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UConn Women's Basketball Drops Heartbreaker To Rival Notre Dame

No. 1 goes down.

Score: No.5 Notre Dame 73, No. 1 UConn 72

Stars:UConn: Kelly Faris 13 Pts, 11 Reb, 7 Ast, 5 Stl. Notre Dame:Kayla McBride 21 Pts (10-of-21, 1-of-3 from behind the arc), 3 Reb, 3 Ast.

Story: Just a week after their 26-point beatdown of Stanford, the UConn women were unable to continue their early-season dominance against the Irish. The loss removes the Huskies from the ranks of the unbeaten and will also likely strip them of their newly-acquired No. 1 ranking.

Losing for the fifth time in six chances against Notre Dame, the Huskies have had a big problem beating their biggest rival and main Big East threat of late. This is a big issue for Geno Auriemma and his team because, as Stefanie Dolson said after the game, they know they will have to face the Irish again this season. 

The next date between the two squads is set for March 4 in South Bend, but if the trend of the last few seasons holds, they'll likely meet again after that. The Huskies and Irish have faced in both of the past two Big East Championship Games and Final Fours, so don't be surprised if they get matched up again come late March or April. 

According to Mosqueda-Lewis and Dolson, the Huskies got "out-toughed" by the Irish, so in order for the result to be different in their next meeting, something will have to change, especially mentally, for UConn. 

As far as fans go, UConn Country was as disappointed as you might expect after the game. As Skylar Diggins ran out the clock for the Irish, you could hear a pin drop in what had been a raucous Gampel Pavilion for much of the afternoon. Fans value this rivalry with the Irish as much as the players do, and when the results don't turn out the way they would hope, it stings:

But as you would expect, Notre Dame fans were overjoyed with the win: 

Nonetheless, the really important matchups between these two teams are still to come. As Notre Dame Coach Muffet McGraw said, this was just a January game. Come March, the battles between these two teams will only intensify, and should provide for some entertaining and hard-fought basketball.