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Published: Tuesday, 4/2/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Diggins scores 24 as Irish women head back to Final Four

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NORFOLK, Va. — Skylar Diggins and Notre Dame are headed back to the Final Four for another rematch with Connecticut.

Diggins shook off early foul trouble to score 24 points and Notre Dame rallied to beat Duke 87-76 tonight to earn its third consecutive trip to the Final Four.

The Irish have lost in the past two national championship games.

"I want to win a championship for coach [Muffet] McGraw bad," Diggins said. "When you have a coach who believes in you so much I'd do anything for her."

Kayla McBride added 17 points while Jewell Loyd and Natalie Achonwa had 17 each as the Fighting Irish (35-1) won their school-record 30th consecutive game, earning a fourth meeting with UConn.

It's the third straight meeting between the two Big East rivals in the Final Four.

The Irish won both those and have dominated the series lately winning seven of the past eight meetings.

Notre Dame swept UConn all three meetings with UConn this season in thrilling fashion winning in overtime and by one and two points.

The Irish had to rally past Duke to get there.

Trailing by six at the half, Notre Dame took control with a 15-2 run early in the second half to take a 50-42 lead.

The Blue Devils lost in the regional finals for the fourth straight year, failing once again to return to the Final Four for the first time since 2006.

Tricia Liston led Duke with 19 points while Peters added 15.



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