Mar 25, 2013, 1:10 AM EDT
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
- Just finished a great practice with the amazing Coach Izzo and @MSU_Basketball! So grateful for the opportunity! http://t.co/JMxTWEgeho 5 hours ago
- Sold out season tix for 6th straight year, now looking to sell out '14-15 single-game tix - on sale Thurs 8:30 am ET via @NDTIX #PACKEDhouse 11 hours ago
- Thanks to Jeff Nix and Coach Stan Van Gundy for letting us watch the @DetroitPistons practice! Good luck this year🍀🏀 http://t.co/0vxNCF29wL 12 hours ago
- New office today for our coaching staff in Detroit observing the Pistons practice! 🍀🏀 http://t.co/0CQOwWHKIB 13 hours ago
- Congrats to @NDSoccer's Liz Tucker on being named the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year! Proud to have such a great representative of ND!🍀🍀🍀💚💚💚 1 day ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- We are just days away from our season! RESERVE your tickets for the 2014-15 season-> UND.com/BuyTickets http://t.co/pALxa0nGDs 10 hours ago
- Hey @NDFootball, hands up on defense! Keep up the pressure! #NDvsFSU http://t.co/fOP6jpyjcK 2 days ago
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- As our guys leave for Fall Break, take a few minutes to see @NDMikeBrey take a break in the summer @ @ChicagolndSpdwy: youtube.com/watch?v=2veDpv… 3 days ago
- While you watch 1993 #NDFBClassics vs FSU @ 8pm on WatchND.tv/classics - remember Monty averaged 22.4ppg that year http://t.co/rZAJi1WAT2 4 days ago
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