GREENSBORO, N.C. – Notre Dame’s Jewell Loyd pulled an Atlantic Coast Conference championship cap over her head.
It fit just as well as that old Big East gear did.
Make it two tournament titles in two leagues and two years for the second-ranked Fighting Irish, who capped their perfect first run through the ACC by beating No. 10 Duke 69-53 in the final Sunday night.
“It’s definitely exciting coming into a new conference and having this impact,” Loyd said.
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Loyd, the tournament’s most valuable player, scored 18 of her 26 points in the second half and Kayla McBride finished with 25.
“I thought Jewell and Kayla McBride were just unstoppable,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said.
The top-seeded Fighting Irish (32-0) — last season’s Big East champions — claimed their second consecutive conference tournament crown and extended the best start in school history with their third victory over Duke in five weeks.
Haley Peters had 18 points for the second-seeded Blue Devils (27-6).
Other Top 5 games
No. 1 Connecticut 83, No. 24 Rutgers 57
Breanna Stewart scored 22 points and UConn (33-0) breezed into the final of the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament with a victory over the Scarlet Knights (22-9).
The Huskies will play No. 3 Louisville for the title Monday in Uncasville, Conn.
No. 3 Louisville 60, South Florida 56
Shoni Schimmel hit a pullup jumper in the lane with six seconds left and the score tied to lift the Cardinals (30-3) past the Bulls (19-12) in the American Athletic Conference semifinals.
Schimmel led Louisville with 17 points.
• Meighan Simmons scored 17 points, including two go-ahead free throws with 1:45 remaining, and No. 6 Tennessee beat 12th-ranked Kentucky 71-70 to win its record 17th Southeastern Conference tournament title.