For once, No. 1 Notre Dame was favored against No. 2 UConn. Maybe Geno Auriemma and the Huskies felt slighted by that? Or they could have embraced the challenge of proving people wrong rather than right, as they do most of the time?
Either way, Notre Dame didn't come into the game ready to battle and it showed in Sunday's 89-71 loss at a sold out Purcell Pavilion.
"It's not the first time we've faced adversity, but we've been lucky to win," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said after the game. "I think we've been in this situation where we've gotten ourselves down and been able to come back. We've always had that spurt in us where five minutes everything was going to go right, and tonight we didn't have that.
"I think that's good for us. It's going to allow us to really look at things a little more objectively and move on."
McGraw talked about how the game plan simply wasn't executed, in addition to the poor defense by the Irish. Junior guard Jackie Young has had an impressive first seven games of the season, averaging 17.9 points per game, including a 28 point performance against No. 15 DePaul.
She took one field goal attempt in the first quarter. She would finish with a team-high 18 points, but McGraw said the team needs to play more through her.
"I think we need the ball in her hands more," McGraw said. "She's our best decision maker and that's what we needed today."
Young ranks second in the ACC in assists per game (5.3), and she had just one in the loss. The team also had just 10 on 27 made field goals.
Stat sheets from the first seven wins don't lie. When Young's dishing it out, the Irish play well. When she's not, well, now we know what happens.