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
- Everyone in an Irish uniform has scored tonight!! 🍀🏀 26 minutes ago
- Last media timeout of the game...Irish up 104-49 after two made free throws by Whitney Holloway 28 minutes ago
- With a jumper made by Mychal, the Irish have reached 88 points. You know what that means....BIG MACS!!! 🍔 36 minutes ago
- 12:14 remaining in the game...Irish lead 75-41 48 minutes ago
- First media timeout of the second half...Irish lead Quinnipiac 64-36 59 minutes ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- Our game vs Chicago State this Saturday has been moved to 1pm (ESPN3). Head over to UND.com/BuyTickets to purchase tickets. #Together 3 hours ago
- Haven't made it to Purcell this year to catch a game? Check out our intro video: youtu.be/zXNaKn23RkY Get Tix: UND.com/BuyTickets 4 hours ago
- Vote Jerian Grant (@ThatGrant22) for the @FightingIrish Student-Athlete of the week-> und.com/ot/socialpoll-… http://t.co/Xd0euQ4Aas 8 hours ago
- Take a look at our @Hoophall Tournament & weekend trip to Connecticut with locker room footage included. #Together watchnd.tv/#!/videos/R4Y2… 10 hours ago
- RT @D_Jay24: Love my team 🍀 #GoIrish 1 day ago
- M. Soccer. IRISH EXTRA: Notre Dame Advances In The Rain
- W. Basketball. #2 Irish Cap Off Busy Seven-Day Stretch Against Quinnipiac
- W. Basketball. IRISH EXTRA: Huffman Finding Her Role
- W. Basketball. Inside The Game: #2 Notre Dame 97, Harvard 43
- W. Basketball. Notre Dame Women's Basketball Postgame Quotes