Mar 25, 2013, 1:10 AM EST
There was a point in the first half of Notre Dame’s First Round NCAA game on Sunday when I started to get nervous. This was a 1 seed/16 seed matchup after all, and in the history of both the women’s and men’s tournament, only the 1998 Harvard Women’s squad has ever beaten a 1 seed.
Yet here were the Ohio Valley Conference champions, paced by the 23 first half points of the diminutive Heather Butler…and they weren’t going away. Even after falling to an early ten point deficit, they battled back and narrowed the gap to 38-31 with only a few minutes to play in the half.
And then the Irish went off, quickly scoring the next 11 to go into the half up 49-31. They didn’t look back.
The final score was a dominant 97-64 with four Irish in double figures in scoring led by Freshman Jewell Loyd’s career best 27 points. They made some solid defensive adjustments as well, holding Butler to only 14 second half points, and were outstanding on the glass out-rebounding the Skyhawks 49-14.
At the end of the day, the Irish’s biggest advantage was size, which i think is evident in the rebounding figures. Yes: Butler had what Coach Muffet McGraw characterized as “the best individual game anybody had against us all year long,” but it wasn’t enough. Not when the Irish defense so thoroughly neutralized the other four players on the court. Only one other Skyhawk managed double digits in scoring (Jasmine Newsome with 15).
It’s interesting to consider what it says about the Irish’s potential that they have the talent to allow a 37 point performance by one player and still win by 33. We’ll find out how they build on this solid first game on Tuesday night when the Irish, the only 1 seed not hosting a first round game, play the 9 seed Iowa Hawkeyes on their home court.
Post Game Press Conference
About In The Paint
Women’s Basketball on YouTube
- Congrats on the big win, @NDmbb! Way to #ProtectPurcell! 🍀🏀✊ 5 hours ago
- Tuned in from VA, but still watching @NDmbb take on Duke! Flip to ESPN2 and support the Irish! 🍀🏀 #NDFamily 7 hours ago
- RT @NDsidMasters: .@ndwbb tied for most players in this year's @McDAAG, has three for first time (April 1, 6:30 pm ET on ESPNU from Chicago… 8 hours ago
- Once we add our 3 incoming @McDAAG All-Amercians, we will have 9 total on our roster! 🍀🏆🏀 8 hours ago
- RT @IrishCoachIvey: YESSSSSSS I'm so happy and proud of our signees @mmabrey1 @alipaige_14 and @Arike_O for being chosen to play in MAAG! #… 8 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- Did you miss any of our 77-73 win over #4 Duke? Relive the game with @WatchND's highlights: watchnd.tv/#!/videos/pwdz… 3 hours ago
- RT @Austin_Torres0: If you think there is a better guard then @ThatGrant22 in the country, you're crazy. #WoodenAward #naismith 🏀✊ 4 hours ago
- Have you seen Jerian's (@thatgrant22) circus shot as the shot clock wound down? vine.co/v/OTlZn7w5wrv 4 hours ago
- Take a look at this AMAZING photo of Steve's clutch three at the end of the game from our friends at @BoxOutDesigns: http://t.co/kSdrc0ZQV2 5 hours ago
- We see you Bonzie (@Bacolson35). http://t.co/cCRP0Tvjwd 5 hours ago
- Softball. Koerner, Wester Named To 2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player Of The Year Watch List
- W. Basketball. #4 Irish Reach Midpoint Of ACC Schedule Thursday At Virginia Tech
- M. Lacrosse. Notre Dame Men's And Women's Lacrosse Tickets On Sale
- W. Lacrosse. Notre Dame Men's And Women's Lacrosse Tickets On Sale
- Track. Meet The Coaches: Jumping High In The Coaching Game