March 17, 1998
Ninth-Seeded Irish Play No. 4 Seed Purdue
Teams Meet in Midewest Regional Semifinal Contest
(9) Notre Dame Irish (22-9) vs.
'98 NCAA TOURNAMENT - MIDWEST REGIONAL, SEMIFINAL
Date: Saturday, March 21, 1998
Place: Lubbock Municipal Coliseum (8,174), Lubbock, Texas (Texas Tech University host)
Time: 1:30 p.m. CST local/2:30 p.m. EST (Indiana)
Television: Live on ESPN2. Dave Barnett (play-by-play), Nancy Liberman-Cline (color analysis), Bryan Carter (producer), John McDonough (director)
Radio: All Notre Dame games are broadcast on WHME-FM (103.1 in South Bend). Bob Nagle will provide play-by-play for the games.
Notre Dame (22-9) Plays No. -/22 Purdue (22-9) in NCAA Regional Semifinal:
Notre Dame, which as a sixth-seed last season was the lowest seeded team to advance to the NCAA Regionals, is tied with ninth-seed Arkansas (West Regional) as the lowest seeded teams to reach the Sweet 16 this season. The Lady Razorbacks and Irish are the lowest seeded squads in the regional semifinals since 1996 when Stephen F. Austin advanced as an 11th-seed and San Francisco advanced as a 12th-seed. Notre Dame is the only Sweet 16 team to advance by defeating two higher seeded teams.
The Irish advance to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season following victories over eighth-seed Southwest Missouri State (78-64) and Midwest Region top-seed and host No. 6/5 Texas Tech (74-59). The fifth-ranked Lady Raiders are the highest ranked team the Irish have defeated in the 21-year history of the program. Notre Dame has won 19 of its last 24 games.
Purdue advanced to the Midwest Regional semifinal game by defeating 13th-seed Washington and 12th-seed Colorado State (77-63) in West Lafayette, Ind.
Notre Dame and Purdue will meet for the 10th time with the Boilermakers owning a 7-2 advantage. The Irish and Boilermakers, which have played the last seven seasons, met earlier this year at the Joyce Center in Notre Dame, Ind. with the Irish claiming a 77-71 victory on December 10. The state rivals also met in a 1996 NCAA first round game in Lubbock, Texas with Notre Dame claiming its first victory over the Boilermakers and first NCAA tournament win with a 73-60 decision on March 15, 1996.
The winner takes on the winner of the Louisiana Tech-Alabama game in the Midwest Regional championship game on Monday at 6:30 p.m. CST (7:30EST/Indiana) to be televised on ESPN. A Notre Dame victory would make the ninth-seeded Irish the lowest seed ever to make the Elite Eight since the NCAA tournament went to 64 teams in 1994 (Arkansas is also a nine-seed playing in the Sweet 16).
Probable Starters No. Player (Career Games/Starts) Pos. Ht. Cl. PPG RPG Other Top Note: 50 Kelley Siemon (31/29) F 6-2 Fr. 8.2 4.9 1.3 apg 29 starts in rookie season 00 Ruth Riley (31/25) C 6-5 Fr. 11.5 7.4 2.2 bpg Nine double-doubles; 59.8 FG Pct.; 5 20+ gms. 3 Mollie Peirick (127/117) G 5-11 Sr. 11.0 5.0 6.2 apg 13th ND player to 1,000 pts.; 11 ast. vs. TT 20 Sheila McMillen (99/37) G 5-10 Jr. 13.4 2.7 1.4 apg BE Tourney & ND record 8 treys vs. SJ 23 Niele Ivey (35/18) G 5-8 So. 8.1 3.4 2.9 apg Team-high 75 steals; 10.1 ppg in last 7 gms. OFF THE BENCH No. Player (Career Games/Starts) Pos. Ht. Cl. PPG RPG Other Top Note: 12 Danielle Green (56/14) G 5-8 Jr. 10.3 4.9 1.3 apg 9 pts. and 9 rebs. vs. UConn on March 2 42 Kari Hutchinson (95/7) G 6-0 Sr. 3.2 2.7 1.5 apg Hit 9 of last 10 treys (90.0 pct.) 40 Diana Braendly (61/0) C 6-4 Jr. 3.8 2.3 0.9 apg Played nine or more minutes in 11 of last 12 32 Julie Henderson (67/3) F/C 6-3 So. 4.3 3.0 0.7 apg Career high 14 points, 8 rebs. vs. St. John's 44 Meghan Leahy (22/0) F 6-4 Fr. 1.9 1.8 0.3 spg Had 5 rebs vs. SJ, most since Jan. 31 41 Imani Dunbar (21/0) G 5-7 Fr. 1.0 0.3 0.3 spg Career high 5 points against St. John's 25 Mary Leffers (13/0) F 6-4 So. 1.5 0.8 0.2 bpg Has played in five of the last eight gms. COACHES AND SUPPORT STAFF Head Coach: Muffet McGraw (St. Joseph's '77); 235-104 in 11th season at Notre Dame; 323-145 in 16th season overall Assistant Coaches: Carol Owens (Northern Illinois '80), Kevin McGuff (St. Joseph's (IN) '92), Letitia Bowen (Notre Dame '95) Trainer: Bill Cowgill (Arkansas '94) Manager: Christy Grady (Notre Dame '98)
Notre Dame Looks For 400th School Victory:
First Round: (9) Notre Dame 78, (8) Southwest Missouri State 64:
Freshman center Ruth Riley posted game highs with 21 points and nine rebounds as the Irish shot 51.7 percent from the field in the victory. Junior guard Sheila McMillen scored 13 points on the strength of three-three-point goals, senior guard Mollie Peirick added 12 points and nine assists and freshman forward Kelley Siemon had 12 points and six rebounds as four Notre Dame starters scored in double figures. Sophomore guard Niele Ivey had nine points and seven steals, the second most thefts in an NCAA Midwest Sub-Regional game. The Irish held the Lady Bears to just 39.6 percent field goal shooting and forced 25 turnovers in advancing to the second round.
Second Round: (9) Notre Dame 74, (1) Texas Tech 59:
The Irish trailed 29-26 at intermission. But freshman center Ruth Riley, who picked up two fouls in the first 47 seconds of the game and sat on the bench the remainder of the first half, tallied 23 points and eight rebounds - all in the second half as Notre Dame rallied for a 15-point win. Notre Dame connected on 18-of-29 second half field goal attempts for 62.1 percent in outscoring the Lady Raiders 48-30 after intermission.
Texas Tech led 36-30 after Julie Lake connected on a three-point goal with 17:04 left in regulation. The Irish responded with nine consecutive points - seven by Riley - to take a 39-36 lead.
Notre Dame took the lead for good when junior guard Sheila McMillen connected on two free throws with 8:53 remaining to give the Irish a 45-44 advantage. That was a start of a 12-0 Irish spurt over the next 2:20 that gave Notre Dame a 55-44 lead. The Lady Raiders drew no closer than nine points the rest of the way.
The victory over fifth-ranked Texas Tech marked the highest-ranked opponent Notre Dame has defeated in the 21-year history of the program and enabled Notre Dame to join a list of eight other teams that advanced to both the 1997 and 1998 Regional Semifinal.
Notre Dame Makes Third Straight NCAA Tourney Appearance/Fifth of the '90's:
Notre Dame is one of 29 schools to appear in the 1996, '97 and '98 NCAA tournaments and the Irish are one of just nine schools to appear in the sweet 16 of both the 1997 and '98 NCAA tournaments.
The Eyes of Texas are on the Irish:
In 1995, Notre Dame played in the National Women's Invitation Tournament in Amarillo, Texas where the Irish went 2-1.
In 1996, Notre Dame traveled to Lubbock for the NCAA tournament. Texas proved to be good luck for the Irish as Notre Dame won its first ever NCAA tournament game, upsetting fifth-seed Purdue 73-60 before falling to the host school and fourth-seed Texas Tech 82-67.
Last season the Irish began their march to the NCAA national semifinals by defeating No. 11 seed Memphis 93-62 and upsetting the host school and sixth-seed Texas 86-83 in Austin, Texas.
Last week, the luck of the Irish continued in the Lone Star State as Notre Dame defeated eighth-seed Southwest Missouri State (78-64) and top-seed and host school Texas Tech (74-59).
Notre Dame now owns a 7-2 postseason record in Texas since 1995 including a 5-1 all-time NCAA mark in the state. Notre Dame has won four consecutive NCAA tournament games in Texas - three of which have come against higher-seeded teams.
You Can't Spell Cinderella Without ND:
For the second consecutive year Notre Dame advanced to the regional semifinals by winning a road game. Last season the Irish defeated third-seed Texas ( 86-83) in Austin joining Vanderbilt as the only teams not to host first/second round games and advance to the regionals. This season Notre Dame is joined by Arkansas, Kansas, and fellow BIG EAST member Rutgers as the only four schools to advance to the sweet 16 without playing an NCAA tournament home game. Notre Dame is the only team to pull the trick in both 1997 and '98.
Last season, sixth-seeded Notre Dame became just the third team in the history of the NCAA tournament to advance to the national semifinals without a top four seed (sixth-seed Alabama in '94 and eight-seed Southwest Missouri State in '91). Notre Dame was the lowest seed ever to advance out of the East Regional.
This year the Irish again look to make history. A victory in the regional semifinal would make ninth-seed Notre Dame the lowest seeded team to make the elite eight since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1994 (ninth-seed Arkansas has the same opportunity in the West Region semifinal).
Notre Dame vs. Purdue:
Notre Dame and Purdue have met once in the postseason with the Irish claiming a 73-60 first round NCAA tournament victory over the Boilermakers on March 15, 1996 in Lubbock, Texas. The victory by the Irish was the first NCAA tournament victory for the program and the first win over Purdue. Katryna Gaither led three Notre Dame players in double figures as she scored a game-high 18 points and added 13 rebounds. Beth Morgan and Rosanne Bohman each added 16 points. (Full box score and summary of this game can be found in the NCAA tournament history section).
Notre Dame led for much of the game and built a 10-point advantage in the first half on several occasions and had a 33-26 lead at intermission. Purdue got as close as two points (50-48) with 10:23 remaining, but the Irish outscored the Boilermakers 23-12 down the stretch.
The Earlier Meeting: Notre Dame 77, Purdue 71 (December 10, 1997)
The Irish were led by sophomore guard Niele Ivey with 16 points and freshman center Ruth Riley added 13 points as Notre Dame erased a five-point deficit with 7:32 left to play in the contest.
Notre Dame tied the game at 58 with 5:20 remaining when Ivey connected on her fourth three-point goal of the game. The Irish took the lead when freshman forward Kelley Siemon scored on a put-back basket with 4:31 left to give Notre Dame a 60-58 lead.
Purdue regained the lead at 63-62 before Ivey connected on a jumper and two free throws to put Notre Dame on top to stay.
The Irish connected on 32-of-40 (80.0 percent) free throw attempts in the contest. (Full box score of the game can be found later in this packet).
Notre Dame vs. Big 10 Conference:
Earlier this season Notre Dame lost at Wisconsin 89-77 on December 8 and defeated Purdue 77-71 at home on December 10.
Brief Look at Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament:
In 1992, Notre Dame made its first ever NCAA appearance as the No. 12 seed. The Irish played at Pauley Pavilion vs. fifth-seeded UCLA in the first round on March 18. The Bruins, behind 22 points and 15 rebounds from Natalie Williams defeated the Irish 93-72. Notre Dame was led by Michelle Marciniak who came off the bench to score 21 points. Current Irish assistant coach Letitia Bowen scored 18 points while adding a team-high 12 rebounds. UCLA outrebounded Notre Dame 64-37 in the contest. UCLA lost in the regional semifinal to Final Four bound Southwest Missouri State 83-57.
In 1994, the Irish played host to the NCAA tournament drawing the No. 7 seed and entertaining 10th-seeded Minnesota. The Gophers led by a point at the half and shot 65.0 percent from the field in the second half to upset the Irish 81-76 at the Joyce Center on March 16. Minnesota was led by Carol Ann Shudick who scored 19 points, connecting on 7-of-12 shots from the floor. Beth Morgan paced the Irish with 26 points while Kara Leary added 10 points.
In 1996, Notre Dame made some noise as the No. 12 seed. In Lubbock, Texas, the Irish upset fifth-seeded Purdue 73-60 on March 17. The Irish made 25-of-32 free throw attempts compared to 9-of-13 for the Boilermakers. Katryna Gaither led the way with 18 points and 13 rebounds while Beth Morgan and Rosanne Bohman added 16 points apiece. Stacey Lovelace led Purdue with 17 points and 15 rebounds. No. 4 seed Texas Tech ended the Irish run with an 82-67 victory in the second round of the tournament.
Last season, Notre Dame advanced to the national semifinals as a No. 6 seed in the East Regional. The Irish opened the tournament with victories over No. 11 seed Memphis 93-62 and No. 3 seed Texas 86-83 in Austin, Texas. Notre Dame advanced to the East Regional finals in Columbia, S.C. where the Irish disposed of No. 2 seed Alabama 87-71 and No. 5 seed George Washington 65-52 to claim the regional championship. The Irish were eliminated in the national semifinal by eventual national champion Tennessee 80-66. Notre Dame was paced in the tournament by Katryna Gaither who averaged a tournament high 26.4 points and 12.2 rebounds, and Beth Morgan who posted 22.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per tournament contest.
Quick Player Sketches:
* - Mollie Peirick, the only returning starter off of last year's Final Four team, is the only Irish player to have started all 31 games this season. She is the team's third-leading scorer (11.0 ppg.) and second-leading rebounder (5.0 rpg.). Peirick tops the team in assists (6.2), minutes played (31.5) and free throw percentage (83.8). A third-team all-BIG EAST selection, she scored in double figures in 19 games this season.
The 13th player in the program's history to score more than 1,000 points (1,029 career points), Peirick is second on the all-time career assist list with 643 assists. She has dished off eight or more assists in 11 games this season.
Playing in her third NCAA tournament, she has started all nine games and has averaged 5.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 7.2 assists. Peirick has also connected on 90.9 percent of her free throws (20-of-22).
* - Sheila McMillen, the top returning scorer from a year ago, leads the team in scoring with 13.4 ppg. and has been in double figures in 22 games. McMillen had a season-high 24 points in Notre Dame's BIG EAST tournament first round win over St. John's, her fifth 20-point outing of the season. In the game, she scored all of her 24 points on three-pointers as she connected on eight-of-13 from beyond the arc. Her eight three pointers established a BIG EAST tournament and Notre Dame school record.
McMillen is playing in her third NCAA tournament and has averaged 27.1 minutes in nine games. In the nine tournament games for Notre Dame over the past three seasons, she is averaging 8.6 ppg. while connecting on 17-of-36 (47.2 percent) of her three-point field goal attempts.
* - Ruth Riley was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie team and was a three-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honoree during 1997-98. She is the team's leading rebounder (7.4 rpg.) and shot blocker (2.2 bpg.) and is second in the scoring column (11.5). Riley, who has played in all 31 games and started the last 25, has registered nine double-doubles (including a Notre Dame record five straight in mid-January). She has been in double figures in 18 games and has grabbed 10 or more boards in 10 games.
* - Niele Ivey earned the starting job in January and has started all 18 of the 30 games she has played this season, which includes 16 consecutive starts. She missed the Pittsburgh game on February 15 after suffering a hip pointer against St. John's. Ivey returned to the lineup this season after tearing her right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the fifth game of the 1996-97 campaign. She is averaging 8. 1 ppg. and 3.4 rpg., while leading the team with 75 steals (2.5 per game). Ivey has been in double figure scoring in 10 games this season and netted a career-high 20 points in a loss to Connecticut at Gampel Pavilion on February 21.
In her two NCAA tournament games this season, Ivey has averaged 8.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 6.0 steals.
* - Kelley Siemon has been the only freshman along with Ruth Riley to play in all 31 games and has been a starter in all but two contests (Wisconsin and Rutgers). Siemon is averaging 8.2 ppg. and 4.9 rpg. and has netted double figure scoring in 11 contests.
She scored a career-high 20 points in Notre Dame's double overtime victory at UCLA hitting four-of-seven from the field. Siemon also was a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line in the contest. She had her only double-double of the season when she registered 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds in Notre Dame's win at Georgetown.
* - Danielle Green is the team's fourth-leading scorer averaging 10.3 ppg. and is third in the rebounding column with a 4.9 average. She started the first 14 games of the season and has played in 29 contests. Green has come off the bench in the last 15 contests she has played.
Green missed the entire 1996-97 season after tearing her right achilles tendon on the first day of practice (October 15, 1996). She has scored in double figures in 11 games and registered a career-high 22 points in a win over Providence. Green had her only career double-double when she scored 18 points and grabbed a personal best 12 rebounds against South Florida.
* - Kari Hutchinson has started three games (Wisconsin, Pittsburgh and Rutgers) and has played in all 31 contests. She is averaging 3.2 ppg. and 2.7 rpg. Hutchinson had the best game of her career in Notre Dame's loss at Villanova as she played a season-high 31 minutes, scored a career-high 12 points and grabbed a personal best eight rebounds.
Hutchinson played in all five of Notre Dame's NCAA tournament games a year ago.
* - Julie Henderson started the first six games of the season and has played in 29 games this season. She is averaging 4.3 ppg. and 3.0 rpg. and has posted double figures in scoring in three games. Henderson was impressive in Notre Dame's first round BIG EAST tournament game against St. John's as she netted a career-high 14 points and tied her season-high with nine rebounds.
She saw action in all five of Notre Dame's NCAA tournament games in '97 averaging 2.8 ppg. and 1.8 rpg.
* - Diana Braendly has played in 30 games and is averaging 3.8 points and 2.3 rebounds. She averaged 17.0 minutes in Notre Dame's two NCAA tournament games last weekend as she tied her season-high with nine points while grabbing a season-best seven rebounds in the Irish upset over Texas Tech.
Notre Dame Makes Another Run Into March Madness:
Season W-L Down The Stretch 1987-88 2-1 Won eight of final 10 games 1988-89 5-2 Won six of final eight games 1989-90 4-0 Won final 12 games 1990-91 3-3 Won 22 of final 28 games 1991-92 3-3 Won eight of final 11 games 1992-93 2-2 Won eight of final 11 games 1993-94 3-1 Won 11 of final 13 games 1994-95 4-2 Won 15 of final 18 games 1995-96 3-2 Won nine of final 12 games 1996-97 6-2 Won 21 of final 24 games 1997-98 3-1 Won 19 of final 24 games Total 38-19
The BIG EAST Tournament in Review:
Semifinals: Notre Dame lost to Connecticut for the eighth straight time as the Irish were beaten 73-53 by the Huskies and eliminated from the BIG EAST Tournament. Connecticut jumped out to a 17-2 advantage to start the game and forced 21 first-half Irish turnovers and held the Irish to under 40-percent shooting (36.6 percent) for the third time this season.
Connecticut, which had three players in double figures, shot 51.8 percent for the game, and knocked down 15-of-25 shots in the second half (60.0 percent).
The game marked the third consecutive year the teams met in the conference championship. In each of Notre Dame's first two seasons (1996 and 1997), the two teams met in the championship game.
Quarterfinals: Freshman center Ruth Riley scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds and junior guard Danielle Green came off the bench to add 17 points as Notre Dame defeated fourth-seeded Villanova 56-48 on Sunday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST tournament.
Notre Dame won its 20th game of the season marking the fifth consecutive year the Irish have won 20 games and the Irish have now won six of their last seven games.
Notre Dame led 20-17 at the half, but a 20-10 Villanova run to open the second half gave the Wildcats a 37-30 lead with 13:43 remaining. The Irish responded with a 15-0 run over the next five minutes. Green scored eight of her nine second half points during that stretch and gave the Irish the lead for good on a lay-up with 10:34 remaining in the contest.
The Irish used a strong defensive effort to key the victory. One day after allowing St. John's 57 points, Notre Dame held Villanova to 48 points and 32.7 percent field goal shooting.
First Round: Notre Dame scored the first 14 points of the game and built a 27-point halftime advantage as the Irish defeated St. John's 94-57 in the first round of the BIG EAST tournament.
Irish junior guard Sheila McMillen set a school record and a BIG EAST Tournament record connecting on eight three-point goals in 12 attempts en route to a game-high 24 points. As a team, Notre Dame connected on 13 three-point goals to break both a school record and league tournament record.
Notre Dame senior guard Mollie Peirick had 11 points, eight assists and five rebounds and became the 13th player in school history to score 1,000 career points. A native of Eureka, Mo., Peirick achieved the milestone on a three-point basket in the first half and ended the contest with 1,004 career points.
Sophomore forward Julie Henderson was also in double figures for the Irish with a career high 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Notre Dame, which led by as many as 48 points in the second half, used a suffocating defense to limit the Express to just five first half field goals in racing to a 47-20 halftime advantage. After St. John's opened the second half with a three-point goal, the Irish responded with 17 straight points to push the lead to 41 points.
Four BIG EAST Teams in NCAA Tournament:
Notre Dame, Connecticut and Rutgers remain in the NCAA field marking the first time in Conference history in which the league has had three teams advance to the Sweet 16.
This is the first year since 1993 that the BIG EAST has had more than three teams in the tournament. Four times (1993, 1992, 1989 and 1988), three BIG EAST squads earned NCAA berths.
The Conference has had a team in the Final Four each of the past three seasons -- Notre Dame in 1997 and Connecticut in 1996 and 1995. Over the last four years, the BIG EAST has posted a 24-7 mark in NCAA play. Since the league sent a team to NCAA Women's Basketball Championship in 1983, BIG EAST teams have compiled a 36-29 mark. Since 1990-91, the BIG EAST has gone 33-15 in NCAA action after registering just a 3-14 mark from 1983-90.
Following first and second round action: Connecticut is 22-8 in NCAA tournament games, while Notre Dame is 7-4 overall and 7-2 as a member of the BIG EAST, Miami is 2-4 in the tournament, while Rutgers is 11-9 overall, but this is the first time they are playing as members of the league.
Peirick, Riley Claim BIG EAST Honors:
Peirick averaged 11.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and led the team with 6.2 assists in 18 league games as the Irish finished with a 12-6 conference record.
Riley was the team's second-leading scorer in BIG EAST games with a 12.4 ppg. average. She led the team in rebounding and was second in the conference with 40 blocks. Riley also was named the league's rookie of the week three consecutive weeks in January.
Irish Post Fifth Straight 20-Win Season/Ninth 20-Win Campaign Under McGraw:
Head Coach Muffet McGraw:
Peirick Reaches 1,000-Point Plateau:
BIG EAST Roll:
Late Season Favored Irish:
BIG EAST Road Woes:
Irish in the Joyce Center:
Riley Has Nine Double-Doubles:
Riley's Double-Doubles: Here's a look at Ruth Riley's nine double-double performances this season: vs. Miami (19 points, 11 rebounds) vs. St. John's (10 points, 10 rebounds) vs. West Virginia (27 points, 12 rebounds) vs. Boston College (18 points, 11 rebounds) vs. Syracuse (29 points, 13 rebounds) vs. St. John's (13 points, 10 rebounds) vs. Pittsburgh (10 points, 12 rebounds) vs. Georgetown (11 points, 11 rebounds) vs. Rutgers (23 points, 12 rebounds)
Peirick Steps Up:
Peirick Moves to Second on All-Time Assist List:
Peirick Connects from the Line:
McMillen in the Groove:
Ivey Nets Career Best:
Green Provides A Spark:
Hills, Haney Sign with Irish:
Hills, rated the third best player in the state of Florida, is 34th on Blue Star Basketball's list of top 60 seniors in 1997-98. A two-time Class 3A first-team all-state honoree, she was named to the 1997 AAU All-America team after leading her squad to a seventh-place finish at the national tournament.
A three-year starter at Academy of the Holy Names, she has scored 1,853 points during her career, averaging 19.5 ppg. as a junior and 22.0 ppg. as a sophomore.
Haney, rated the 49th best senior by Blue Star Basketball, led her Toledo Catholic Central squad in scoring (16.0 ppg.), rebounding (12.0 rpg.) and blocked shots (3.0 blks.) last season. She earned first-team all-state, all-city and all-district honors as a junior.
An AAU All-American, she is a track standout and high school All-American in the 100-meter hurdles.
Helping to Put the BIG in the BIG EAST:
Henderson a Spark in Win Over St. John's
Irish Tough at Home Against BIG EAST Foes:
Irish Versus Ranked Opponents:
Big Ten Bonanza:
Over the Century Mark:
Leffers Joins Team:
Riley Makes the Grade:
Tidbits on '97 Final Four Run:
Notre Dame played in Austin, Tex. for the first two rounds, beating 11th-seeded Memphis 93-62 in first round and then upsetting third-seeded and 14th-ranked Texas on its home floor 86-83. Notre Dame then beat second-seeded and eighth-ranked Alabama 87-71 as the Irish used a 22-0 spurt over a 6:03 stretch in the second half to overcome a nine-point halftime deficit. Beth Morgan scored a career-high 36 points to set an East Regional scoring record. She connected on six three-pointers in the contest, a mark which also established a new East Regional mark.
Notre Dame earned the East Regional crown and its first-ever Final Four apperance with a 62-52 victory over 16th-ranked George Washington in the regional final behind 25 points and 16 rebounds from East Regional Tournament MVP Katryna Gaither.
Irish Have NCAA Tournament Experience:
Senior Kari Hutchinson was a member of last year's Final Four squad in her first-ever NCAA tournament experience. Also appearing in the NCAA tournament for the second time are juniors Danielle Green and Diana Braendly and sophomore Julie Henderson. Green and Braendly played in the 1996 tournament as freshmen, but did not participate in the '97 NCAA tournament, while Henderson saw action in all five games a year ago, averaging 2.6 ppg.
Making their first-ever NCAA tournament appearances will be sophomores Niele Ivey and walk-on Mary Leffers and freshmen Imani Dunbar, Meghan Leahy, Ruth Riley and Kelley Siemon.
The 1998 Senior Class
- Four-year record of: 97-34 (74.0 percent), tied for the most victories by any Notre Dame class
- Three NCAA tournament appearances ('96, '97, '98) and four postseason tournament appearances
- Four seasons with at least 21 victories including school-record 31-win campaign (1997)
- MCC regular season championship (1995)
- Four-year home record of 43-5 (89.6 percent)
- Four-year record of 54-29 (65.1 percent) away from home
- Four-year conference record of: 59-11 (84.3 percent)
- Three-year BIG EAST record of 29-7 (80.6 percent)
- One-year MCC record of 15-1 (93.8 percent)
- 10-game win streak (1997), nine-game win streak (1995), eight-game win streak (1998)