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
- RT @mycoool_12: Notre Dame is the best place on earth!🍀✨💙💛 #ND2018 2 hours ago
- RT @Scottejohnson12: Current situation #ND #prouddad #specialplace #itsjustdifferent instagram.com/p/sCm5NrNcOy/ 2 hours ago
- Check out the newest edition of "From The Hardwood"... Irish return to campus and we welcome new staff members! 🍀 und.com/sports/w-baskb… 14 hours ago
- Congratulations to our alum, Danielle Green, who gave birth to a healthy baby boy earlier today! Daniel Green welcome to the 🍀family!💙💚💙💚💙💚🍼 20 hours ago
- Breaking News!!! @GoIrishCoachO has made an Instagram account - go follow her at GoIrishCoachO. 21 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- RT @NDMenSoccer: .@MarylandMSoccer #ALSIceBucketChallenge accepted! Chad Riley ’04 (@NDMonogram) & @DartmouthMSoc you’re on the clock! http… 1 day ago
- Help us defend home court against the likes of 'Cuse & Michigan State! SEASON TICKET RENEWALS/PURCHASES: ev12.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncomme… #Together 2 days ago
- ICYMI: Coach Brey challenged Coach Digger Phelps to the #IceBucketChallenge. It didn't take Digger long to respond: youtu.be/XAPlqFSFtd4 4 days ago
- ICYMI: Coach Brey challenged @McCormickCSC, @D_Jay24 & Digger Phelps to the #IceBucketChallenge. #FRATES WATCH: youtube.com/watch?v=892xkS… 4 days ago
- RT @cbfowler: @NDmbb @JayBilas @ESPN_ReceDavis Digger squealed like an 8-year old! But good work. I have already been doused once last week! 4 days ago
- W. Soccer. #16/11 Irish Complete Historic Opening Day Comeback At Illinois
- W. Basketball. From The Hardwood: Irish Back On Campus
- M. Soccer. Grassroot Game Has A New Meaning For The Irish
- W. Volleyball. Volleyball Works On Leadership and Team Building With The Program
- W. Volleyball. Meet The Volleyball Freshmen: Sam Fry