UConn will undoubtedly regain control of the No. 1 rank this week, but it is safe to assume these two teams will collide once again further down the road … and we can't wait for it.
We're certainly accustomed to UConn winning, but it was the play of Christyn Williams that will leave a lasting impression on women's basketball faithful and somewhat surprised.
Christyn Williams Owned Everyone… as a Freshman
Christyn Williams was a monster in the first quarter for UConn.
— Elizabeth Wyman (@_ElizabethWyman) December 2, 2018
In her first true road test as a freshman, let alone on that stage, Williams finished with 28 points on 11-of-16 from the field to lead all scorers. It was quite a performance from a 19-year-old who watched the buzzer beating national championship game from home last spring. She didn't look like a freshman as she outplayed every other guard on the court.
The 5-foot-11 guard was the 2018 No. 1 ranked recruit in the country coming out of high school. Her athleticism combined with skill and level of competitiveness bodes well with what UConn needed alongside Samuelson & Co. this season.
Could Williams be next in line of the UConn greatness lineage? After a performance like that, it certainly looks like it.
Regardless, she took the women's basketball world my storm on a national level and will continue to become a household name for years to come.
Rebounding: The Biggest Difference
UConn out rebounded Notre Dame 46-41. A margin that may not appear too dominant just by a quick glance to the stat sheet, but in a game like this it's huge. Those 46 Husky rebounds included 13 offensive rebounds that led to 17 second chance points. UConn just outworked the Irish inside, pursued the basketball and played tougher.
Sharing the Ball & Minutes Played
Unusual for a ND team to only have 10 assists in a game. Usually better at moving/sharing the ball. Been a lot of iso ball today.
— Skylar Diggins-Smith (@SkyDigg4) December 2, 2018
All of UConn and Notre Dame starters finished scoring in double figures, but the Huskies shared the basketball more effectively with 16 assists as opposed to the Irish with just 10. A low number of assists for a team known for sharing the basketball more efficiently than that and it really had to do with a lot of one-on-one and ISO ball.
It felt like the Irish were trying to force a lot from that standpoint.
All of UConn and Notre Dame starters played 33+ minutes. It's safe to say neither team will be looking deep into their bench this season, at least this early on. UConn went only six deep, tallying only 16 total bench minutes while the Irish went eight deep for 15 total minutes.
Arike vs. Geno Handshake
I'll just leave this here.
Geno's face lol pic.twitter.com/sl5KAj1NVR
— Ben Dull (@ben_dull) December 2, 2018