The top-ranked Huskies were outrebounded by Notre Dame 45-44 today. They gave up 18 offensive rebounds. They shot 39.4 percent from the field (5-of-23 3-pointers) and committed 14 turnovers.
Still, UConn had a chance to end its run of futility against No. 5 Notre Dame in the final 28.9 seconds. But Breanna Stewart had a shot blocked. She then missed a jumper. And Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis front-rimmed a potential game-winning 3-pointer with six seconds left.
“We got two really good shots and we got a great shot at the end of the game,’’ UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “But I think the way we played in the first half … I thought we did a great job coming back from not playing great, and from them playing awfully well. They made a lot of shots in the first half. But if you look at the stat sheet it’s almost like a mirror image of each other, both teams. And a play here and play there can determine the game.’’
Kelly Faris rebounded Stewart’s missed jumper with 25 seconds left. Faris fell to the ground and called time out with 21.1 seconds left before she was tied up. Auriemma drew up a final play, and he could not have wanted to set up Mosqueda-Lewis with a better look at the hoop.
“You’ve got the best 3-point shooter in the country maybe with a wide-open 3 to win it and it doesn’t go in,’’ Auriemma said. “I’d be more upset if we had the wrong guy take the wrong shot at the wrong time. But we came out of a timeout and we got the shot we wanted and it didn’t go in.’’
“It was just Kelly Faris drew in the defense and kicked it out,’’ Mosqueda-Lewis said. “I just missed.’’
Mosqueda-Lewis, who finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, entered the game shooting 52.8 percent from 3-point range. She had been 2-of-4 before the final attempt.
“She’s the one we want the ball in her hands,’’ senior Kelly Faris said. “She had an open shot and unfortunately it didn’t go in and none of us were there to get the ball. It should have never come down to that point. That didn’t lose us the game. There were a lot of mistakes from tip-off to the end that lost us the game.’’
UConn had won 20 straight Big East openers dating back to a 65-60 loss at Georgetown Jan. 3, 1992.