No. 3 UConn women’s basketball at No. 7 Notre Dame: Time, TV and what you need to know

Connecticut's Azzi Fudd (35) congratulates teammate Lou Lopez-Senechal (11) after Lopez-Senechal hit a basket at the end of the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Providence, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Connecticut's Azzi Fudd (35) congratulates teammate Lou Lopez-Senechal (11) after Lopez-Senechal hit a basket at the end of the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Providence, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Jessica Hill/AP

It was once the most heated rivalry in women’s college basketball. They were former Big East foes and took turns spoiling each other’s postseason runs — the two have faced each other seven times across both the national title game and Final Four.

After playing each other at least once every season from 1996-2019, UConn women’s basketball and Notre Dame reignited their rivalry in 2021, but the teams are vastly different than what they once were. The Irish remain in the process of reforming the program after Muffet McGraw’s retirement, while UConn has learned how to master pivoting after suffering injury after injury over the past year and a half.

UConn will travel to Indiana on Sunday to face Notre Dame (3 p.m., ABC) in the teams’ second meeting of their most recent home-and-home series (the rivalry was renewed for alternate home and away games starting in the 2020-21 season and will go through 2023-24).

The trip to South Bend marks the fourth Top-10 ranked opponent for UConn within the last three weeks.

While the Huskies defeated Notre Dame on Dec 5, 2021, that game marked the first major hurdle for UConn last season. In the final minute of UConn’s 73-54 win, star point guard Paige Bueckers went down with a sudden knee injury after bringing the ball upcourt unguarded.

Bueckers had to be carried off to the bench and needed help exiting the court. Doctors diagnosed her with a tibial plateau fracture. She received surgery for the injury about a week later and sat out 19 games rehabbing before returning in time for the postseason.

This year’s trip to Indiana is also a hometown reunion for UConn freshman Ayanna Patterson who grew up just an hour away from the South Bend campus in Fort Wayne.

What to watch as UConn faces seventh-ranked Notre Dame:

Likely no Dorka 

Forward Dorka Juhász sat out Friday’s game against Providence after getting a splint on her left broken thumb. Juhász suffered the injury during UConn’s game against Texas on Nov. 14 and was initially reported to miss just three games. Providence marked Game No. 4 as UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Friday night that despite Juhász returning to basketball workouts, she "probably" wouldn’t play Sunday at Notre Dame.

"Today was her first workout where there was any resemblance of there might be some contact," Auriemma said Friday after UConn's 98-53 win over Providence to open Big East play. "So, we’ll see the next couple days of workouts. See how they go. She’s got to feel comfortable with it. She just got the cast off. So, we’ll see how she feels, how she tolerates it (the splint), and then we’ll go from there. I told her, 'The sooner the better, Dorka.'"

What to know about Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish are coming off their first loss of the year. Notre Dame fell to No. 20 Maryland 74-72 on Thursday after Terp guard Diamond Miller clinched the upset with a game-winning buzzer-beater. Notre Dame’s Sonia Cintron had tied the game with 15 seconds left before Miller’s shot. The game featured 15 lead changes and was Maryland’s first win over Notre Dame since 2007.

Sunday will be Notre Dame’s second game against a Top 25-ranked opponent so far this season. The Irish started the year ranked as the No. 9 team in the country before jumping up two spots on Nov. 21.

This season marks coach Niele Ivey’s third year at the helm of her alma mater. Ivey took over the program after longtime head coach McGraw stepped down in April 2020. While the Huskies and Irish have their heated history (both on and off the court), Ivey’s takeover of the program has brought a new layer to the teams’ rivalry.

UConn is 39-13 all-time against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish’s most recent win over UConn was in the 2019 Final Four when 2018 NCAA Tournament MOP Arike Ogunbowale paced Notre Dame with 23 points.

No. 3 UConn at No. 7 Notre Dame

When: Sunday, 3 p.m.

Where: Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Indiana

Records: UConn (6-0), Notre Dame (6-1)

TV: ABC

Radio: UConn Sports Network, WGCH 1490 AM (Greenwich), WAVZ 1300 AM (New Haven), WATR 1320 AM (Waterbury), 97.9 FM-ESPN

Probable starters:

UConn

Player Pos. PPG.

Azzi Fudd G. 24.0

Aubrey Griffin F. 13.2

Aaliyah Edwards F. 16.0

Nika Mühl G. 4.5

Lou Lopez Sénéchal G./F. 16.8

Notre Dame

Player Pos. PPG.

Sonia Citron G. 16.6

Olivia Miles G. 15.7

Dara Mabrey G. 12.4

Kylee Watson F. 9.1

Maddy Westbeld F. 7.3

Maggie.Vanoni@hearstmediact.com  @maggie_vanoni