THEY DID IT AGAIN
The Irish just did a thing and played a game against the UConn Huskies. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish women’s basketball team just beat UConn to advance to the national championship on Sunday night. This game was not the most pretty at times, but they did the damn thing to get the job done. Let’s recap.
Woof. The first half was a struggle for both teams, quite honestly. It was not looking like the game we expected to see. After the first quarter, the score was 16-12 Huskies with the lead. Both teams were throwing up shots that would not fall. Arike barely touched the ball in the first quarter. Katie Lou Samuelson for the Huskies had no points for a lot of the first half.
At the beginning of the second quarter, the Irish started a 6-0 run, continuing a 10-0 run by Jess Shepard herself. The first 20 points from the Irish were all in the paint, with Shepard getting great looks under the hoop. The game continued to be back and forth, with the Huskies getting Collier and Samuelson in the mix. After UConn beat the first half buzzer, they led 30-29 at the half.
The second half looked more like a classic ND-UConn matchup. Samuelson, Williams, and Collier were getting more open looks to hit some contested three point shots. However, the Irish were equal to the task. Especially helpful was Brianna Turner’s defense, whose blocks (especially the last one at the end of the game) proved to be a great factor on defense. Also, Shepard, Turner, and out of nowhere Mabrey all had double-doubles for the Irish. After the Huskies took a 54-52 lead into the fourth quarter, they got the lead up to 9 at 64-55. However, the Irish just kept chipping away at the lead. Eventually, a couple of back to back threes from Arike and Marina led to a tie game. Back and forth they went in 1 point leads. With about 90 seconds left, the Irish stopped the Huskies and caused them to foul. The Irish went to the line on multiple occasions and did not look back. After 20+ lead changes, we got to the end of the game. Final score, 81-76. Do that jig, Muffett.
After this absoultely sweet, glorious victory, let us bask in some greatness. Those double-doubles, beating Geno, and also Brianna Turner’s record. She just surpassed Ruth Riley with the most blocks in team history. Absolutely fantastic.
This was so damn good, but there is one more game left. On Sunday night at 6 PM, the Irish will play other #1 seed Baylor in the National Championship. Baylor defeated Oregon earlier tonight. The stage is set. Time for the Irish to do it again. Go Irish.