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
- Great dinner & some FUN entertainment tonight 🎉 Tomorrow we go to WORK against Denver 🏀 #JunkanooJam https://t.co/OqtYZDQfKk 4 hours ago
- Happy Thanksgiving from @ndwbb! We are THANKFUL for the best fans in the country 🍀 #gobblegobble 15 hours ago
- Thank goodness for a smooth day of traveling ✈️ @ndwbb has arrived in the Bahamas 😎☀️🌊 #ParadiseJam https://t.co/iC0GynnyqO 1 day ago
- RT @NDsidMasters: DID YOU KNOW? Mabrey's triple-double came in 4th career game, 2nd fastest in D-I history behind Winthrop's Schaquilla Nun… 3 days ago
- RT @NDsidMasters: OF NOTE: Marina Mabrey's triple-double 1st by @ndwbb frosh & 2nd by @accwbb frosh + 12 stls 2nd-most in ACC history https… 3 days ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- Not how we wanted that game to end, but you can guarantee we'll be back. #Together https://t.co/bV5XiBxeML 6 hours ago
- RT @PlanetPat5: And 1 Meech! 😈🍀 @D_Jay24 6 hours ago
- WE. ARE. TIED. Wooden Award candidate Demetrius Jackson goes left, gets fouled, hits layup & free throw. #17 ND 68 | MU 68 32 seconds left 6 hours ago
- AND 1! Z.A. gets 2, gets fouled and hits free throw. Z.A. notches his 8th career double-double. UM 66 | #17 ND 64 https://t.co/NncTSwtQPo 6 hours ago
- With that free throw, Bonzie has his first career double-double (10pts, 12rebs). Irish chipping away at lead. https://t.co/J8ehTjw7hC 7 hours ago
- M. Basketball. No. 17 Notre Dame Falls Short to Monmouth, 70-68
- W. Volleyball. Notre Dame Falls At Syracuse In Four Sets
- W. Volleyball. Fry, Morningstar Honored By ACC
- Football. Notre Dame-Stanford 2015 Preview: No Question on Irish Stakes This Week
- M. Ice Hockey. No. 18 Irish To Host The Sixth Installment of the Shillelagh Tournament