March 31, 2001
By CHUCK SCHOFFNER
AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) - She shoots. She scores. She talks.
Well, two out of three anyway. Notre Dame's Alicia Ratay certainly can shoot
the ball and scoring has never been a problem. But talking?
Teammates smile when a question is directed to Ratay during a news
conference because they know what's coming.
"If you get more than three words out of her, you've done a good job,"
forward Erika Haney said.
By that measure, Ratay was absolutely verbose Saturday as the Notre Dame
players discussed their national championship game with Purdue on Sunday night.
Asked how the Irish would counter Purdue's physical play, Ratay prattled on for
all of, oh, five seconds.
"Try and come out aggressive with a lot of intensity and hopefully we can
come out with a win," she said.
There was no more. And no more questions for Alicia Ratay. But then, Ratay's game
never has been about talking. She's a shooter, pure and simple, one of the best
in the college game. A silent, stoic assassin, as Connecticut saw Friday night.
It seemed like Ratay hardly shot at all, yet she scored 20 points. She
finished 6-for-10 from the field, including 4-for-5 on 3-pointers. For the
season, she has made an astounding 55 percent of her 3-point shots. There are
players who can't shoot that percentage on layups.
"She's the best pure shooter that I have ever seen," forward Kelley Siemon
said. "That shot is so effortless. It's just a matter of whether or not she
wants to shoot."
Ratay's expression in a game changes about as often as she misses. She could
be 8-for-8 or 0-for-8 and her unwavering look would stay the same.
"I don't really talk much on the court," said Ratay, who averages 13
"I'm a sophomore," she said. "I look to the seniors as the leaders and
the people who are going to do the talking."
So what about later when she's senior? Isn't she going to have to talk it up
That question actually drew a laugh and a smile. "I guess I'm going to have
to," she said.
Teammates insist Alicia Ratay has a lighter side, that she laughs at their jokes
and cracks jokes of her own.
"If there is, it's a side I haven't seen," coach Muffet McGraw said. "The
girls actually claim she's hysterical and a lot of fun to be around. But around
the staff, she's pretty stoic."
Haney said you've just got to get to know her. Once the ice is broken, Ratay
"She's just a very unique person," Haney said. "I don't think you'll
ever meet anyone like Alicia. She's just so funny in her own way. Once you get
to know her, you'll just laugh at everything she does because she's so unique
and so funny."
Sunday night, though, expect to see the on-court Ratay - stern, silent and
"She's quiet vocally," Haney said. "But she's always heard on the court
when she's playing."