South Bend, IN, United States (4E Sports) – Skylar Diggins played without relief, tallying a double-double with 29 points and 11 boards, as No. 2 Notre Dame bagged its second straight Big East regular season title with a 96-87 triple-overtime win over No. 3 Connecticut Monday at Purcell Pavilion.
Diggins also had three assists and four steals in 55 minutes of play while Kayla McBride added 26 points as the Fighting Irish became only the second team to grab a second straight Big East title since Rutgers did it in 2004 and 2005.
The Fighting Irish also became the third Big East team to go undefeated in a conference season, behind Rutgers (16-0) in 2005-06 and Miami-Florida (18-0) in 1991-92.
Natalie Anchowa added 17 points while Ariel Braker had nine markers and 10 caroms for the Fighting Irish.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis also played the entire game, scoring 26 points on 8-for-16 shooting, while Kelly Faris added 21 points and 13 rebounds in 53 minutes of action for the Huskies (27-3, 14-2 Big East).
Three other Huskies scored in double digits, led by Stefanie Dolson’s 12. Morgan Tuck had 11 and Bria Hartley had 10.
Diggins scored back-to-back baskets late in regulation to put the Fighting Irish ahead, 63-62, with 1:22 left.
Faris pushed the Huskies on top, 64-63, with a jumper before Hartley fouled Diggins with 28 seconds left. Diggins, however, split her charities to tie the game.
Jewell Loyd then stole the ball from Caroline Doty before Notre Dame called a timeout to map out the final play. However, McBride missed a jumper as time expired.
In the first overtime, the Huskies raced to a 70-64 lead behind two baskets by Tuck and another by Mosqueda-Lewis.
Four foul shots by Achonwa cut the deficit to two but Tuck’s foul shot gave the Huskies a three-point cushion with 13 seconds left. Then, McBride sent the game to a second overtime with a triple.
Mosqueda-Lewis sank two foul shots and Breanna Stewart added another foul shot in second overtime to give the Huskies an 81-77 lead but the Fighting Irish scored four straight points to force a third extension.
The Fighting Irish then opened the third overtime with an 11-1 run to put the game away.