Nov. 18, 1997
Notre Dame Posts 71-65 Win over Butler in Season Opener
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The Notre Dame women's basketball team, behind junior guard Sheila McMillen's 17 points, held off a second-half rally by Butler as the Irish went on to post a 71-65 victory over Butler in the season opener before 1,011 fans at the Joyce Center.
Prior to the start of the contest, a banner commemorating Notre Dame's first-ever Final Four appearance was unveiled.
Notre Dame started strong in the first half as the Irish built an early double-digit lead and led by as many as 22 with 4:20 to play in the first half. Notre Dame held the Bulldogs to 23.8 percent shooting in the first half and forced 12 turnovers. The Irish held a 15-point advantage at the half as McMillen canned a 16-foot jumper in the lane as time ran out.
Butler began the second half with a 13-6 run and cut the lead to eight, 45-37, on Lori Ives' jumper from the right baseline with 13:53 left to play in the contest. The Irish then scored six straight points to build a 14-point lead on McMillen's two free throws and back-to-back jumpers by she and Julie Henderson.
The teams traded baskets and the Irish led 58-46 with 7:35 remaining in the contest.
Butler cut the lead to four several times, but down the stretch, Notre Dame's young team kept its poise down the stretch.
Butler's Jennifer Marlow led all scorers with 20 points, while Sarah Schuetz chipped in 16, including 14 in the second half. Sarah Hurrle finished with a game-high 11 rebounds in the game as Butler dropped to 1-1 on the season.
In addition to McMillen, Mollie Peirick and Kelley Siemon were also in double figures scoring 12 points and 11 points, respectively. Peirick also fished with a game-high eight assists.
Notre Dame returns to action on Saturday, November 22 when the Irish travel to Durham, N.C. to face the 18th-ranked Blue Devils. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m.
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