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
- We can't let this day pass without wishing our incredible Director of Ops, Katie Capps, a Happy Birthday!! 🎉🎁🎂 https://t.co/dEBqjv7AXT 21 hours ago
- Thanks to Chairman of our Board of Trustees, Jack Brennan, for stopping by practice to check on the squad!! 1 week… twitter.com/i/web/status/7… 1 day ago
- Irish Fans! Be sure to check out @IrishCoachIvey performing with @toddrundgren in the North Dome for the Duke Pep Rally at 5:45pm!! 🎤🍀🏀💅🏾 1 day ago
- RT @IrishCoachIvey: It's Friday!! Happy to be home and excited to be with our special guests for the weekend!🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀 https://t.co/KqfSJjAoWL 1 day ago
- RT @TheHRReview: .@_Breezy_Briii & @ndwbb come to H-town, 11/22, to hoop against Louisiana Lafayette. 7pm, inside the Campbell Center. #nca… 2 days ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- RT @NDmbb: He calls himself 'the loosest Coach in America.' 🕶🕶🕶🕶🕶 Let's add 'Coolest Coach in America' for @NDMikeBrey https://t.co/1mVSeFv… 11 hours ago
- He calls himself 'the loosest Coach in America.' 🕶🕶🕶🕶🕶 Let's add 'Coolest Coach in America' for @NDMikeBrey https://t.co/1mVSeFvrxJ 1 day ago
- 🇱🇹💪🇱🇹 Our Lithuanian Big Man @Martin_Geben is ready to showcase his development. The Irish return in 4️⃣9️⃣ days... https://t.co/wbJTZSEEYb 1 day ago
- RT @TheRealDJHarvey: Go Irish💯😈🍀! All glory to God🙏🏾 https://t.co/NJFRupxlqs 1 day ago
- Just about an hour until Coach Brey and JG will be here. In Chicago? Stop by and say #GoIrish 5:30-7:30 CT 600 N M… twitter.com/i/web/status/7… 3 days ago