The ACC Semis Have Happened
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Women’s Basketball team just completed their game against the Miami Hurricanes in the ACC Tournament semifinals. The Irish couldn’t get it done to beat the upset-minded Miami, and they lost 57-54. Let’s see how it shook out.
The Irish had an insanely slow start to the game, as they did not make a shot nor have any points for the first 7 minutes of the game. Miami took a 12-0 lead before Maddy Westbeld finally hit a shot to give the Irish their first points. The Irish were down 13-4 at the end of the first quarter. It could’ve been way worse, but it still wasn’t great. The second quarter was fortunately a different story as the Irish started to make some more shots. They went on an 11-1 run since it was 12-0 to be down only 13-11. Miami hit some 3s, but then the Irish had more patient possessions. Maddy Westbeld led the team at halftime with 8 points, and the Irish found themselves tied with the Hurricanes at halftime, the score knotted up at 26. Unfortunately, the comeback was nice but Niele Ivey’s team needed some more firepower as they only shot 30% from the field.
The Irish and the Hurricanes kept it going back-and-forth in the third quarter. The difference was beyond the arc. Miami’s Kelsey Marshall kept hitting long threes to keep the Irish at bay. It was tough for the Irish to get much going offensively, as the bigger presences for Miami were seen on offense and on defense. Oddly enough, the Irish were down 46-40 going into the fourth quarter but had a slightly better shooting percentage. Bad passes like they were trying to rush transition play caused some turnovers and issues for the Irish. After a Sam Brunelle 3-pointer, the Irish cut the Hurricane lead to 51-50. Dara Mabrey hit a 3 later on to go down only 56-54. But, the Hurricanes shut the door after that in the final 30 seconds. Mabrey couldn’t get a 3 to fall on the last possession. The Irish shot better overall than the Hurricanes but were out-rebounded especially on offensive rebounds.
There will not be another game in the ACC Tournament this year. The Irish await their fate for the NCAA Tournament. They will make the field, but they probably have lost their chance to be a 4-seed and host the first two rounds in Purcell Pavilion. They will more than likely be a 5-seed. Selection Sunday is in 8 days from now, so we will find out then.