March 15, 2001
From the Associated Press
GAME: No. 16 Alcorn State (21-10) vs. No. 1 Notre Dame (28-2).
REGIONAL: Midwest, first round.
TIME: Saturday, 1:37 p.m. EST.
SITE: Joyce Center, South Bend, Ind.
Notre Dame, led by Player of the Year Ruth Riley, will try to extend
36-game winning streak at the Joyce Center as it plays host to Alcorn State
the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Riley, a unanimous All-American selection and winner of the Naismith
as the nation's top player, is not the only player capable of leading the
to what coach Muffet McGraw hopes is the team's first NCAA title.
The Irish also have a third-team All-American in point guard Niele
backcourt partner, Alicia Ratay, has made a nation-leading 53.8 percent of
Alcorn State finished the season with four straight wins, including an
victory over Grambling State in the Southwestern Athletic Conference title
on March 10 to advance to its second straight NCAA tournament.
Cherea Wood punctuated her selection as the league tournament's most
valuable player by scoring 34 points and pulling down 12 rebounds.
Wood, Alcorn State's top scorer, helped lead the Lady Braves to their
unlikely NCAA berth after they started the season 0-5.
Lady Braves coach Shirley Walker says the team is happy to be making
second straight NCAA appearance, but knows it faces a very tough opponent.
"We've got our work cut out for us, but we're excited to be going to
Bend," Walker said. "The only thing we can do is stay within our system and
do the best we can. We've played against some powerhouses before. We'll have
lot going against us, we know that. We'll try to play good defense and hang
with Notre Dame."
PROBABLE STARTERS: Notre Dame - F Kelley Siemon (11.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg), F
Ericka Haney (11.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg), C Ruth Riley (17.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg), G Alicia Ratay (13.0
ppg, 4.9 rpg), G Niele Ivey (12.2, 7.0 apg). Alcorn State - F Wood (16.8 ppg,7.6
rpg), F Aja Wellington (7.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg), G Queriston Haynes (8.0 ppg, 3.5
rpg), G Daisha Reed (9.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg), G Kamrica Turk (5.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg).
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Notre Dame - At-large bid, Big East Conference.
State - Automatic bid, Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament champion.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Notre Dame - 10-7, 7 years. Alcorn State -