Miles, No. 7 Notre Dame women beat No. 3 UConn; Fudd hurt

Dec 4, 2022, 12:40 AM | Updated: 4:13 pm
Notre Dame's Olivia Miles (5) tries to drive past Connecticut's Azzi Fudd (35) during the first hal...

Notre Dame's Olivia Miles (5) tries to drive past Connecticut's Azzi Fudd (35) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)

(AP Photo/Michael Caterina)

              Notre Dame's Olivia Miles, center, hugs Dara Mabrey (1) as Natalija Marshall (15) smiles during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)
            
              Connecticut's Nika Mühl (10) and Notre Dame's Maddy Westbeld (21) fight for possession during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)
            
              Connecticut head coach head coach Geno Auriemma calls a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)
            
              Notre Dame head coach Niele Ivey calls a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)
            
              Notre Dame's Lauren Ebo (33) hits Connecticut's Lou Lopez Sénéchal as she drives to the basket as Olivia Miles, right, also defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)
            
              Notre Dame's Olivia Miles celebrates as she walks off the court after an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)
            
              Connecticut's Aaliyah Edwards (3) and Lou Lopez Sénéchal (11) fight with Notre Dame's Lauren Ebo, in back, for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)
            
              Notre Dame's Olivia Miles (5) tries to drive past Connecticut's Azzi Fudd (35) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Olivia Miles had 21 points and eight rebounds for No. 7 Notre Dame, and UConn star Azzi Fudd suffered a knee injury in a collision with a teammate, as the Fighting Irish handed the third-ranked Huskies their first loss of the season, 74-60 on Sunday.

“I think she’ll be all right,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said afterwards of Fudd, who went into the day averaging 24.0 points, but finished scoreless on two shots over 13 minutes.

Fudd exited in the final minute of the first quarter after teammate Aaliyah Edwards fell on her. She returned midway through the second period to play four hobbled minutes, but sat the rest of the way as a precaution, according to Auriemma.

Maddy Westbeld had a season-high 17 points and nine rebounds for Notre Dame (7-1), which bounced back from a 74-72 loss to No. 20 Maryland three days earlier.

“I think Thursday’s loss really fueled us today,” Irish coach Niele Ivey said. “We learned a lot from that game. We have incredible scorers on our team, a lot of balance offensively, but it’s our defense that’s gonna win games, so that was our focus the last 48 hours. (The players) took the challenge and came out and played with heart and defensive intensity. I feel like if we can play that way, we can beat anyone in the country.”

Notre Dame shot 56% from the field while limiting the Huskies to 37%.

“We played very badly (Thursday), but we were still two points away,” Miles said, “so it’s kind of scary what we can do when we play really well.”

Led by Miles, the Irish roared to a 41-24 lead by intermission, outscoring the Huskies 30-11 over the final 11 minutes of the first half.

Miles scored 13 of Notre Dame’s 18 first-quarter points, going 6 of 7 from the field. Westbeld provided her scoring punch after averaging 5.2 points over her previous five outings.

Lou Lopez Senechal led UConn (6-1) with 21 points. Edwards added 14.

“We didn’t win the rebound battle and that hurt us,” said Auriemma, whose club was outboarded 39-26 and outscored in the paint. 46-16. “We just didn’t have enough scoring on the court and enough people playing at a real high level to get enough buckets when we needed them.”

The Huskies got as close at 49-44 at the 3:44 mark of the third quarter, but the Irish stretched their lead back to as high as 70-53 at the midway mark of the fourth period.

Notre Dame ended a seven-game head-to-head losing streak against UConn in regular-season play, prevailing for the first time since a triple-overtime decision in March 2013.

BIG PICTURE

UConn: The Huskies faced a top-10 opponent for the fourth time this season, but this one was their first true road game. If Fudd’s injury doesn’t turn out to be serious, UConn ought to still have a chance to do what it’s done for decades: craft a resume that will make them a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Notre Dame: The Irish, coming back from that loss at the buzzer to Maryland, showed that Thursday’s outcome may just be a blip on their promising season. Notre Dame matched last season’s win over No. 3 North Carolina State for the highest-ranked team it has beaten in its third year under Ivey.

UP NEXT

UConn: The Huskies host Princeton on Thursday before visiting Maryland next Sunday.

Notre Dame: The Irish have a couple apparent mismatches coming up as they visit Lafayette (2-7) on Thursday and host Merrimack (1-6) on Saturday.

___

AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll

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Miles, No. 7 Notre Dame women beat No. 3 UConn; Fudd hurt