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Irish, Huskies prepare for showdown in South Bend | Local Sports

GOSHEN, Ind. — Unless you already have your tickets in hand, your best chance to see the Notre Dame-UConn women’s basketball game Sunday afternoon will be from the comfort of your home.

The No. 1 ranked Fighting Irish host the No. 2 Huskies in a game that tips off at 4 p.m. in Purcell Pavilion as part of the Jimmy V Classic. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

Purcell holds 9,149 fans and the game is sold out, the first ND home sellout since Feb. 26, 2017, when the Irish hosted Florida State.

Both teams enter the contest undefeated and are coming off convincing wins over ranked opponents.

The Huskies are 6-0 after a 99-63 win over No. 16 DePaul Wednesday night as Napheesa Collier poured in 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Katie Lou Samuelson added 23 points.

Notre Dame was a 101-77 winner at DePaul on Nov. 17.

The Irish blasted the No. 14 Iowa Hawkeyes 105-71 Thursday in South Bend as senior Arike Ogunbowale scored 30 points for the third time this season. Senior Marina Mabrey, in just her second game of the season, added 18 points and five assists, junior Jackie Young tallied 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists and senior Jessica Shepard 10 points, eight boards and three steals.

While scoring a season-high 105 points, the Irish turned the ball over just nine time. Notre Dame is averaging just eight turnovers per contest over their last four games.

UConn has a 121-game regular season winning streak.

This will be the first meeting between the Irish and the Huskies since a semifinal matchup in the NCAA National Tournament last March 31 when Ogunbowale drained a 3-pointer as time expired for a 91-89 overtime win, sending Notre Dame into the National Championship contest for the sixth time in school history.

Notre Dame captured its second National Title by executing the second-largest comeback in Final Four history as Ogunbowale hit another trey with 0.1 seconds remaining for a 61-58 victory against Mississippi State.

The win came 17 years to the date after the Irish won their first championship.

The Irish and the Huskies are playing each other for the 49th time, with UConn holding a 36-12 advantage. The Irish are 4-3 against the Huskies in the NCAA Tournament.

Notre Dame has knocked off the Huskies five times when UConn was ranked No. 1. The first was on Jan. 15, 2001, by a 92-76 score, followed by a 90-75 win on March 30, 2001; a 72-63 win on April 3, 2011; a 73-72 victory in Jan. 5, 2103 and last year’s win in the Final Four.

Since posting home records of 13-3 in 2007-08 and 11-3 in 2008-09, the Irish are an incredible 148-7 (.955 winning percentage) on their home floor. They were 17-0 in 2013-14, 16-0 in 2015-16 and 15-0 last season. They were 19-1 in 2014-15 and since 2008-09, the most home games they have lost in a season is two in 2010-11.

Notre Dame is 4-0 so far this season at Purcell. The last home loss was to UConn, 72-61, on Dec. 7, 2016.

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