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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Keys to UConn/Notre Dame national title game


Time is ticking away as the much-anticipated game between UConn and Notre Dame is nearly upon us.

Here are some keys to the game

Crying foul? UConn has the best starting lineup in the country and one of the best in the history of the women's game. However, the Hiuskies have gotten by with only using Kiah Stokes off the bench. There's no team in the country who does a better job of selling calls than Notre Dame. Four Maryland starters had two fouls before halftime in Sunday's national semifinal. If that happens tonight, it could spell trouble for the Huskies.

Containing the phenom: The last time these teams met Notre Dame had no answer for Breanna Stewart as she lit up the Fighting Irish for 29 points in the 2013 national semifnals. Coaches and players from Notre Dame know they won't be shutting down Stewart but they can't let her erupt like she did a year ago.

Two is not enough: Kayla McBride and Jewell Loyd are as good a 1-2 scoring punch as there is in the women's game but Notre Dame is going to need other players to be scoring threats since no two players are going to take down the Huskies.

Cleaning the glass: The most stunning aspect of Sunday's national semifinals was the absolute dominance Notre Dame displayed in the rebounding department. The Fighting Irish had four offensive rebounds on the first two possessions and held a 19-4 advantage in offensive rebounding over a bigger Maryland team as the Terrapins were unable to take advantage of the absence of All-American forward/center Natalie Achonwa.

Get off and running: UConn's last three opponents weren't good enough to make the Huskies pay for their slow starts. However, Notre Dame has the capabilities of making UConn pay if the Huskies don't get going on offense in the early stages.

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