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Michigan-Notre Dame Preview

 

March 19, 2001

By the Associated Press

GAME: No. 8 Michigan (19-11) vs. No. 1 Notre Dame (29-2).
REGIONAL: Midwest, second round.
TIME: Monday, 7:07 p.m. EST.
SITE: The Joyce Center, South Bend, Ind.

After needing a comeback and overtime to survive the first round, Michigan hopes to have enough energy left to challenge top-seeded Notre Dame in the second round of the Midwest Regional.

The eighth-seeded Wolverines earned their first NCAA tournament victory since 1990 on Saturday, but had to use a lot of effort to do it. Michigan rallied from a 17-point second-half deficit to beat ninth-seeded Virginia 81-71 in overtime.

Alayne Ingram scored all of her 27 points after halftime for the Wolverines, who made 21 of 31 shots after intermission and rallied to win when trailing at halftime for the eighth time this season.

"What a great comeback by a bunch of kids who have never given up this season," said Michigan coach Sue Guevara, who won her 93rd game to tie Bud VanDeWege for the school record.

"The fact we keep coming back is a testament to these kids and the mental toughness they have. This is a blue-collar team and they always keep fighting."

The Wolverines will have to do plenty of fighting Monday when they face one of the strongest teams in women's basketball.

Notre Dame overpowered Alcorn State 98-49 in its first-round game. Ruth Riley scored 16 points for the Fighting Irish, who shot 54.5 percent from the field and had all 12 players score.

Riley, the player of the year, played only 20 minutes Saturday. The 6-foot-5 center likely will be needed more against the Wolverines, who have inside talent in Raina Goodlow, Jennifer Smith and LeeAnn Bies. Those three combined for 44 points Saturday.

"We are going to probably play a little zone," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "Their post players are very strong, very big and I thought they were the difference in the game."

Michigan has never been past the second round. The teams have split 10 meetings but haven't met since 1992.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Michigan - F Goodlow (10.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg), F Stephanie Gandy (7.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg), C Bies (12.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg), G Anne Thorius (8.5 ppg, 5.0 apg), G Ingram (11.8 ppg, 4.1 apg). Notre Dame - F Ericka Hainey (11.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg), F Kelley Siemon (11.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg), C Ruth Riley (17.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg), G Niele Ivey (12.2 ppg, 7.0 apg), G Alicia Ratay (13.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg).

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Michigan - At-large bid, Big Ten, beat Virginia 81-71 (OT), first round. Notre Dame - At-large bid, Big East, beat Alcorn State 98-49, first round.

ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Michigan - 2-3, 4 years. Notre Dame - 10-7, 7 years.

 

 

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