Notre Dame Fighting Irish show toughness on road to Sweet 16

  • The Notre Dame Fighting Irish women's basketball team romped in the second round.
  • Now Hannah Hidalgo and company are ready to fight for an Elite 8 bid.

Notre Dame v  Ole Miss
Notre Dame v Ole Miss / Lance King/GettyImages

While the Notre Dame men’s basketball team is working on the roster for next season, the women’s team is making a run through the NCAA Tournament. On Monday afternoon, Hannah Hidalgo and company showed a toughness, fight and inevitability they didn’t show in the first round of the tournament.

One of the things that actually makes this Notre Dame Fighting Irish squad so dangerous is that they can win by 15 points in the second round of the NCAA Tournament without a breakout performance by Hidalgo. 

Notre Dame beat down Ole Miss 71-56 and they got out to a lead almost instantaneously. After the first period, the Irish were up 21-9 and they never really looked back. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Rebels managed to make any kind of a run, outsourcing Notre Dame 14-10 in that period. That only allowed them to shave the lead down from 19.

Hidalgo certainly didn’t have a bad game. She finished with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. However, at times she struggled in the second round game but was abe to put it together.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball finds toughness and inevitability in NCAA Tournament

That ability to pull it back and end up with a game most players would envy is one of the reasons she got praise even from the opposing coach. 

“That's something that was born inside of her,” ​​Ole Miss coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin said about Hidalgo after the game. “She was completely relentless the whole time. Yeah, she can pass and she can score, but you can't teach what's inside of you. I think that's her greatest strength.”

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are playing their best basketball of the season. Monday was the 10th straight time Notre Dame got the better of their opponet since a team meeting called by senior forward Maddy Westbeld following a 59-43 home loss to NC State back in mid-February.

Next up, is a chance to go to the Elite 8 for the first time in years. They’ll take on 3rd seeded Oregon State on Friday.