SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Kelly Faris scored a career-high 20 points, including a layup with less than 15 seconds left, and Maya Moore added 31 points as No. 2 Connecticut escaped with a 79-76 victory over No. 13 Notre Dame on Saturday.
Skylar Diggins missed two shots in the last five seconds for the Irish, including a last-ditch 3 at the buzzer that sailed way beyond the basket.
The loss spoiled an outstanding effort by Natalie Novosel, who scored Notre Dame’s last six points and all but two of her 16 in the second half, and disappointed a crowd that braved a snowstorm that dumped more than a foot of snow on South Bend before the game.
Diggins also had 16 points and Devereaux Peters had 17 for the Irish, whose eight-game winning streak was snapped. Notre Dame (13-4, 2-1 Big East) has lost all four of its games against ranked teams this year. UConn (14-1, 4-0) has now won 10 straight against Notre Dame.
UConn’s Division I-record winning streak ended at 90 last week at Stanford. The Huskies hadn’t lost back-to-back road games in 18 years, but the Irish came close to ending that bit of history, too.
The Huskies picked up four fouls in the first two minutes of the game — including two on Tiffany Hayes — and never seemed in sync. But Moore, as she’s done so many times, got the Huskies back on track, making back-to-back 3s to put UConn in front 67-64 with 7:29 to play.
The Huskies would go almost four minutes without scoring, though, and Novosel capped an 8-0 run with a layup to give the Irish a 72-67 lead with 4:24 left. The Huskies wouldn’t lead again until Moore shook off a bump from Peters and drilled a pull-up jumper with 50 seconds left.
Stefanie Dolson blocked one Novosel effort with 34 seconds left, but the gritty Irish guard put up another shot as she fell to the floor and it went in, giving Notre Dame a 76-75 lead with 30 seconds left. But Faris, who’d been held without a field goal for more than 10 minutes, made the critical layup.
After Diggins missed, Dolson got the rebound and was fouled. The freshman, who’s missed only one free throw this year, made both.