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 @TheRealKoko50: I miss my teammates... A little bit! 10 hours ago
- PRO READY (featuring @SkyDigg4). #IrishintheWNBA http://t.co/rvJsOB5tVX 19 hours ago
- “Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” -Tom Landry 20 hours ago
- Good luck to @_Breezy_Briii out in Colorado for @usabasketball! Going for the gold AGAIN🍀🇺🇸🍀🇺🇸🍀 2 days ago
- RT @jloyd32: thanks to everyone who voted for our @ndwbb videos it was great to see the love and the support #goirish 2 days ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- Guess who's back, back again. Jerian's back, tell a friend ... Part One of the @NDfidm series on @ThatGrant22: watchnd.tv/#!/videos/tnNW… 22 hours ago
- What are you doing on Tuesday night in the 'Bend? @NDMikeBrey is throwing out the @Silver_Hawks 1st pitch! Autograph signing to follow. ⚾️ 1 day ago
- We have to vote for the @ndwbb seniors in the video contest! Who do you think made the best "class" video? WATCH: youtube.com/watch?v=216v3X… 5 days ago
- Through four appearances Pat (@PlanetPat24) is doing pretty well on the mound - can't wait to have him back at ND: http://t.co/1lXIoprgcN 1 week ago
- Get up Z.A.! #HSFlashbackPhotos @ZachEliAuguste http://t.co/mgMRoe7Ww6 1 week ago
- M. Ice Hockey. Irish Hockey Announces 2014-15 Schedule
- W. Rowing. Irish Rowers Win Two Gold Medals At World Under 23 Championships
- Football. Irish Will Open Training Camp At Culver Academies
- M. Golf. Three Irish Golfers Named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars
- M. Soccer. Irish In The Pros Update