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
- ✔️ 1 for @NatAchon ✔️ 1 for @MsPeters14 Who moves 1 win from @WNBA title? Game 3 - MIN @ IND tonight 8 ET on ESPN2! http://t.co/7TKNia0RpA 12 hours ago
- Some things never change for our b-day girl @MsPeters14 … championship fire always burns! wnba.com/news/peters-ex… http://t.co/qhyQigZiDb 1 day ago
- Irish WBB great, Danielle Green, will be speaking at the FB Pep Rally! #showsomelove tomorrow at 5:45 pm in the Joyce Center (North Dome). 1 day ago
- RT @WNBA: #BirthdaySelfie with @MsPeters14! http://t.co/Iw011N7xEr 1 day ago
- #TBT to 1/15/01 for our 1st home sellout crowd and a win over UCONN. 1 of 45 sellouts in @ndwbb program history! http://t.co/3wl51j9aeH 1 day ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- Have a great birthday, @JerianGrant. We know you know how to party at the hoop🎉🎊🎉 vine.co/v/Od5rX7TWDxg 3 hours ago
- When you're a student, the best things in life are free... ...Coach Brey agrees. http://t.co/0tcX320qP0 1 day ago
- 👌Goggles. Defense. Hustle. All these things and more happened in our 1st practice. Check it out: http://t.co/UOWjsFAbfh 2 days ago
- What is Jerian Grant's favorite moment while at ND? He let us know on the @NYKnicks Twitter account. TAKE A LOOK: http://t.co/KlqQbsSgzE 3 days ago
- RT @NDMikeBrey: Our student body has helped us win a ton of games in my 15 years at ND. We think this is a great way to thank them. http:/… 3 days ago
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