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
- #FourFavorites from Sunday's autograph ✍️ session after the game. #BestFansInTheLand https://t.co/57XdOhu7RY 45 minutes ago
- RT @ndwbb: .@JShepard32’s career high 39 points broke the all-time Purcell Pavilion scoring record in WBB history. 👏👏 https://t.co/UBZ8vfgl… 12 hours ago
- RT @ndwbb: 🏀 HIGHLIGHTS Check out the top moments of today's 9️⃣1️⃣-8️⃣2️⃣ victory over DePaul! #GoIrish ☘️ https://t.co/CxoBsUoBHc 14 hours ago
- 🏀 HIGHLIGHTS Check out the top moments of today's 9️⃣1️⃣-8️⃣2️⃣ victory over DePaul! #GoIrish ☘️ https://t.co/CxoBsUoBHc 17 hours ago
- .@JShepard32’s career high 39 points broke the all-time Purcell Pavilion scoring record in WBB history. 👏👏 https://t.co/UBZ8vfglaH 18 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- Battle in the state capital heading to halftime. @Bcolson_35 12 pts, 5 reb https://t.co/eZqWKLx9N7 1 day ago
- Ready to roll in Indy. ☘️ vs Hoosiers 2:30 pm ET 📺 @FOXSports 📻 und.com/collegesportsl… https://t.co/ETgYYFKwlB 1 day ago
- RT @NDCheerTeam: Stitched in Tradition ••••• •••• ••• •• • See you in Indy ☘️ #CrossroadsClassic #BeatHoosiers https://t.co/qcOT9NBWZ3 2 days ago
- ❌⭕️ Mental prep ➕ 💪 Physical prep = ready for final 🏀workout🏀 before 💨🚌 to Indy https://t.co/6sKNLeEIW3 2 days ago
- Finals DONE ✅ ❌🚫 Ready to BALL on Saturday ☘️ vs IU | @BLFieldhouse | 2:30 ET @FOXSports https://t.co/KKRACJG9OQ 3 days ago