Dec. 4, 1999
RICHMOND, Va. - Most freshman athletes spend their time adjusting to a
new system and a faster-paced game. One Notre Dame player, though is already
learning faster - and playing better - than anyone expected.
Alicia Ratay had 32 points and No. 11 Notre Dame shot 20-for-28 in the
second half Saturday to defeat No. 9 North Carolina 99-86 in the opening round
of the Wachovia Women's Invitational Tournament.
Notre Dame (3-1) will play Liberty in the championship Sunday while North
Carolina (4-2) will face Richmond in the consolation. Liberty defeated Richmond
94-75 in the tournament's opener.
The Irish led 42-39 at halftime, then started the second half with a 23-4
run led by Ratay's 13 points.
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said Ratay's play was unusual given her
"I'm very pleased with Ratay. You don't expect a freshman to take over in a
big game and she did today," McGraw said.
Ratay was an impressive 6-of-8 from 3-point range and 12-of-15 overall. She
also grabbed six rebounds.
Ericka Haney had 18 points and 14 rebounds and Niele Ivey had 17 points and
13 assists for Notre Dame.
LaQuanda Barksdale had 18 points for North Carolina.
"Notre Dame is a great team they did a good job against us," North
Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "Ninety-nine points doesn't say much for