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Hannah Hidalgo scores 34 as Notre Dame beats UConn

STORRS, CT - JANUARY 27: Notre Dame Fighting Irish react after defeating the UConn Huskies during the women's college basketball game on January 27, 2024, at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There are a number of freshmen showing out in the NCAA this season. This past weekend, it was Hannah Hidalgo.

Hidalgo played a big part in No. 15 Notre Dame’s takedown of No. 8 UConn, the Irish’s first top-10 win of the season. The freshman dropped a career-high 34 points, marking twice this season that she’s scored more than 30 points against top-10 opponents.

It was also a single-game scoring record for a Notre Dame freshman.

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma gave Hidalgo props following the loss, but also chalked it up to a poor defensive performance by the Huskies.

“I find it hard to believe, given that our defense has been so good, but she was able to get to the basket way more times — when someone gets to the basket that often, there’s nothing we can do about it, because that’s just a total breakdown,” Auriemma said. “I don’t care how good a guard is, and she’s terrific. But for somebody to get to the basket that easily, that means there’s a lot of things going wrong defensively.

“And to her credit, she kept getting there. And she has a variety of ways to score. And she’s obviously playing with a tremendous amount of confidence. And it did take a lot of guts to come in here and do what she did. She’s damn good, right?”

Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey called her player “relentless.”

“She’s very fearless. … She’s always been that very relentless worker and has a lot of confidence, and you don’t see that too often with freshmen,” Ivey said. “I continue to be impressed by her growth because she is really in the fire now. She’s learning on the fly and just getting better and better every game.”

The win marked Notre Dame’s fourth against UConn in the team’s last seven matchups.