Notre Dame rolls, DePaul finished

Notre Dame rolls, DePaul finished
March 24, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Notre Dame's reward for earning a No. 1 seed was a trip to Iowa City and a date with Tennessee-Martin, which hardly resembled a No. 16 seed.

The Fighting Irish can go anywhere and beat anyone if they dominate the paint the way they did against the undersized Skyhawks.

Jewell Loyd scored 27 points and Notre Dame blew past Tennessee-Martin 97-64 on Sunday in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Kayla McBride had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Fighting Irish (32-1), who outrebounded UT-Martin 49-14 and enjoyed a 55-22 advantage in points in the paint.

"I thought offensively we really went after it," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "We're capable of getting to the backboards and boxing out. We did a really good job defensively."

Heather Butler scored 23 of her season-high 37 points in the first half to keep UT-Martin (19-15) in the game. But Notre Dame closed the first half on an 11-0 run and jumped ahead 60-33 with 17 minutes left.

Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins finished with just 10 points and six assists. But the Fighting Irish didn't need a big game from the guard in their 27th straight win heading into Tuesday's second-round matchup with Iowa.

"I thought their size bothered us," UT-Martin coach Kevin McMillan said. "There were some problems that we couldn't simulate, that we didn't have an answer for."

UT-Martin entered the tournament with one of the nation's highest scoring backcourts in the 5-foot-5 Butler and the 5-6 Jasmine Newsome, who combine for 45 points a game.

But Butler and Newsome never saw anything like these Fighting Irish in the Ohio Valley.

Notre Dame was up 10 in less than five minutes, hitting six of its first seven shots for a 14-4 lead.

But instead of folding, the Skyhawks put the ball in Butler's hands. She keyed a surprising 16-6 run, banking in a pair of 3s and hitting a layup off a nifty back cut to make a game of it.

"She can score in a lot of different ways," McBride said. "She's very quick off ball screens, knows when to pull up, knows when to take it to the basket. She gave us a lot of trouble out there."


 

DURHAM, N.C. -- Brittany Hrynko had been DePaul's top scorer and maybe its toughest competitor all season. The sophomore just couldn't knock down a shot for the Blue Demons once they reached the NCAA tournament.

Hrynko went 2 for 17 from the floor, including a 1-for-11 performance from 3-point range, in DePaul's 73-56 loss to Oklahoma State on Sunday in the first round of the Norfolk Region. Her struggles was the best example of DePaul's miserable afternoon on offense, including an 8 1/2-minute scoring drought that made it a one-and-done showing in the Blue Demons' 11th straight NCAA appearance.

The 5-foot-8 guard, who came in averaging about 15 points per game, finished with 11 and one assist against six turnovers.

"She's been a really good, tough player for us," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. "When she's not making shots, she needs to facilitate. That's just one of those situations where you just have to find the open man."

Hrynko came in shooting about 35 percent from the field and 32 percent from 3-point range. It wasn't the first time this year that she struggled with her shot -- most notably she went 0 for 15 in a loss at Connecticut in February -- but this was the worst possible time for it to resurface.

"She's had great nights for us where she does score the ball," Bruno said. "I just wish, 2 for 17 is a tough night."

For Oklahoma State, Toni Young scored 20 of her 25 points in the first half and finished with 13 rebounds.

Liz Donohoe added 14 points for the seventh-seeded Cowgirls (22-10), who blew nearly all of a 16-point lead before taking back control with a 13-0 run.

Oklahoma State shot 46 percent to earn its first tournament win in three years, sending the Cowgirls to Tuesday night's second round to face No. 2 seed and site host Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Anna Martin scored 12 points for the 10th-seeded Blue Demons (21-12), who managed to pull within a point with about 14 minutes left despite struggling on offense the entire afternoon. But DePaul missed 15 straight shots and went nearly 10 minutes without a basket during an ugly stretch.