The Irish women’s are headed back to the Sweet 16 on the heels of a 87-70 win over Indiana.
For the 7th straight season the Notre Dame women’s basketball team is headed back to the Sweet 16. It’ll also be their 14th appearance in the last 17 seasons. The Irish women are advancing after taking down 8 seed Indiana 87-70 in a hard fought game. The game was much closer than the score indicated as the Hoosiers hung around for the better part of three quarters. The Hoosiers went into the half only trailing by 10 and got as close 2 late in the third quarter, but the Irish turned the burners on and showed why they are the No.2 team in the land. Notre Dame outscored the Hoosiers 21-14 in the game’s final frame.
First Team All-ACC point guard Lindsay Allen led the way for the Irish as she poured in 22 points, 7 assists and shot an efficient 10-13 from the field. Late in the second quarter Allen scored 10 straight points to give the Irish their 10 point halftime lead. Her performance was the polar opposite from her one in ND’s first round game against North Carolina A&T. In that game Allen scored only 1 point and didn’t even attempt a field goal, but still orchestrated the offense beautifully as she had 10 assists.
ACC Player of the Year Brianna Turner also had a big game as she notched a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Graduate student Madison Cable also had a nice game in her last game in Purcell Pavilion. She chipped in with 16 points and hit two huge three-pointers in the fourth quarter to put the dagger in the Hoosiers.
The Irish defense did a great job of stifling Indiana’s best player, Tyra Buss. Buss had a tough game as the sophomore only scored 10 points on 3-16 shooting. She also had 5 turnovers. Karlee McBride, sister of former Irish All-American Kayla McBride, led the way for the Hoosiers as she poured in 17 points.
The Irish will now travel to Lexington,KY to take on the 4th seeded Stanford Cardinal. Stanford squeaked by the 12th seed South Dakota State in their second round game 66-65. Notre Dame and Stanford met in the Sweet 16 last season where the Irish routed the Cardinal 81-60. The other Sweet 16 game in the Lexington regional will feature 3 seed Kentucky and 7 seed Washington. Maryland was considered the Irish’s biggest threat in the region, but they were upset by Washington on Monday night.
With the win Notre Dame is the only school this year to have their men’s and women’s teams in the Sweet 16. In fact, ND is the only school accomplish that feat over the last two seasons. While the Irish women have been among the nation’s elite for quite some time now, it’s great to see both programs enjoying a great amount of postseason success at the same time.