March 21, 1998
Notre Dame Falls to Purdue, 70-65
Associated Press Writer
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Stephanie White scored 22 points, leading No. 4 seed Purdue to a furious comeback and a 70-65 victory over Notre Dame in a NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal Saturday.
White, who also led the Boilermakers (23-9) with nine rebounds and six assists, hit a short jumper to begin Purdue's rally after the ninth-seeded Fighting Irish (22-10) had taken a 56-40 lead with 13:17 remaining.
With Irish star Ruth Riley on the bench in foul trouble, White scored seven points during a 20-5 run that drew the Boilermakers within one point with 6:47 left.
Riley, a 6-foot-5 freshman who had dominated Southwest Missouri and top-seeded Texas Tech last weekend in the subregional rounds, returned to the game and almost immediately fouled out with 10 points.
A jumper by Ukari Figgs gave Purdue its first lead moments later at 62-61. Purdue went 8-for-12 from the free throw line in the final four minutes to finish off Notre Dame, a Final Four team a year ago.
Sheila McMillen led Notre Dame with 22 points and Mollie Peirick closed out her Irish career with eight assists, but shot 2-for-12 from the field.
The Irish led 42-30 at halftime and led by as many as 17 in the opening minutes. McMillen shot 5-for-6 from 3-point range and scored 19 before the half.
In Monday's Midwest final, Purdue will face Louisiana Tech, a 71-57 winner over Alabama Saturday.