. 16 DePaul. They are then off for finals until playing at Toledo on Dec. 18.