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    Fighting Irish

    Nov. 30, 1997

    McMillen's Career-High 29 Points Leads Notre Dame to 93-91 Double Overtime Victory over UCLA

    Sheila McMillen
    Sheila McMillen scored 29 points for Notre Dame Sunday.

    LOS ANGELES --- Sheila McMillen scored a career-high 29 points to lead four Notre Dame players in double figures as the Irish completed a two-game West coast road trip with a 93-91 double overtime victory over UCLA. The win was the first-ever for a Notre Dame women's basketball team in fabled Pauley Pavilion.

    Playing its third consecutive road game, the Irish improved to 3-1 on the season, while the Bruins dropped to 0-3.

    The double overtime contest was only the third ever for a Notre Dame women's basketball team in 20-plus seasons. The Irish had not played a double overtime game since January 9, 1992 when they beat Dayton 76-70 at the Joyce Center. The last overtime game Notre Dame was involved in during the regular season was at Seton Hall on January 2, 1996 in an 88-79 win over the Pirates.

    McMillen hit was nine-of-13 from the field and six-of-seven from three-point range. The junior guard from Rochester, Ind. missed her first three-point attempt, but made her final six from long range to tie an Irish school record for three-pointers made in a game.

    Freshman Kelley Siemon finished with a career-high 20 points as she was four-of-seven from the field. Siemon, who entered the game hitting just 52.6 percent from the charity stripe, was a perfect 12 for 12 from the line to tie a Notre Dame school record for highest free throw percentage in a game.

    Junior guard Danielle Green recorded her second straight 19-point outing as she finished eight-of-14 from the field. She also led the Irish with nine rebounds.

    Senior co-captain Mollie Peirick scored 10 points (all in the second half) and dished off 11 assists, one shy of her career best.

    Notre Dame, which was hitting just 60.9 percent from the line, was 23 of 26 from the charity stripe for the game, hitting 16 of 18 in the second half.

    After hitting just 37.5 percent of its shots from the field in the first half, the Irish missed only eight shots (21 of 33) in the second half and overtime (30 minutes).

    The contest couldn't have been closer with 19 ties and 19 lead changes. The two teams were tied 28-28 at the half, 67-67 after regulation and 79-79 after the first overtime. No team led by more than five points in the second half.

    UCLA was led scoring by Melanie Pearson who came off the bench and finished with a career-high 30 points. She led five Bruins players in double figures. Marie Philman finished with 17 points, while Tawana Grimes added 15.

    The Bruins, who also struggled from the field in the first half (32.4 percent accuracy), shot 55.5 percent in the second half (23-31).

    UCLA jumped out to an early 12-point lead in the first half. Melanie Pearson's jumper with 10:29 left before intermission gave the Bruins a 21-9 lead, its second 12-point advantage in the first 9:30 of the contest.

    The Irish then went on a 17-3 run over the next seven minutes and took the first time in the contest on Green's layup with 3:04 left to play in the first half.

    Notre Dame led by as many as five in the second half on three occasions, but the Bruins came back after Siemon gave the Irish 39-34 lead with 14:10 left in regulation. The lead changed hands nine times after that point.

    Siemon hit two free throws to put the Irish up by three (67-64) with 12 seconds remaining in the contest, but UCLA forced overtime when Pearson hit an off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer.

    Green missed an open shot in the lane at the end of the first overtime which would have given the Irish an 81-79 lead with just seconds to play. Instead, the two teams ended 45 minutes of action knotted at 79.

    Siemon's two free throws in the second overtime made the score 93-90. Grimes was then fouled on the rebound of a UCLA missed shot and hit the second of two free throw chances to narrow the margin to 93-91 with 21 seconds to play.

    The Bruins then forced an Irish turnover with five seconds to play and inbounded the ball under the Notre Dame basket. Philman took a pass into the frontcourt and fired from straight away at the top of the three-point circle. Her shot bounced off the front of the rim and Irish prevailed for their first-ever win at Pauley Pavilion.

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