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Irish women get payback

The Notre Dame women’s basketball team avenged a regular-season loss Sunday in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament in Hartford, Conn.

The No. 6 Irish defeated No. 16 St. John’s 75-67, paying the Red Storm (23-6) back for a 76-71 loss in February.

The loss to St. John’s landed Notre Dame (27-4) in the fifth seed in the conference tournament after the two teams tied for fourth in the regular season.

“It definitely burned,” Irish forward Devereaux Peters, who scored 13 points Sunday, told reporters of the loss to St. John’s. “We definitely came in with a chip on our shoulder and wanted to come out hard and definitely prove that we can play better than we did when we were there.”

Now Notre Dame will have to prove it can play better than it did in a pair of losses to Connecticut.

The No. 1 Huskies won their 70th consecutive game, routing Syracuse 77-41 to tie their record for the longest winning streak in women’s college basketball.

UConn, which has dominated every team it has played this season, defeated Notre Dame twice this season. The Huskies (31-0) defeated the Irish 70-46 Jan. 16 in Storrs, Conn., and 76-51 in Purcell Pavilion on March 1.

“We really came together and were like, ‘We don’t want to go home. We want to win,’ ” Irish guard Skylar Diggins, who scored 21, told reporters after Sunday’s win. “And we were very anxious to come out here and play this team. We didn’t get off to a good start, so we wanted to make sure we finished well.”

Unfortunately, Notre Dame is likely finished when it plays Connecticut on Monday.

But the Irish are still in prime position to receive a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and will play first- and second-round games in Purcell Pavilion.

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