Freshman forward Becca Bruszewski scored a career-high 16 points in Notre Dame's 75-62 win over SMU on Sunday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Championship.

#15/19 Irish Face #14/13 Oklahoma In NCAA Second-Round Game Tuesday

March 24, 2008

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2008 NCAA Oklahoma City Region — Second Round
#15/19 [#5 seed] Notre Dame Fighting Irish (24-8 / 11-5 BIG EAST) vs. #14/13 [#4 seed] Oklahoma Sooners (22-8 / 11-5 Big 12)

DATE: March 25, 2008
TIME: 9:00 p.m. ET
AT: West Lafayette, Ind. – Mackey Arena (14,123)
SERIES: OU leads 1-0
NCAA: First meeting
LAST MTG: 12/30/86 (OU 57-54)
RADIO: ESPN Radio 1490 AM (Sean Stires, p-b-p)
TV: ESPN2/ESPN360/ESPN Full Court (live) (Dave O’Brien, p-b-p/Krista Blunk, color/Kim Anthony, sideline)
TICKETS: (800) 497-7678


  • For the fifth time, Notre Dame takes on a Big 12 Conference opponent in the second round of the NCAA Championship (3-1 record).
  • The Irish are looking to make their seventh trip to the NCAA Sweet 16, but first since 2004.

No. 15/19 Irish Meet No. 14/13 Oklahoma For Berth in NCAA Sweet 16
Two teams brimming with renewed confidence will take the hardwood Tuesday at approximately 9 p.m. (ET) when No. 15/19 Notre Dame faces No. 14/13 Oklahoma in the second round of the NCAA Championship (Oklahoma City Region) at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. The game will be televised live on ESPN2, ESPN360 and ESPN Full Court (pay-per-view).

The Irish advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship for the 12th time in 13 seasons with a 75-62 victory over SMU on Sunday afternoon. Notre Dame led by as many as 17 points in the first half before the Mustangs rallied to tie the game with less than five minutes remaining. However, the Irish buckled down and used a strong defensive effort down the stretch to spark an 18-5 game-ending run that carried Notre Dame to victory. The Irish also benefitted from an exceptional effort on the boards, when they held a 49-26 edge that included 24 offensive rebounds.

Sophomore guard Ashley Barlow had a solid all-around day with 20 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, collecting her third double-double of the season. Senior guard Charel Allen added 14 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the year, while freshman forward Becca Bruszewski chipped in with a career-high 16 points off the bench.


  • Notre Dame was ranked 15th in the final Associated Press poll and is 19th in the current ESPN/USA Today poll.
  • Oklahoma was ranked 14th in the final Associated Press poll and is 13th in the current ESPN/USA Today poll.

Series Notes: Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma won the only prior game between the schools, downing the Irish, 57-54, on Dec. 30, 1986, in the first round of the Seattle Times Husky Classic. The game was played the season before Muffet McGraw took over as Notre Dame’s head coach.
  • The Irish are 6-9 (.400) all-time against current Big 12 Conference schools, including a 3-2 (.600) record in NCAA Championship play. Notre Dame last played a Big 12 school on Nov, 14, 2004, defeating Nebraska, 73-57 in the second round of the Preseason WNIT at the Joyce Center.
  • Tuesday will mark the fifth time Notre Dame has played a Big 12 school in the second round of the NCAA Championship, with the Irish going 3-1 in their previous four such outings.
  • Tuesday also will be the fifth anniversary of Notre Dame’s 59-53 win at third-seeded Kansas State in the second round of the 2003 NCAA Championship, which sent the Irish to the fifth of their six Sweet 16 appearances to date.
  • Senior guard Charel Allen was a finalist for the 2007 USA Basketball U21 World Championship Team which won the gold medal with an 8-0 record in Moscow, Russia. Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris was a member of that squad, as was Purdue’s Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton.
  • Irish head coach Muffet McGraw and Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale both currently serve on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Board of Directors. Coale is the group’s president, while McGraw serves as the body’s Division I Legislative Chair.

Other Tidbits About The Irish In The NCAA Championship

  • The Irish are 24-13 (.649) all-time in the NCAA Championship, and with Sunday’s victory over SMU, they now have won at least once in 12 of their last 13 appearances (only loss: 78-61 vs. Boston College in 2006 at West Lafayette, Ind.).
  • Notre Dame has participated in every NCAA Championship since they joined the BIG EAST Conference prior to the 1995-96 season.
  • The Irish have made the NCAA Sweet 16 six times in the past 11 seasons, with their most recent visit coming in 2004 (55-49 loss to top-seeded Penn State in Hartford).
  • Notre Dame has reached the NCAA Women’s Final Four twice (1997 and 2001), going on to win the national championship in 2001.

Fun Facts About Our Program

  • Notre Dame has had nine All-Americans in program history, with current senior guard Charel Allen being the most recent honoree (2007 – WBCA honorable mention).
  • 12 Irish players have earned all-BIG EAST recognition a total of 26 times during the program’s 13-year conference membership. Three current players are among that group — senior guard Charel Allen (first team in 2007 & 2008), sophomore guard Ashley Barlow (honorable mention in 2008) and junior guard Lindsay Schrader (honorable mention in 2008).
  • Allen is the sixth two-time first-team all-BIG EAST selection in school history, joining Katryna Gaither (1996-97), Beth Morgan (1996-97), Ruth Riley (1999-01), Jacqueline Batteast (2004-05) and Megan Duffy (2005-06).
  • Notre Dame leads the BIG EAST with five players named to the conference’s All-Freshman Team in the past two seasons.
  • Current sophomores Ashley Barlow, Melissa Lechlitner and Erica Williamson made last year’s squad, while current freshmen Brittany Mallory and Devereaux Peters collected the hardware this season.

Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

  • has a record of 473-187 (.717) in her 21st season as Notre Dame’s head coach.
  • has a record of 561-228 (.711) in 26 seasons as a collegiate head coach (first five at Lehigh).
  • has guided Notre Dame to all 15 of its NCAA Tournament appearances, including its current string of 13 in a row.
  • ranks among the top 20 on the NCAA’s all-time wins and winning percentage lists.
  • named 2001 consensus National Coach of the Year, and has been a finalist for Naismith National Coach of the Year four times.
  • has been named conference Coach of the Year four times in four different conferences (East Coast – 1983; North Star – 1988; Midwestern Collegiate – 1991; BIG EAST – 2001).

Noting Sunday’s Win Over SMU

  • Notre Dame’s 75 points vs. SMU are the most for the Irish in an NCAA tournament game since March 30, 2001, when they defeated Connecticut, 90-75 at the Final Four in St. Louis.
  • Notre Dame improves to 14-3 (.824) all-time in the NCAA tournament as the higher seed.
  • The Irish had 49 rebounds, their fifth-highest total in an NCAA tournament game and highest since March 17, 2001, when they had a program-best 62 boards in a first-round win over Alcorn State at the Joyce Center.
  • Notre Dame’s season-high +23 rebound margin (49-26) also was its highest in NCAA tournament action since that 2001 win over Alcorn State (+28, 62-34).
  • Notre Dame had two players notch double-doubles in the same game for the second time this season (also Feb. 16 at Syracuse — Charel Allen with 22 points/12 rebounds and Erica Williamson with 14 points/11 rebounds).
  • Ashley Barlow and Charel Allen are the first Irish players to record a double-double in an NCAA tournament game since March 27, 2004, when Jacqueline Batteast tallied 22 points and 12 rebounds in a 55-49 loss to top-seeded Penn State in the East Regional semifinals at Hartford, Conn.
  • Notre Dame had four double-digit scorers in an NCAA tournament game for the first time since March 21, 2004, when it pulled off a similar feat in a 69-65 overtime win over 12th-seeded Southwest Missouri State at the Joyce Center.
  • The Irish had four or more double-figure scorers for the 17th time this season, rising to 16-1 in those games.
  • Notre Dame jumps to 21-1 this season when leading at halftime.
  • The Irish caused at least 20 opponent turnovers for the 20th time this season.
  • Notre Dame wore its alternate home uniforms (white/green) for the second time this season and first since Jan. 5 vs. Tennessee. Since the alternate togs debuted last year, the Irish are 3-2 in them (wins last year vs. Purdue and Louisville; loss vs. Rutgers).
  • Ashley Barlow scored 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds to record her third double-double of the season (and fourth of her career). She also finished with a game-high four steals. In two games in Mackey Arena this season (Barlow also played at Purdue on Dec. 8), she scored 42 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, shot 13-for-13 from the free-throw line, and swiped nine steals.
  • Charel Allen finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds to earn her second double-double of the season (and fifth of her career).
  • Becca Bruszewski scored a career-high 16 points, three more than her previous best set on Nov. 21 at Central Michigan.

— ND —