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Williams, Bird Lead Huskies Past Notre Dame


HARTFORD, CT (Jan. 21, 2002) -- In a rematch of last season's Final Four contest, senior Tamika Williams (Dayton, OH) notched her fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the No. 1 University of Connecticut women's basketball team to an 80-53 victory over Notre Dame.  UConn is now 21-0 overall, 7-0 in the BIG EAST this season.

Both teams struggled from the field early in the game, as UConn held a 4-0 advantage at the 16:00 mark.  Alicia Ratay put the defending National Champions on the board with a jumper at the 15:50 mark, but the Huskies responded with an 11-0 run to open up a 15-2 lead with 12:20 remaining.

UConn eventually posted a 22-5 lead before Notre Dame reeled off seven unanswered points to cut the Husky advantage to 22-12 at the 7:09 mark.

The 10-point deficit would be as close as the Fighting Irish would get to the Husky lead.  UConn took a 40-21 lead to the half, matching its largest advantage of the first stanza, despite shooting only 34.1 percent from the field, well blow its season average of 52.2.  Notre Dame also struggled, recording a 29.0 first half field goal percentage.

In the second half, UConn came out firing, shooting 53.3 percent from the field and steadily increasing its lead to a 35-point advantage at 64-29 on a layup by senior Swin Cash (McKeesport, PA) with 13:20 remaining.

UConn twice recorded its largest advantage of the game at 37 points before rolling to the 27-point victory.

Senior Sue Bird (Syosset, NY) finished with a game-high 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists while senior Asjha Jones (Piscataway, NJ) had 15 points.  Cash finished with 11 points.

Freshman Kelsey Wicks recorded a career-high 16 points to pace the Irish, who fall to 10-7, 4-2 in the BIG EAST.

UConn returns to action on Saturday, January 26, in a 7:30 p.m. matchup with No. 25 Boston College at Gampel Pavilion.