The WVU women’s basketball team scored a stunning upset over 2nd ranked Notre Dame at South Bend Sunday. West Virginia rallied from a double-digit deficit in the second half to defeat the Irish 65-63, handing Notre Dame their first conference loss and just their second loss of the season.
The victory is one of the biggest for WVU head coach Mike Carey, who is in his 11th season. It also ended Notre Dame’s 21-game winning streak.
West Virginia trailed 63-61 with under a minute to play when Asya Bussie hit a two-point jumper to tie the game. Notre Dame’s Skyar Diggins missed a layup with 17 second remaining that would have given Notre Dame the lead.
On West Virginia’s last offensive possession, Brooke Hampton was fouled by Diggins with five seconds remaining. Hampton (pictured right) sank both free throws to give West Virginia a two point advantage.
Notre Dame’s Natalie Novosel missed a two point shot at the buzzer, giving West Virginia the dramatic upset win.
"It’s a great win for us. Notre Dame is a great team and they deserve to be No. 1 or No. 2 in the country. They are well coached and have great players," said Carey. "With that being said, I thought our players came in here, even though we’re young, and got in foul trouble early and we had to play some players who don’t play a lot of minutes and they did a great job. I’m very proud of our team."
The Mountaineers were led by Bussie’s 22 points and eight rebounds. Ayana Dunning added 11 points and seven rebounds while Christal Caldwell added 10 points.
One of the differences for the Mountaineers was their free throw shooting. West Virginia shot 21 of 25 from the line, while Notre Dame was 16 of 25.
West Virginia’s defense swarmed the Irish in the second half, holding the league’s top team to just 30 percent shooting during the period. The Mountaineers also forced the Irish into committing 17 turnovers.
Notre Dame was led by Diggins. She had a team-high 32 points. Devereaux Peters had 17 rebounds for the Irish.
The victory improves West Virginia’s record to 18-6, 8-3, while Notre Dame falls to 24-2, 11-1.