The Notre Dame Fighting Irish got off to a terrible start in the regional final against the Stanford Cardinal. The Irish were just 10-39 in the first half from the field. It wasn’t just the missed shots either — the overall effort on both ends of the court was sloppy, slow, and very un-ND.
Stanford wasn’t shooting much better than Notre Dame in the first half, but they made up for it with timely rebounding and a better than expected defensive gameplan to slow down Notre Dame. It was good enough for a 7 point lead at the half for the Cardinal with the Irish in need of some soul searching.
Well... mostly they just needed to hit some shots.
Jackie Young was more than willing to help that cause and she blew UP in the second half. Young had 6 points in the first half, but then turned it on in the 2nd as she helped push the Irish out of the hole and build a lead that would eventually cut down the trees. Jackie scored 25 points in the game, and had 10 rebounds for a double double — but it was her leadership on the court to fight back (and with a hurt hand) that helped tip the scales for the Leprechauns.
Arike Ogunbowale picked up her 3rd foul early in the 3rd quarter, and had to sit for a bit, but she also provided plenty of offense with her 21 points. Brianna Turner scored 14 points and Jessica Shepard knocked in 11 points while pulling down 14 boards.
The Irish are heading back to the Final Four to take on the UConn Huskies. This is going to be A W E S O M E!