No. 15 UCLA 86, No. 12 Notre Dame 83

BY foxsports • November 19, 2010

Darxia Morris scored five points in the second overtime and came up with a big steal to help No. 15 UCLA beat No. 12 Notre Dame 86-83 on Thursday night.

Jasmine Dixon had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Bruins (3-0). Morris added 17 and Markel Walker 16.

Skylar Diggins led Notre Dame (2-1) with 22 points and Natalie Novosel added 19.

Morris opened the second extra period with a 3-pointer and Dixon had a basket as the Bruins went up 84-81.

With the Irish trailing by one, Novosel missed two at the line with 8 seconds left before Walker misfired on two at the other end.

Notre Dame called timeout with 4.2 seconds remaining, but Morris stole the inbounds pass and hit two from the line. The Bruins finally wrapped it up when Diggins' long attempt was off at the buzzer.

Novosel hit a follow-up shot with 8.9 seconds left in the first overtime to give the Irish a 79-77 lead, but UCLA got the ball down the floor and Dixon got a nice pass from Walker for a layup with 1.9 seconds remaining.

''Basically, it was crunch time, we knew we needed to get an easy bucket,'' Dixon said, ''so I just put myself in a position where Markel could get me the ball, where I was clear to finish the layup.

''Without Markel, that layup wouldn't have been possible. I think this win just showed that we can win in hostile environments, we can win on the road, we're not just a home team.''

Morris also sank a tying 3-pointer late in regulation. Diggins then missed a short shot just before the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.

''My team did a great job finding me, everybody did a good job finding me,'' Morris said. ''I thought I was in the zone, all I did was look at the rim and then the ball just went in.

''We hit adversity, we stood together, nobody had negative talk, we kept encouraging each other. We knew we needed boxing out, rebounds, and make our layups to win the game, and we did that.''

UCLA reeled off eight straight points with Rebekah Gardner hitting a backdoor layup and Dixon driving for a banker to make it 58-51 with just under seven minutes remaining.

The Irish rallied and finally tied it at 63 on Becca Bruszewski's basket. But the Bruins kept their poise as the noise on Notre Dame's home court grew louder.

''We just couldn't get a stop. They just beat us down the floor, it was really frustrating to watch,'' Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said, also pointing to 27 turnovers and nine missed free throws as reasons for the loss. ''They made big plays.''

Irish guard Brittany Mallory limped off the court with an ankle injury with just under 14 minutes remaining in regulation. The senior returned to the bench about five minutes later on crutches.

''We looked really young,'' McGraw said ''And not having Brittany in the game, we're going to look young. She's definitely the calming force on our team, and it hurt not having her there.''


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