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
- Only a few days left to bin on customizable warm-up shirts to be worn in honor of loved ones @ Pink Zone Game! BID… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 11 minutes ago
- RT @ndwbb: Honor your loved one by having the Irish don a customizable warm-up shirt at our Pink Zone Game, Feb 12th! Bid NOW: https://t.c… 22 hours ago
- 💥Top Moments from the win over Boston College Thursday night! 💥 youtu.be/LAqR8ypGYjc 23 hours ago
- 31-15 third quarter, including 11-0 run, leads Notre Dame to 80-69 victory over Boston College! 📸 by Kevin Sabitus… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 1 day ago
- Irish win 80-69! Marina Mabrey leads Notre Dame with 21 points, her 3rd 20-points game of the season. Brianna Turne… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 1 day ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- RT @FightingIrish: 3x @NDmbb Captain 1st Round @NBA Draft Pick 2017 Ring of Honor Inductee David Rivers met the team before Saturday's Rin… 14 hours ago
- Trust. Belief. Freedom to play. ☘Irish Basketball☘ #LevelUp 👉 cbssports.com/college-basket… https://t.co/YEuenBLhjN 21 hours ago
- A.T. back for 2017-18! twitter.com/austin_torres0… 1 day ago
- Seems like ⏳forever⏳, hey @LepLegion? See you at ☀️High Noon☀️ on Saturday! https://t.co/tzDJ5eWA6S 1 day ago
- Great fight. Great edge right to the end. Still in first place and HEADING HOME! https://t.co/HWKqPpslUs 2 days ago
- M. Ice Hockey. Wegwerth's Third Period Tally Lifts Irish To Overtime Tie
- Swimming & Diving. Notre Dame Falls To Top-25 Louisville
- M. Tennis. Irish Defeat Cardinals 7-0 In Season Lid-Lifter
- Track. Keys To The Meet: Notre Dame Invitational
- W. Soccer. Romagnolo Adds Norman ('07) To Women's Soccer Coaching Staff