Top 25: Notre Dame beats UConn in 3OTs for Big East title

2013-03-05T00:00:00Z Top 25: Notre Dame beats UConn in 3OTs for Big East titleThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 05, 2013 12:00 am  • 

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Skylar Diggins scored 29 points and sparked a decisive run in the third overtime as No. 2 Notre Dame beat third-ranked Connecticut 96-87 Monday night to win Big East regular-season title outright for the second straight year.

The Fighting Irish (28-1, 16-0) went undefeated in the conference for the first time since joining in 1995-96 and became the first team to win six of seven games against Connecticut (27-3, 14-2) in more than two decades. Two of those victories clinched league titles and two more were in NCAA semifinal games. The only loss was in the finals of the league tournament last season.

Diggins added 11 rebounds. Kayla McBride added 26 points before fouling out.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led UConn with 26 points and Kelly Faris added 21. Stefanie Dolson added 12 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out in the final minute of regulation and Bria Hartley, who fouled out seconds later, finished with 10.

Playing on the same court that the Notre Dame men's team beat Louisville 104-101 in five overtimes back in February, the Irish didn't lead in overtime until Kaila Turner hit a free throw early in the third to put the Notre Dame ahead 82-81.

After Faris answered with a bank shot for the Huskies to regain the lead, the Irish took over. Ariel Braker started it with a free throw, then Jewell Loyd muscled in a basket inside and nearly a minute later added a pair of free throws to give the Irish an 87-83 lead. Diggins then stole the ball from Breanna Stewart and scored on a fast-break layup.

Braker, Diggins and Natalie Achonwa each made a pair of free throws to put the game away.

• No. 1 Baylor 90, Kansas St. 68: In Waco, Texas, Brittney Griner finally gave Baylor fans what they have been waiting so long to see again at home: a slam dunk.

Along with another record performance in her final regular season game for the top-ranked Lady Bears.

Griner's 14th career dunk, her first at the Ferrell Center since her freshman season, came as the two-time All-American scored a Big 12-record 50 points as the Lady Bears wrapped up their second consecutive undefeated conference title.

• No. 24 Syracuse 68, No. 13 Louisville 57: In Syracuse, N.Y., freshman Brittney Sykes and senior Kayla Alexander each scored 16 points and No. 24 Syracuse snapped a late-season swoon, beating 13th-ranked Louisville .

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Syracuse (23-6, 11-5 Big East) and gave the Orange the third seed and a double-bye for the Big East tournament as they seek their first NCAA bid since 2008.

The Orange are seeded behind Notre Dame and Connecticut, while Louisville (23-7, 11-5) dropped to the fourth spot and fell to 1-4 against ranked teams, also losing to Kentucky, UConn and Notre Dame. Louisville will also get a double-bye in the conference tournament.

Men's

• No. 4 Kansas 79, Texas Tech 42: In Lawrence, Kan., Jeff Withey scored 22 points and every senior had a big night at their last home game for No. 4 Kansas.

Kevin Young had 14 points and Ben McLemore and Travis Releford added 13 apiece as the Jayhawks (26-4, 14-3 Big 12), who took a half-game lead over No. 9 Kansas State in their quest for a ninth straight conference title.

• No. 8 Louisville 67, Cincinnati 51: In Louisville, Russ Smith scored 18 points and Louisville gave Rick Pitino his 300th victory with the Cardinals.

Pitino earned his 650th career win earlier this season.

The Cardinals (25-5, 13-4 Big East) picked up their sixth straight win and drew within one-half game of first-place Georgetown.

The Cardinals forced Cincinnati (20-10, 8-9) into a season-high 21 turnovers.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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