No. 19 UCLA did a terrific job defending Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins on Friday. But the absence of point guard Thea Lemberger and outstanding performances by a pair of Diggins' teammates were too much for the Bruins to overcome.
Freshman Jewell Loyd had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Kayla McBride scored 18 points, and No. 5 Notre Dame wasn't threatened in the second half in beating the Bruins 76-64.
Natalie Achonwa had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Fighting Irish (4-0), who shot 29 of 60 (48.3 percent) to UCLA's 24 of 61 (39.3 percent).
Markel Walker had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Alyssia Brewer scored 10 points for the Bruins (2-1), but a sprained left knee kept Lemberger on the sidelines. Lemberger, listed as day-to-day, had 18 points and no turnovers in 35 minutes to lead the Bruins to an 86-80 victory at then-No. 11 Oklahoma on Nov. 14.
''It definitely affected us,'' UCLA coach Cori Close said regarding Lemberger's absence. ''Thea is really a smart...