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Irish Big East champs

Wed., March 13, 2013

UConn turnover leads to Notre Dame lay-in, victory

HARTFORD, Conn. – Skylar Diggins cut the final strand off the net and twirled it around. Finally, Notre Dame had its first Big East tournament championship.

Six previous times the Irish had played Connecticut in the tournament title game and had fallen in each one, including the previous two. Now in its final Big East title game, the Irish were champions.

“It’s special because it’s the last one,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “We leave here champions and go home undefeated. To win it here makes it even better.”

Natalie Achonwa’s layup with 1.8 seconds left lifted No. 2 Notre Dame to a 61-59 victory over third-ranked UConn on Tuesday night.

Diggins stole an errant pass from Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis with 8 seconds left, and after dribbling through a few defenders, found Achonwa for the uncontested lay-in for Notre Dame (31-1).

Kayla McBride, named the tournament’s most outstanding player, scored 23 points to lead the Irish. Jewell Loyd finished with 16 and Diggins had 12.

Stefanie Dolson had 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Breanna Stewart scored 16 for UConn (29-4).


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