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No. 1 seed Notre Dame vs. No. 16 seed UT Martin will be tipping off shortly on ESPN2 (5:05 ET). If you don't have access, we'll provide regular updates here.
UT Martin has one of the more dynamic 1-2 scoring punches with guard Jasmine Newsome (24.3, 4th in the country) and Heather Butler (22 points per game).
Apparently, women do have a better sense of fashion. ND is wearing its basic home white with blue lettering and gold interspersed.
They play better too. Don't follow basketball much but the women look like they play some damn good defense
5 Time POTW--Gringo Mafia Director of Guerrilla Warfare
They're pretty good.
UT Martin calls a tie out with 15:22 left and ND already roaring out to a 14-4 lead.
ND 6 of 7 from the field while Achonwa hit both of her free throws. Kayla McBride and Jewell Loyd have made both of their field goals. Ariel Braker had a put-back on Skylar Diggins' miss and Achonwa also banked one home from close. Diggins has the lone miss.
Second media timeout at 11:44
Skyhawks showing some moxie and cut the Irish lead to 20-16 before Diggins makes her first basket to push the lead back up to 22-16. The Irish converted 9 of their first 10 field goal attempts on eight assists, almost all coming within five feet. Achonwa taking advantage of her size with 8 points.
UT Martin's Heather Butler, only 5-2, has 16 points already around the 9 minute mark, including a couple of lucky three-point banks to cut it to 28-24. Loyd reponds with a lay-in for her 10th point for a 30-24 edge.
This post was edited by Lou Somogyi 13 months ago
Third media timeout at 7:45 and the score is still 30-24 Notre Dame. The Irish have 22 points in the paint, and made all six free throws after getting fouled just a couple of feet from the basket.
Muffet calls a timeout at 5:59 with ND up 32-26. Skyhawks presenting some problems with their quick, dribble penetration, while ND is dominating in the paint. Of ND's 10 missed shots, it had an offensive rebound on 8. Loyd has 12 and Achonwa 10 after two free throws make it 34-26.
FInal media timeout of first half at 3:42. ND leads a game UT Martin 38-31. Butler hits another three, this one straight on, and has 23 points, already eclipsing her 22-point average. Smallest player on the court but huge heart.
ND at one point had a 19-5 rebounding advantage.
After that timeout by McGraw, Notre Dame closed with an 11-0 run to end the half and take a 49-31 lead at the intermission.
In addition to dominating the boards, Notre Dame was 14-of-14 from the foul line. In her first NCAA Tournamen gamet, the freshman Loyd has 17 points in the first half, while Achonwa scored 14. Loyd has been doing it all, converting all six free throws, slashing through the lane, getting an alley-oop and drilling a three.
Diggins only had four points, but her role in this game is as a distributor and making sure the ball gets inside, where the Irish have a significant advantage.
Top stat of the first half was that ND out-rebounded UT Martin 26-8. ND went to a triangle and two defense in the late spurt to facilitate the 11-0 spurt.
The junior Achonwa scores her 1,000th career point down low to put ND ahead 58-33.
Timeout at 15:42 sees ND up 62-39. Loyd has 21 points, three short of her career high 24 against No. 1 Baylor back on Dec. 5, the team's last loss.
Keep it coming. They switched games on me. Penn State is on!!
Second media timeout at 11:56. Notre Dame leads 69-44, despite superb effort by Butler, who will be shooting for her 29th and 30th points at the foul line after the break. Kayla McBride playing another quietly efficient game with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Braker has seven points and eight boards.
Diggins takes a hard foul on a fast break but hits 1 of 2 free throws for a 74-44 lead. It's the first miss from the stripe for the Irish today.
Loyd has a new career high with 25 points (9-of-14 field goals). ND leads 83-54 at the third media timeout of the half (7:29 left).
Meanwhile, Butler continue to be phenomenal for UT Martin with 36 points, including 6-of-11 from beyond the arc. She is two points shy of tying the most points ever by an Irish opponent. The most this year was 33 by South Florida's Andrea Smith in an overtime loss by the Bulls back in January.
FInal media timeout with less than four minutes left and ND leading 93-59. Diggins, Achonwa and Braker have been sitting out pretty much since the 8-minute mark, and McBride and Loyd joined them shortly thereafter. Loyd has 27 points and McBride 22. Achonwa and Diggins also finished with double-digit scoring.
Notre Dame wins 97-64, overcoming a 37-point effort by Heather Butler. Freshman Loyd had a career high 27 points while shooting 10 of 15 from the floor.
They will play the 8-9 seed winner between Miami and home team Iowa on Tuesday night in the round of 32 in the Norfolk Region.
We will have none of that "thinking out of the box" for our basketball teams. Adjustments?
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