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Notes from UConn's 91-81 win over Notre Dame.

POSTED December 05, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


STORRS: It’s always better at Gampel Pavilion.

When the University of Connecticut women play at a sold our Gampel, especially when a rival foe like the Notre Dame comes a calling, the atmosphere is one that is hard to rival anywhere else.

The Huskies got themselves a good battle on Saturday evening in a 91-81 win over the Fighting Irish to improve their 2015-2016 record to 6-0 (43 straight going back to last year) in front of a sellout crowd of 10,167.

Any game on campus for any college team just has a different feel to it, an energy that is very hard to duplicate.

….This match-up between the number one ranked Huskies and third ranked Notre Dame lived up to the pre-game hype, as most of these rivalry games do. Muffet McGraw may have been undermanned with injuries Brianna Turner and Taya Reamer but found a new weapon in freshman Marina Mabrey.

Mabrey, whose older sister Michaela Mabrey is a senior captain, went off in the first half for 21 points but was shut down in the second half by UConn senior Moriah Jefferson, finishing with 23.

….The four guard lineup Notre Dame used because of the injuries was troublesome for UConn at times on Saturday.

“I like when people have two big guys,” head coach Geno Auriemma said, “I don’t like playing teams without big guys. It really restricts what your big guys can do. They are way more dangerous, way more difficult to defend. No you have to be able to play four guys off the dribble instead of two or three and that’s not easy.”

The Mabrey sisters combined to connect on 34 points on 15 of 26 shooting with the first year player, Marina shooting 10 of 13 from the long, 3 for 3 from downtown.

….There is a highlight video out there of Breanna Stewart coming in for an offensive tip-in that will certainly be seen on the Sports Center Top 10 plays.

Coming in from the left side off a missed jumper, Stewart leaps over two players and nearly comes away with a dunk if she had not collided with players in mid-air.

One of the most acrobatic shots you will see all season.

….Stewart was, well, Stewie. The senior leader connected on 12 of 18 shots and led all scorers with 28 points while Morgan Tuck, the calming influence on this team, came in with 21 points, seven boards and eight assists.

Freshman Katie Lou Samuelson had several more key shots for the second game in a row, finishing with 13 points in 23 minutes.

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