Notre Dame women end Hawkeyes’ season
IOWA CITY (AP) — Iowa overcame a late-season swoon, rallied to make the NCAA tournament and even posted a tourney win in front of an electric home crowd.
The Hawkeyes, however, were no match for a true national championship contender like Notre Dame.
Kayla McBride scored a career-high 28 points and top-seeded Notre Dame advanced to the regional semifinals of the women’s NCAA tournament with a 74-57 win over Iowa on Tuesday night.
Skylar Diggins had 16 as the Fighting Irish (33-1) extended their school-record winning streak to 28 games and finished 13-0 on the road.
“Turned the ball over too many times, gave up too many offensive rebounds, and you have to expect almost a near perfect night to beat a team like Notre Dame,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “We just didn’t have it.”
Iowa, which pounded Miami 69-53 on Sunday for its first NCAA tournament win since 2010, ends its season at 21-13. Bethany Doolittle scored 16 points for a Hawkeyes team which went 0 for 11 from 3-point range and had 21 turnovers.
“I think their defense really bothered us, especially their pressing. They kind of set the tone with that. Their ball pressure was very good,” Bluder said.
The favored Irish never let the host Hawkeyes take the lead. Though Iowa managed to threaten Notre Dame’s edge at various points in the first half, the Irish pulled away early in the second half and maintained a comfortable lead throughout.