Women's Basketball

@ndwbb
Notre Dame Celebrates First Women's Basketball Championship

 

April 2, 2001

By TOM COYNE
Associated Press Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Notre Dame was again a champion on Monday as it celebrated the triumph of the women's basketball team, the school's first national title in any sport in six years.

Players exchanged high-fives with hundreds of fans early Monday, and one player dove mosh-pit style from the stage into the crowd.

"We were ready to celebrate with someone and just so happy that they were there to celebrate with us," Irish coach Muffet McGraw said.

Some fans waited more than 2 hours for the team's arrival back campus about 2:30 a.m., entertaining themselves with the Golden Dome as a backdrop.

"It's just great to see any sport win a national championship," said Duong Ly, a biochemistry senior from Terre Haute.

The 68-66 victory over Purdue in St. Louis gave Notre Dame its first national championship since the women's soccer team won the title in 1995 and first in a high-profile sport since the football team went undefeated in 1988 under Lou Holtz.

The celebration early Monday had some football touches. As the team buses drove down Notre Dame Avenue to the Main Circle, where fans lined the street, the crowd circled their fingers in the air and let out a long "Ooooo," as they do before kickoffs.

The crowd then broke into a chant of "Here come the Irish."

All-American center Ruth Riley, who scored the final four points for the Irish, was one of the first off the bus along with teammate Meaghan Leahy. Together they sprinted through the crowd, slapping high fives along the way, as guard Niele Ivey made her way to the stage, carrying the national title trophy high over her head.

McGraw and several players tried to use a bullhorn to speak to the crowd, but it was hard to be heard with the crowd in the center of campus literally surrounding them.

"This is one of the greatest moments I've ever experienced," McGraw said as the crowd cheered.

Riley told the crowd: "We have nothing but love for you."

"I love you," a fan shouted back, setting off a round of laughter.

One fan carried a sign that read: "Ruth, will you marry me?"

The Irish women gathered in a circle and Riley asked the band to play the "Irish Jig." As the band played, the Irish players formed a circle and did the jig, a custom for the team before big games.

The celebration quickly broke up, in contrast to Purdue, where state police used tear gas to break up crowds that set fire to trash bins and threw rocks and launched bottle rockets at officers.

The only disturbance at Notre Dame was to those who were trying to study at nearby dorms. About 12:30 a.m. one student from nearby Alumni Hall tried to quiet the gathering of about 35 people by telling them that he heard the team would be an hour late, but it didn't work.

After the celebration was over, McGraw and her staff went back into the basketball office to watch a tape of the game's ending.

"We just wanted to see what it looked like because it was all so fast we're not sure we even remember it," McGraw said.

 

 

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)

Shop Now

Nissan

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