Women's Basketball

@ndwbb
Notre Dame-Oklahoma Preview
Skylar Diggins scored 16 points against Oklahoma in the 2009-10 regular season and had 10 in the NCAA matchup (AP)
 
Skylar Diggins scored 16 points against Oklahoma in the 2009-10 regular season and had 10 in the NCAA matchup (AP)

March 25, 2011

Practice Day Photo Gallery | ND-Oklahoma Video Preview
Coach McGraw Press Conference | ND Players Press Conference
Coach/Player Press Conference Transcripts in PDF FormatGet Acrobat Reader

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Notre Dame and Oklahoma have gone overtime to develop their NCAA tournament rivalry.

Two games, two overtimes, a split decision. There's a lot of drama whenever they play with everything on the line. And the NCAA selection committee has set them up to do it again.

The second-seeded Fighting Irish (28-7) play the Sooners (23-11) in a regional semifinal on Saturday. It'll be the third time in the last four years that they've played in the tournament, with their previous games setting a standard for fantastic finishes.

"I think the committee likes good television," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said Friday. "This could be one of those games."

Sure could. Both teams like to push the pace and pile up points. Both teams are on a tear. And both teams remember how their last two tournament games went.

The first came in 2008, when they played a second-round game in West Lafayette, Ind. The Fighting Irish overcame a five-point deficit and won in overtime 79-75, with Charel Allen scoring 35 points to lead the comeback.

"I forget the girl's name, but she ended up having 35 points for Notre Dame and I was like, 'Wow, welcome to college basketball, welcome to the NCAA tournament," said Oklahoma guard Danielle Robinson, who was a freshman at the time. "It's been back-and-forth with them."

The rematch came last year in Kansas City, where Oklahoma got its fourth overtime win of the season - a school record - and beat the second-seeded Fighting Irish 77-72 in a pulsating regional semifinal. Nyeshia Stevenson made a tiebreaking 3 with 4.4 seconds left in overtime to decide it.

"It's a little bit of a rivalry between us," Notre Dame center Brittany Mallory said. "I think we are all ready for it to be a great game."

It has the ingredients.

Notre Dame is a No. 2 seed again, known for its fast-scoring offense. The Fighting Irish have won nine games by at least 35 points - a school record - and scored at least 90 points eight times this season, also a school record. Once they get a rebound or steal, they get moving.

Sixth-seeded Oklahoma likes to push the pace, too, led by its guard tandem of Robinson (18.4 points per game) and freshman Aaryn Ellenberg (16.4 points). The Sooners lost four of their last six in the regular season, but have gotten the offense rolling in the NCAA tournament with an 86-72 win over James Madison and 88-83 victory over Miami.

"I don't think we'll need the shot clock," McGraw said. "Just give the guy a break tomorrow. I think it's going to be an up-tempo game. Both teams want to score quickly. Both teams are going to get a lot of shots up."

If it comes down to a final fling, Oklahoma is ready.

Before every practice, the Sooners take turns shooting from midcourt. Robinson rarely misses.

"Danielle always shoots last, and I'll bet she makes nine out of 10," guard Whitney Hand said. "So if the game comes down to a half-court shot, I'm putting my money on us."

 

 

Event Calendar

Delta

November 3
7:00 PM
Roberts Wesleyan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
November 11
7:00 PM
Central Michigan Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 14
7:00 PM
WNIT Quarterfinals
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 17
7:00 PM
WNIT Semifinals
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 20
3:00 PM
WNIT Final
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

CBS Sports Network
November 22
8:00 PM
UL-Lafayette
Houston, Texas (Campbell Center)
November 26
1:00 PM
TCU
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 30
TBA
Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
December 4
1:00 PM
Valparaiso
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
December 7
7:00 PM
UConn
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
December 10
TBA
DePaul
Chicago, Ill. (McGrath-Phillips Arena)
December 18
2:00 PM
Toledo
Toledo, Ohio (Savage Arena)
December 20
TBA
Michigan State
East Lansing, Mich. (Breslin Center)
December 27
TBA
Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tenn. (McKenzie Arena)
December 29
7:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C. (Reynolds Coliseum)

ACC Network Extra
January 2
7:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (McCamish Pavilion)
January 5
7:00 PM
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
January 8
3:00 PM
Miami
Coral Gables, Fla. (BankUnited Center)

ESPN Flex
January 12
7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Notre Dame, Ind.

ACC Network Extra
January 16
7:00 PM
Tennessee
Knoxville, Tenn. (Thompson-Boling Arena)

ESPN2
January 19
7:00 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Conte Forum)
January 22
12:00 PM
North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Carmichael Arena)

ESPNU
January 26
7:00 PM
Duke
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
January 29
12:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPNU
February 2
7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va. (Cassell Coliseum)
February 6
7:00 PM
Louisville
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
February 12
1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
February 16
7:00 PM
Clemson
Clemson, S.C. (Littlejohn Coliseum)
February 19
5:00 PM
Syracuse
Syracuse, N.Y. (Carrier Dome)

ESPN2
February 23
7:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
February 26
1:00 PM
Florida State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
March 17
TBA
NCAA First/Second Rounds
TBD
March 24
TBA
NCAA Regionals
TBD
March 31
TBA
NCAA Semifinals
Dallas, Texas (American Airlines Center)
April 2
TBA
NCAA Final
Dallas, Texas (American Airlines Center)

Shop Now

Medifast

Auctions

Official ND Online Auctions // Bid Now »

Gear Store

Get your Official ND Gear // Shop Now »

Photo Galleries

Canon

St. Joseph Health System Nissan Delta Canon Visit South Bend Mishawaka