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 @FightingIrish: Vote to get @ndwbb'rs to the @WNBA All-🌟 Game! 💯Achonwa ☔️Loyd 🌟McBride 🐆Peters ⚡️Diggins ➡️ wnba.com/players/ htt… 7 hours ago
- Wanna know how to perfect a half court shot? Watch our team nail a bunch throughout last season🍀 youtu.be/v9Z5SE6d74Y 13 hours ago
- Preparing for the holiday weekend and July recruiting! Safe travels to our coaches and players! Have a safe and fun weekend🍀💚🎉 13 hours ago
- Friday night WNBA games will feature @MsPeters14 and @minnesotalynx against @jewellloyd and Seattle at 8 pm and also @TulsaShock vs LA 13 hours ago
- #TBT Our 2011 Gold medalists -@MsPeters14 @NatalieNovosel @SkyDigg4 🏆🏆🏆🍀🍀🍀🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 http://t.co/feoWx61nrw 1 day ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- DJ keeps getting better, both on and off the court! #SC30Select twitter.com/franfraschilla… 12 hours ago
- Just a little something to take you into the long 4th of July weekend... Thanks, DJ (@D_Jay24). #DunksDuLac vine.co/v/OXMKJwnZxgj 1 day ago
- RT @FightingIrish: 🏀DUNK YOU VERY MUCH Jerian Grant's "dunkalicious" slam is up for @ESPYS top play. VOTE NOW: ESPYS.com/vote htt… 2 days ago
- Working With The MVP:✔️ Attending #SC30Select Camp:✔️ Winning The Leadership Award:✔️ Just another week for DJ! http://t.co/uJat4jfgi0 2 days ago
- RT @NDMikeBrey: Watching J's dunk still gives me the chills. It's a no-brainer for @ESPYS best play. Vote at ESPYS.com/vote http:… 3 days ago
- Football. Football, Uplifting Athletes Bowling Event Set For July 12
- M. Lacrosse. Three Incoming Freshmen Named Under Armour All-Americans
- M. Swimming. Notre Dame Swimming Celebrates Academic Achievement
- Track. Barber To Compete At World University Games
- M. Ice Hockey. Ten Named to Hockey East All-Academic Team