If Monday night's second-round match-up against ninth-seeded Indiana is any indication, it will not be an easy road to the Final Four for the Notre Dame women's basketball team. But in the end, the Irish did what they usually do, which is to say they prevailed, 87-70.
The two teams met after Indiana beat a higher-seeded Georgia team in the first round and the Irish dismantled North Carolina A&T.
Notre Dame's latest victory was their twenty-sixth win in a row. They haven't lost since December 5 at Connecticut.
The Irish had to work for their second-round victory, though. As late as the latter part of the third quarter, Indiana cut Notre Dame's lead to two by way of a 12-1 run. The run would be as close as the Hoosiers got. It was all Irish the rest of the way, starting with an 8-0 run (on four straight converted shots) to close out the third quarter.
The Hoosiers stayed in the game early with accurate shooting from the three-point line. Karlee McBride, whose older sister Kayla played at Notre Dame from 2010-2014, stuck four out of the six threes she put up over the course of the game.
McBride finished with 17 points and also caused a little controversy with a hard foul in the third quarter that officials eventually agreed wasn't flagrant.
In the game's second quarter, the Irish showed a little of their own sharpshooting by converting a blistering 11-of-14 field goal attempts. The Irish shot nearly 55 percent from the field in the game, led by junior point guard Lindsay Allen's 22 points. Eighteen of those points were in the first half, as she consistently attacked IU's match-up zone with a pick-and-roll game from the right wing.
The Irish will play again on Friday against the winner of Stanford-South Dakota State.
Another team of interest to Notre Dame fans, second-seeded Maryland, won't have the honor of playing another game in the 2015-2016 season. The Terrapins lost to the seventh-seeded Washington Huskies, 74-65.