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The Irish swept the season series from the Huskies and have won three straight overall against UConn, including last season's victory in the national semifinals. North Carolina was the last team to win three in a row from UConn, doing so from 2004-07.
The Huskies showed a bit of grit in the first meeting between the teams this season, an overtime loss in South Bend, Ind., on Jan. 9. The rematch turned out to be a lot less competitive in the end and that concerned the Hall of Fame coach.
"This team has not improved since the last time we played Notre Dame," Auriemma said. "I would have thought we would have made great strides and we have not. It's one of the few years that I can remember that has been the case."
The Huskies fell to third in the conference, losing the tiebreaker to St. John's, which ended UConn's 99-game home winning streak on Feb. 18.
Tiffany Hayes scored 22 points and Stefanie Dolson added 18 for UConn (26-4, 13-3), which has now lost consecutive games at home for the first time in 19 years.
"They put great pressure on us and we backed up and didn't fight back," Dolson said. "We didn't play Connecticut basketball at all. When things weren't going right we took it one-on-one to the basket. It can't be like that. When things like that happen we have to fight back as a team."
This was the first time in six seasons that UConn didn't win or share the Big East regular-season title. The Huskies have won either the Big East regular-season or tournament championship the last 17 years.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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