UConn-Notre Dame drama continues: Breanna Stewart blocked by Muffet McGraw on Twitter

Kelli Stacy
Contact Reporterkstacy@courant.com

When it comes to the UConn and Notre Dame women’s basketball teams, the Huskies are having the last laugh.

Literally.

On Wednesday morning Twitter was full of laughter thanks to UConn alum and current WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart tweeting out a screenshot showing Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw had blocked her on the social media platform. It was accompanied by an emoji with a monocle, often used as a form of bemused inspection.

Fellow alums like Morgan Tuck and Gabby Williams, as well as plenty of UConn fans, were quick to respond with laughing emojis and comments about McGraw’s choice to block Stewart.

A request for comment from the Notre Dame athletics department over the social media flap was not returned Wednesday.

The Huskies’ 89-71 win over the Fighting Irish may have been days ago, but the fallout is ongoing. From technical fouls to unsportsmanlike conduct to blocking former players on Twitter, the rivalry game produced a lot of controversy.

When Notre Dame stepped on the court Sunday it appeared the team from South Bend had every advantage.

The Fighting Irish were the No. 1 team in the country, the reigning national champs. The team was at home with thousands of Notre Dame fans donning green T-shirts and frantically waving glow sticks. Memories of UConn losing on a buzzer-beater from Arike Ogunbowale at least season’s Final Four were still fresh in the minds of the Huskies. Notre Dame’s PA announcer even mistakenly, or not-so-mistakenly, introduced UConn as “the University of Kentucky” to the uproarious laughter of the home crowd.

Despite all that, Notre Dame quickly grew frustrated and the Fighting Irish has been in the spotlight days after UConn’s win.

Ogunbowale has been at the center of much of the controversy.

A video that circulated on Twitter appeared to show Ogunbowale tripping UConn point guard Crystal Dangerfield. The Notre Dame senior was also called for a technical foul after wrapping an arm around Dangerfield’s head. She ended the night by receiving an unsportsmanlike foul after saying something while standing near UConn coach Geno Auriemma.

Auriemma said he didn’t hear what Ogunbowale said, but there wasn’t really a back-and-forth between them.

“He said some words, and I fed right into it and said something back,” Ogunbowale said. “As a senior leader, I definitely can’t do that. I have to keep my composure at a time like that."

On Tuesday, she tweeted out an apology.

“To my Irish family, I let my emotions get the best of me on Sunday and I apologize for displaying that type of behavior. Thank you for always supporting us through everything. We love you guys!” she wrote.

McGraw did the same.

“I apologize to all the Irish fans and alums for my team’s lack of poise on Sunday,” she wrote. “We set a high bar for what we expect from these young women and we did not meet those expectations. As an educator, it is my job to use this as a teachable moment and help them see that it’s not always about whether you win or lose but it IS ALWAYS about how you play the game. We will continue to strive to be a team that you can be proud of.”

And just when you thought it was all over, things got interesting again with Stewart’s tweet about McGraw. It’s unclear whether the Notre Dame coach blocked her after UConn’s win or if Stewart only just noticed she was blocked because of this game.

UConn had six wins over Notre Dame while Stewart played for the Huskies, including two national championships.

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