Box Score Link
UConn Postgame Quotes
Notre Dame Postgame Quotes
DENVER (AP) -- Notre Dame is back in the national championship thanks to Skylar Diggins' steady leadership and Brittany Mallory's clutch shooting. Diggins scored 19 points, Mallory hit two big 3-pointers in overtime and Irish beat Connecticut 83-75 on Sunday night.
Notre Dame (35-3) also beat the Huskies (33-5) in the semifinals last year, ending Maya Moore's brilliant career and the Huskies' bid for a third straight national championship. But Notre Dame stumbled 48 hours later, losing to Texas A&M in the title game in Indianapolis.
Unfinished business has been their mantra all season, and now they get a chance to take care of business Tuesday night against the Baylor-Stanford winner.
The game was tied at 67 after regulation following an 8-2 run by UConn that was fueled by a series of hustle plays from Kelly Faris, who had a steal and a basket and four free throws in the final 90 seconds.
The Huskies, who were led by Stefanie Dolson's 20 points despite foul trouble, stretched their run to 11-3 when Bria Hartley opened the extra period with a 3-pointer.
The Huskies had the ball again after a missed free throw but Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis fired up an off-target 3-pointer early in the shot clock and UConn never recovered.
Diggins tied it with a 3-pointer, and then Mallory hit back-to-back 3s and a free throw to push Notre Dame to a 77-72 lead.
"My teammates just kept talking to me, `You're going to hit a shot. You're going to hit a shot,"' said Mallory, who had seven of her 11 points in OT. "I was getting a little down on myself and I just happened to keep finding the 3-point line and my teammates found me and they couldn't have come at a better time."
Out of sync, the Huskies kept firing up misses and the Irish grabbed the boards, then hit all six of their free throws over the final 32 seconds.
"I am euphoric right now for Brittany Mallory," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "What a way for senior to come through in one of the last games of her career."
Natalie Novosel, whose follow-up hook shot with 4.6 seconds left in regulation tied it at 67, led the Irish with 20 points, and Devereaux Peters had 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Hartley had 18 points for UConn, which also lost to Notre Dame in the semifinals in 2001, when the Irish won their only national title.
This was the eighth game between the BIG EAST rivals in the last 14 months. The Huskies are 20-2 in the NCAA tournament since 2009 and both of those losses have been to Notre Dame.
The BIG EAST has won 32 national championships, including eight in women's basketball. With Notre Dame advancing to Tuesday's title game, the league could earn its ninth women's basketball title and move ahead of the SEC, which has won eight.