2nd Game of the ACC Tournament
Today, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish women’s basketball team played in their second game of the ACC Tournament. They played Syracuse in the first tournament semifinal. Let’s see how this one shook out.
The Irish and the Orange showed that the game might be different than a couple week ago when the Irish demolished the Orange in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse went on an 8-0 run in the first quarter after the Irish went up 5-0 quickly. Thus, it looked like Cuse would put up more of a fight. It looked that way, but that didn’t actually happen. The Irish continued to get great penetration into the lane, finding good shots under the hoop and in transition as well. Unfortunately, the score does not really reflect how the Irish played on defense. The Irish defense was still struggling, letting Cuse get into the lane with some open three-point looks as well as some buckets under the hoop. Cuse can hit three point shots very well, especially with Dina Strautmane and Tiana Mangakahia.
The Irish were having trouble coming up with some rebonds, and it showed in some sloppy, discombobulated play under the Cuse hoop. Some easy missed layups occurred for the Irish as well. Even so, the penetration and overwhelming offense for the Irish gave them the 44-31 lead going into the break.
After the Irish went on a 9-2 run to begin the 3rd quarter, the Orange hit some good shots and took advantage of some more struggles from the Irish. They got the game within 12 points with some momentum, but then the Irish shut all of that down. Marina Mabrey with a shot from downtown as well as overall shots in the lane helped the Irish to get back on track for the rest of the half.
Jessica Shepard got a double-double on the day, but Arike had fewer points than normal (12), an off day by her standards. However, all 5 starters were in double digits for points, so the wealth was spread on offense today. It was definitely a team victory, which was good to see. After just being too much for Cuse, and actually ending up like the game at the Carrier Dome a couple weeks ago, the Irish got the decisive 91-66 victory.
Tomorrow, the Irish play for the ACC Tournament Championship. They take on the winner of Louisville and NC State. That game will be at Noon on ESPN2.