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
- 📸 Lights, camera, action! A few interviews before practice! #GoIrish☘️ | #Sweet16 https://t.co/txGdrIbrpk 6 hours ago
- 🎤🎥 @JShepard32 asking @mmabrey1 all the hard hitting questions 🤷♀️ #ncaaW #NDSweet16 #GoIrish ☘️ https://t.co/OmZFy9fwoC 8 hours ago
- Irish are ☝️ of 4️⃣ teams to make 9 straight Sweet 16s ☘️☘️ ND 🆚 Texas A&M on Saturday at 4 pm ET on @espn https://t.co/VY9feS8iYt 12 hours ago
- We 👀 you, @NatAchon!! #IrishForever ☘🏆🏀 twitter.com/IndianaFever/s… 13 hours ago
- 2018 signee, Danielle Cosgrove, named Suffolk County Player of the Year! Congrats, @cosgro6! 🎉 #FutureLooksBright… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… 15 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- With a @CollegeSLAM 3pt invite secured... @MattyFarr3 ready to take on the nation’s best shooters on national TV Ma… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… 1 day ago
- ☘️💛💙☘️ https://t.co/bXSccdR4YR 4 days ago
- DEFENSE name of the game thus far OFFENSE ready to roll in 2nd half Catch the rally on ESPN https://t.co/BxmcR590rs 4 days ago
- Ready to kick off a St. Patricks’s Day celebration with a W Starting 🖐 vs Penn State 👑 @rexpflueger 🕷 @MattyFarr3… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… 4 days ago
- #DunksDuLac In green. On St. Patrick’s Day. #NotDoneYet ND vs PSU | Noon | Saturday | ESPN https://t.co/SVTuSKFSef 5 days ago
- Baseball. Irish Drop Home Opener to NIU
- Swimming & Diving. #19 Irish Ready For Speedy NCAA Championship Week
- Track & Field. Nathan Richartz Named ACC Field Performer Of The Week
- Softball. Irish And Western Michigan Game Rescheduled For April 17
- M. Lacrosse. Irish Set To Host Michigan In Midweek Matchup