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Purdue-Notre Dame Preview
Notre Dame will put it on the line Sunday night against Purdue when they battle for the NCAA Championship title.
 
Notre Dame will put it on the line Sunday night against Purdue when they battle for the NCAA Championship title.

April 1, 2001

GAME: No. 3 Purdue (31-6) vs. No. 1 Notre Dame (33-2).

ROUND: National championship

TIME: Sunday, 8:30 p.m. EDT

SITE: The Savvis Center, St. Louis.

A pair of teams from Indiana will determine which is the best in the nation.

Looking for its first national title, Notre Dame will try to beat its second recent champion in three nights when it faces 1999 champ Purdue.

The Fighting Irish advanced to their first title game by beating 2000 champion Connecticut 90-75 on Friday night. Notre Dame erased a 15-point second-half deficit and showed the balance that had the Irish on top of the polls for part of the season.

Player of the year Ruth Riley scored 18 points, but it was the play of starting guards Niele Ivey and Alicia Ratay that sparked the Irish.

Ivey, a St. Louis native, scored 21 points for her second 20-point outing of the season. Ratay, the nation's best 3-point shooter, was 4-for-5 from beyond the arc and finished with 20 points.

Riley had 16 points in the second half, continuing her trend of playing better after halftime. The 6-foot-5 center has averaged 16.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in the second half of Notre Dame's last three games.

She will meet a formidable foe on Sunday in Purdue center Camille Cooper. Cooper is 6-4 and has played many times against Riley.

"Every time we've faced Purdue, it's been a matchup between Camille and I," Riley said. "She's a great post player and you have to step your game up when you play against a player like that.

"I think we are kind of identical in the way we play our game, kind of old-school post. I think it will be a good matchup."

Cooper has something Riley doesn't - championship game experience. She was a starter on the 1999 team, along with All-American Katie Douglas, that won the title under Carolyn Peck.

The Boilermakers, who have won 12 of their last 13 NCAA tournament games, are trying to add another title under Kristy Curry.

Douglas was superb in Friday night's 81-64 semifinal victory over Southwest Missouri State, scoring 25 points. Cooper added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

To pull the upset, Purdue likely will need to rebound like it did Friday night. The Boilermakers held a 47-29 rebounding advantage.

"I just know rebounds win championships," Cooper said. "I wanted to give us second and third chances. I think everyone was crashing the boards."

The teams met on Dec. 9, with Notre Dame winning 72-61. The Boilermakers lead the series 9-3 and the teams have split a pair of NCAA tournament games.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Purdue - F Douglas (15.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg), F Shalicia Hurns (9.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg), C Cooper (14.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg), G Kelly Komara (9.5 ppg, 2.6 apg), G Shereka Wright (9.7 ppg, 1.8 apg). Notre Dame - F Kelley Siemon (11.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg), F Ericka Haney (10.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg), Riley (18.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg), G Ivey (12.1 ppg, 6.9 apg), G Ratay (13.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg).

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Purdue - At-large bid, Big Ten, beat UC Santa Barbara 75-62, first round, beat LSU 73-70, second round, beat Texas Tech 74-72, Mideast Regional semifinal, beat Xavier 88-78, regional final, beat Southwest Missouri State 81-64, national semifinal. Notre Dame - At-large bid, Big East, beat Alcorn State 98-49, first round, beat Michigan 88-54, second round, beat Utah 69-54, Midwest Regional semifinal, beat Vanderbilt 72-64, regional final, beat Connecticut 90-75, national semifinal.

ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Purdue - 26-10, 12 years. Notre Dame - 15-7, 8 years

 

 

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
9:00 PM
Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa (Carver-Hawkeye Arena)

BTN
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
8:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill. (McGrath-Phillips Arena)
December 18
2:00 PM
Toledo
Toledo, Ohio (Savage Arena)
December 20
7:00 PM
Michigan State
East Lansing, Mich. (Breslin Center)

BTN
December 27
6:30 PM
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)

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