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#2 Irish Face Arizona State Monday In NCAA Second Round

March 24, 2014
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



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2013-14 ND Women's Basketball: Game 34
NCAA Championship -- Notre Dame Region/Second Round
#2/2 [#1 seed] Notre Dame Fighting Irish (33-0 / 16-0 ACC) vs. [#9 seed] Arizona State Sun Devils (23-9 / 11-7 Pac-12)

DATE: March 24, 2014
TIME: 6:30 p.m. ET
AT: Toledo, Ohio - Savage Arena (7,300)
SERIES: ASU leads 2-1
1ST MTG: ASU 82-57 (1/27/83)
LAST MTG: ASU 70-61 (3/21/05)
TV: ESPN2/WatchESPN (live) (Beth Mowins, p-b-p / Stephanie White, color)
RADIO: Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND (live) (Bob Nagle, p-b-p)
TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: UND.com
LIVE STATS: UND.com
TWITTER: @ndwbbsid

Storylines

  • Notre Dame has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship for the 17th time in the past 19 seasons.
  • The Fighting Irish will be facing a current Pac-12 member in the NCAA Championship for the third time in four years, having previously defeated Utah (2011) and Cal (2012).
  • No. 2 Fighting Irish Face Arizona State Monday In NCAA Second Round
    Following an efficient opening-round win in the NCAA Championship, second-ranked (and top-seeded) Notre Dame faces another strong postseason challenge, as the Fighting Irish take on ninth-seeded Arizona State in a Notre Dame Region second-round game at 6:30 p.m. (ET) Monday inside Savage Arena in Toledo, Ohio. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and the WatchESPN platform, while the Fighting Irish Radio Network broadcast can be heard live and free of charge at WatchND.

    Notre Dame (33-0) advanced to Monday's contest with a 93-42 victory over Robert Morris on Saturday afternoon. The Fighting Irish used a 30-6 first-half run to seize control, shooting .594 for the day to cement the win.

    Sophomore guard Michaela Mabreycame off the bench to lead five Notre Dame players in double figures with a game-high 16 points.

    Rankings

  • Notre Dame is No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll and is No. 2 in the latest WBCA/USA Today poll.
  • Arizona State is receiving votes in the final Associated Press poll and is receiving votes in the latest WBCA/USA Today poll.
  • Quick Hitters

  • Notre Dame won both the ACC regular season and tournament titles, becoming the first conference school to claim both crowns in the same year since Duke in 2002-03 (and the first ACC member ever to do so in its inaugural season).
  • Notre Dame went a combined 19-0 in ACC regular season and tournament play, becoming the first league school outside the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.) to run the table, and the first to go 19-0 against the ACC since Duke in 2002-03.
  • For the first time in the program's 37-year history, the Fighting Irish have won three consecutive outright regular season conference titles (following BIG EAST crowns in 2011-12 and 2012-13), and it's just the second time they have ever won three consecutive regular season conference titles of any kind (they shared the 1988-89 Midwestern Collegiate/Horizon League championship before claiming the top spot outright the following two seasons).
  • Notre Dame is the fourth ACC school to win the conference regular season title by at least four games, and the first since Duke in 2001-02.
  • Notre Dame is the first school to win the ACC regular season women's basketball title in its first year in the conference since the ACC began sponsoring the sport in 1977-78.
  • Notre Dame and Middle Tennessee (Conference USA) are the first NCAA Division I programs to win consecutive conference titles in different leagues since 2000-01, when both TCU and Louisiana Tech did so.
  • At 33-0, Notre Dame is off to the best start to a season in program history, surpassing the 23-0 debut by the 2000-01 club.
  • The current Fighting Irish school-record 33-game winning streak already has topped last year's 30-game run. It's also tied the longest winning streak by any Notre Dame team (regardless of sport) since World War II, duplicating the performance of the 2001 Fighting Irish softball team (33).
  • Notre Dame has won 26 consecutive home games, dating back to Dec. 5, 2012 (a 73-61 loss to No. 3 Baylor). The 26-game home winning streak is the second-longest in school history and tied for the second-longest active run in NCAA Division I.
  • The Fighting Irish have won a school-record 26 consecutive road games (and 42 of their last 47), tying the fourth-longest streak in NCAA Division I history and dating back to a 94-81 loss at No. 1 Baylor on Nov. 20, 2011, in the Preseason WNIT title game.
  • Since the start of the 2011-12 season, Notre Dame is 38-5 (.884) against ranked opponents (14-2 on the road).
  • Notre Dame stands at No. 2 in the AP and WBCA/USA Today polls, the third consecutive season that the Fighting Irish have earned the second position in both surveys.
  • Notre Dame leads the nation in field goal percentage (.514), part of seven NCAA statistical categories that the Fighting Irish rank among the top 11 (not including won-loss percentage, for which they are one of two remaining teams in the nation without a loss).
  • Notre Dame has appeared in the AP poll for 136 consecutive weeks (including the past 66 weeks in the AP Top 10), extending a program record that dates back to the 2007-08 preseason poll, and ranking sixth in the nation among active AP poll appearances. What's more, every current Fighting Irish player has competed for a ranked Notre Dame squad during her career, with the vast majority of that time (86 of 97 weeks) spent in the AP Top 10.
  • Senior forwards Natalie Achonwa and Ariel Braker, and senior guard Kayla McBride have helped Notre Dame to a 134-14 (.905) record in their careers, surpassing last year's senior class of Skylar Diggins and Kaila Turner, who helped Notre Dame to a 130-20 (.867) record from 2009-13.
  • Of the 14 losses suffered by the current Fighting Irish senior class, eight were decided by single digits (and three others by 10-13 points).
  • Notre Dame aims to continue its remarkable success at Purcell Pavilion, with the Fighting Irish owning a 399-90 (.816) all-time record in 37 seasons at the facility, including a 76-5 (.938) record since the arena was renovated prior to the 2009-10 season.
  • Notre Dame ranks fifth in this week's NCAA attendance rankings (8,683 fans per game), and is one of only two schools in the country (along with Gonzaga) to fill its arena to better than 90 percent capacity, something the Fighting Irish have done each season since 2009-10.
  • With a 106-72 victory over Central Michigan on Dec. 22, the Fighting Irish became the 27th NCAA Division I women's basketball program to record 800 all-time wins.
  • With 659 victories in her 27 seasons at Notre Dame, head coach Muffet McGraw ranks second on the Fighting Irish athletics all-time coaching wins list (across all sports), trailing only men's/women's fencing coach Michael DeCicco (774-80 from 1962-95).
  • With 747 career wins, McGraw has moved into 10th place on the NCAA Division I career list. She is one of two ACC coaches in the top 10 along with current North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell (second with 932).
  • The Notre Dame-Arizona State Series
    Notre Dame and Arizona State will square off for the fourth time on Monday night, with the Sun Devils holding a 2-1 edge in the abbreviated series with the Fighting Irish. Monday's game also will come slightly more than nine years to the day since the teams' last meeting in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Championship (won by ASU, 70-61 in Fresno, Calif.).

    The Last Time Notre Dame And Arizona State Met
    Kylan Loney scored eight points in the final 1:29 and finished with 20 and the fifth-seeded Sun Devils erased an early 13-point deficit to shock No. 4 Notre Dame 70-61 on March 21, 2005, in an NCAA Championship second-round game at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.

    Aubree Johnson had 12 points and nine rebounds and Amy Denson added 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench for the spirited Sun Devils, who gained the momentum on Betsy Boardman's buzzer-beating three-pointer at halftime.

    After Jacqueline Batteast'sputback pulled the Fighting Irish back to within 49-44 with 6:11 remaining, Emily Westerberg converted a three-point play on the other end for Arizona State, making an off-balance layup at 5:47. Kristen Kovesdy then answered a Notre Dame score with a fast-break layup of her own at 3:30 to make it 58-50.

    Batteast had 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in her final game for Notre Dame, which committed 23 turnovers, had only seven assists and went away from what had worked so well in the first half: pounding the ball inside. Megan Duffy, who brought the Fighting Irish back in their first-round win over UC Santa Barbara two days earlier, scored 20 of her 24 points after halftime.

    Her two free throws with 2:34 made it 58-54, then Reagan Pariseau hit a 12-footer at 2:06 and the Fighting Irish got no closer.

    Early on, Batteast, the BIG EAST Player of the Year and Notre Dame's leading scorer, had eight points and six straight during a key 16-3 run midway through the first half. ASU trailed by as many as 13 in the first half, but Boardman's three at halftime helped ignite a 12-2 run to open the second half as the Sun Devils grabbed the lead for good.

    Other Notre Dame-Arizona State Series Tidbits

  • Three of Canada's young women's basketball standouts will be in uniform Monday night, as Notre Dame senior forward Natalie Achonwa (a native of Guelph, Ontario), Arizona State sophomore guard Isidora Purkovic (a Calgary product) and Sun Devils' freshman center Quinn Dornstauder (a resident of Regina, Saskatchewan) representing our neighbors to the North.
  • Notre Dame has had just one player from the state of Arizona during the program's 37-year history -- guard Ruth Kaiser, a Tempe native, played for the Fighting Irish from 1981-85.
  • Following Saturday's victory over Robert Morris, Notre Dame is 2-1 all-time when playing at Toledo's Savage Arena (the Fighting Irish split a pair of games against the host Rockets, losing in 1990 to a UT squad led by former Notre Dame assistant and current Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly, then winning on its most recent visit in 1999).
  • Notre Dame has had 10 Ohio natives suit up in the program's 37-year history, including Toledo native Ericka Haney ('02), who was a starter on the 2001 Fighting Irish national championship team. Notre Dame will add another Ohio resident to its roster next season when Kettering native and 2014 McDonald's High School All-America forward Kathryn Westbeld arrives on campus.
  • Notre Dame vs. The Pac-12 Conference
    The Fighting Irish are 26-20 (.565) all-time against current Pac-12 Conference teams, with a 15-16 (.484) record away from home (road and neutral sites combined). Notre Dame also has won 23 of its last 30 games against Pac-12 schools since a 93-72 loss at UCLA in the first round of the 1992 NCAA Championship (in what was the first-ever NCAA tournament game for the Fighting Irish).

    Notre Dame will be playing its third Pac-12 opponent of the season, having previously defeated UCLA (90-48 on Dec. 7 at Purcell Pavilion) and Oregon State (70-58 on Dec. 29 in Corvallis, Ore.).

    Ranking File
    Notre Dame is 11-0 against ranked opponents (6-0 against top-10 teams) and has won 10 of those 11 games by double figures, the lone exception being an 87-83 victory at No. 8/6 Maryland on Jan. 27 (a game in which the Fighting Irish led by 22 points late in the first half).

    What's more, Notre Dame had several notable program achievements involving ranked teams this season:

  • With its 88-67 win at third-ranked Duke on Feb. 2 on ESPN's Sunday women's basketball package, Notre Dame earned its third road win over a top-10 opponent this season, something the Fighting Irish had never done in a single regular season campaign during the program's 37-year history (Notre Dame has numerous postseason road wins over top-10 foes).
  • What made the Duke win even more remarkable is that it was the third consecutive road game against a top-10 opponent for the Fighting Irish, following ESPN2 Big Monday visits to No. 11/10 Tennessee (86-70 win) and No. 8/6 Maryland (87-83 win) on Jan. 20 and 27, respectively.
  • In its final three games of the regular season, Notre Dame defeated three consecutive top-15 opponents by a combined 60 points, dispatching No. 7 Duke (81-70) and No. 14/11 North Carolina (100-75) at home before winning at No. 13/17 North Carolina State (84-60). It was the first time in program history the Fighting Irish defeated three consecutive ranked teams (according to the AP poll) in the regular season, let alone three that appeared in the top 15 of the media balloting.
  • Notre Dame then defeated two more top-15 opponents (No. 14/17 N.C. State and No. 10 Duke) in the semifinals and finals of the ACC Championship, giving the Fighting Irish five wins over top-15 teams in its last seven games, all by double figures, including three by at least 20 points and an average margin of victory in those five games of 22.2 ppg.

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