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
- ICYMI- @SkyDigg4 was in all-WNBA mode - game-high 15 pts (6-11 fg) in 81-51 @TulsaShock win v @SAStars (@kaymac_2123 DNP-INJ) 17 hours ago
- In 1st action in 14 mos., @NatAchon 7 pts (3-4 fg)/4 rebs/1 asst/1 blk in @IndianaFever 76-68 exhib loss to @ConnecticutSun #IrishintheWNBA 17 hours ago
- RT @NDMensTennis: HISTORY!!!! @qNDtennis defeats Norrie of TCU 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 to advance to the first national singles semifinal in program … 21 hours ago
- RT @NDlacrosse: What a game and what a season for this team. Each and every player left it all on the field today! #GoIrish #1PercentMore 21 hours ago
- Welcome to the ND family Katie!!! Can't wait for you to be on campus! 🍀 1 day ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- RT @E_Money_Katenda: Got a chance to read my bible where the apostle Paul gave his speech to the corinthians. #G3 http://t.co/6PGmVv4Avq 1 day ago
- Throwback to when we "danced" our way to a Championship. #ACCchamps #tbt http://t.co/lGBrZb70NY 2 days ago
- It's one thing to have expectations... ...it's another thing to surpass them. http://t.co/DPJ88regmx 3 days ago
- RT @FightingIrish: The Class of 2015 provided us with so many great moments. What was your favorite? Did it include this @NDmbb duo? http… 6 days ago
- RT @JerianGrant: Yup http://t.co/lZczUVHse6 6 days ago
- Baseball. No. 20 Irish Fall To No. 6 Miami, 6-5, In Wild Finish
- W. Lacrosse. Katherine McManus Claims Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award
- M. Lacrosse. Notre Dame Menâ€™s Lacrosse Post Game Notes
- M. Lacrosse. Notre Dame Men's Lacrosse Postgame Quotes
- M. Tennis. Monaghan Advances To First NCAA Singles Semifinal In Program History