Women's Basketball

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Women's Hoops Edged By Texas Tech, 69-65
Notre Dame forward Kelley Siemon tries to get past Texas Tech's Keitha Dickerson for the loose ball.
 
Notre Dame forward Kelley Siemon tries to get past Texas Tech's Keitha Dickerson for the loose ball.

March 25, 2000

Box Score

By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Sports Writer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Texas Tech finished what Notre Dame started Saturday.

Aleah Johnson scored 18 points and Texas Tech rallied from a 17-0 deficit to beat Notre Dame 69-65 on Saturday in the NCAA Mideast Regional semifinals. The Lady Raiders answered that opening spurt with their own 17-0 run.

"I don't know if I've ever been in one that had that big a point swing, particularly not at this level," Texas Tech coach Marsha Sharp said. "You don't expect to have that many swings with that large a deficit."

It helped that the Lady Raiders (28-4) fell behind 11-2 in their second-round game against Tulane before pulling out a victory last weekend. Melinda Schmucker-Pharies said they never panicked.

"We knew that no matter what, 17 down, we still had the whole game ahead of us. We just had to come out and battle no matter what," she said.

Third-seeded Texas Tech will play top-seeded Tennessee, a 77-56 winner over Virginia, on Monday for a spot in the Final Four. The Lady Raiders advanced to their first regional championship since 1995.

Second-seeded Notre Dame (27-5) had won 23 of its last 25 games, which helped the Fighting Irish to a No. 5 ranking. They also had a decided height advantage inside thanks to All-American center Ruth Riley.

Notre Dame even scored the first 17 points of the game and led by as much as eight in the second half.

It wasn't enough.

The Lady Raiders pecked away at that lead with outside jumpers and finally took the momentum when Riley got into foul trouble.

"They never quit. They kept coming at us," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said of the Lady Raiders' pressing defense.

"They got us out of our offense, and I think mentally we got out of the game. Mentally, we saw the pressure, and we just backed down from it. That was a problem. We weren't able to execute."

 

 

Texas Tech tied the game at 46 on a 3-pointer by Melinda Schmucker-Pharies midway through the half. Johnson then took over, scoring eight of the next nine points. Her inside basket with 8:12 left gave the Lady Raiders their first lead of the game at 50-48.

Riley tied it at 50 but picked up her fourth foul seconds later. Katrisa O'Neal hit a free throw, and Johnson scored twice for a 55-50 lead that Texas Tech never lost.

Pierson finished with 13 points and nine rebounds for Texas Tech. Keitha Dickerson added 12, and Schmucker-Pharies had 11 and seven assists.

Riley, who wound up fouling out of four Irish losses, wasn't happy with some of the calls.

"I don't think I really fouled anybody. I think being 6-5 makes it obvious when I do have contact, and maybe it makes it easier to make calls like that," she said.

Notre Dame didn't get much help from Alicia Ratay, the Big East's freshman of the year. She only had two points. Riley had 19 points before fouling out, and Danielle Green added 15. Julie Henderson and Ericka Haney each had 10.

Riley jumpstarted Notre Dame with nine points in the Fighting Irish's opening run, which was helped by seven turnovers by the Lady Raiders in the first six minutes.

Texas Tech didn't score until 13:06 on a breakaway layup by Pierson, and that woke up the Lady Raiders. They got back into the game by scoring the next 15 and tying the game at 17 before Notre Dame went back up and led 28-23 at halftime.

Event Calendar

Delta

November 3
7:00 PM
Roberts Wesleyan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
November 11
7:00 PM
Central Michigan Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 14
7:00 PM
WNIT Quarterfinals
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 17
7:00 PM
WNIT Semifinals
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 20
3:00 PM
WNIT Final
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

CBS Sports Network
November 22
8:00 PM
UL-Lafayette
Houston, Texas (Campbell Center)
November 26
1:00 PM
TCU
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 30
TBA
Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
December 4
1:00 PM
Valparaiso
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
December 7
7:00 PM
UConn
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
December 10
TBA
DePaul
Chicago, Ill. (McGrath-Phillips Arena)
December 18
2:00 PM
Toledo
Toledo, Ohio (Savage Arena)
December 20
TBA
Michigan State
East Lansing, Mich. (Breslin Center)
December 27
TBA
Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tenn. (McKenzie Arena)
December 29
7:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C. (Reynolds Coliseum)

ACC Network Extra
January 2
7:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (McCamish Pavilion)
January 5
7:00 PM
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
January 8
3:00 PM
Miami
Coral Gables, Fla. (BankUnited Center)

ESPN Flex
January 12
7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Notre Dame, Ind.

ACC Network Extra
January 16
7:00 PM
Tennessee
Knoxville, Tenn. (Thompson-Boling Arena)

ESPN2
January 19
7:00 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Conte Forum)
January 22
12:00 PM
North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Carmichael Arena)

ESPNU
January 26
7:00 PM
Duke
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
January 29
12:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPNU
February 2
7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va. (Cassell Coliseum)
February 6
7:00 PM
Louisville
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
February 12
1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
February 16
7:00 PM
Clemson
Clemson, S.C. (Littlejohn Coliseum)
February 19
5:00 PM
Syracuse
Syracuse, N.Y. (Carrier Dome)

ESPN2
February 23
7:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
February 26
1:00 PM
Florida State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
March 17
TBA
NCAA First/Second Rounds
TBD
March 24
TBA
NCAA Regionals
TBD
March 31
TBA
NCAA Semifinals
Dallas, Texas (American Airlines Center)
April 2
TBA
NCAA Final
Dallas, Texas (American Airlines Center)

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