No. 3 Connecticut beats No. 2 Notre Dame, 76-58, in women's basketball

No. 3 Connecticut beats No. 2 Notre Dame, 76-58, in women's basketball
Connecticut forward Morgan Tuck drives past Notre Dame forward Kathryn Westbeld in the second half Saturday afternoon. (Joe Raymond / Associated Press)

Morgan Tuck scored a career-high 25 points and Kiah Stokes added 18 rebounds to help No. 3 Connecticut beat second-ranked Notre Dame, 76-58, on Saturday in the Jimmy V Classic women's basketball tournament.

When the two teams met last April in the national championship game, the Huskies came away with a 79-58 victory.


Both teams were unbeaten at that point setting, up the first matchup of undefeated teams in NCAA championship history.

Tuck didn't play in that game as she was recovering from microfracture surgery in her right knee last January. She made her presence felt Saturday.

Connecticut (6-1) trailed, 28-18, midway through the first half before Tuck and Stokes took over, keying a 22-4 run over the next 10 minutes and giving the Huskies control of the game.

Jewell Loyd scored 31 points to lead Notre Dame (8-1), which had won its first eight by an average of 43 points.

Loyd got the Irish going early, hitting her first five shots to give Notre Dame a 28-18 lead on a three-pointer with 10:13 left in the first half. Then Connecticut took over.

After a timeout by Geno Auriemma, the Huskies scored the next 16 points, quieting the sellout crowd. Stokes was a huge part of the surge. The senior had 12 rebounds in the first half, much to the delight of her family, who was sitting right behind the Huskies' bench.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis' layup with 4:15 left in the half made it 34-28. After Taya Reimer's basket ended a six-plus minute drought for the Irish and cut it to four, the Huskies closed the half scoring six of the final eight to make it 40-32.

It didn't get much better in the second half for the Irish. Tuck scored six points during a 10-2 run to open the second half.

Loyd tried to keep the Irish in it. She caught an acrobatic alley-oop and was fouled to get Notre Dame within 14, but she had little help. The rest of the Irish starters combined for 20. Notre was missing freshman Brianna Turner, who injured her right shoulder against Maryland. She's averaging 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Irish.

"We played well today, we won in a place that's hard to win against a team that's really hard to beat," Auriemma said.

The loss ended a 34-game home winning streak for the Irish. It was the longest active streak in the country.