March 19, 2000
* Coach McGraw
* R. Riley
* D. Green
* J. Henderson
By JR ROSS
Associated Press Writer
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – It’s not that Notre Dame did everything right. It’s more that George Washington did almost everything wrong.
The Colonials were able to get Irish All-American center Ruth Riley into foul trouble early but did little else right in losing to No. 5 Notre Dame 95-60 Sunday night in the Mideast Regional second round.
George Washington had its worst shooting performance of the season, a horrid 17-of-60 from the field, committed 19 turnovers and sent the Irish (27-4) to the free throw line 45 times.
“We were getting good looks in the first half, but we started pressing and kept missing and it just snowballed,” George Washington coach Joe McKeown said.
Still, Notre Dame’s third trip in four years to the Sweet Sixteen wasn’t pretty. The Irish committed 25 turnovers in an ugly game that featured 53 fouls and weren’t seriously challenged after the opening minutes with the Colonials (26-6) killing themselves.
After trailing by 18 at halftime, the Colonials made a run just once in the second half, closing to 54-39 with 13:12 left. But the Irish, who have often struggled with big leads, went on an 18-5 run and just kept pouring it on. They maintained a lead around 30 points most of the final period.
“We have a goal every game not to bring them back,” forward Julie Henderson. “Our mentality is to kill them.”
The Colonials struggled from the beginning, hitting three of their first 22 shots. But with Riley in foul trouble early, Danielle Green took over, scoring all 16 of her points in the first half.
The Irish went up 43-25 at the half after Green hit a pair of free throws with 7.1 seconds left, Monique Hernandez stole the inbounds pass and Henderson put back her miss before the buzzer.
“We had a good game plan. Obviously, you want to get Riley into foul trouble, and we did,” McKeown said. “Danielle Green just killed us. The end of the first half really killed us.”
Niele Ivey scored 23 points to lead the Irish, while Riley still managed 14 points and 10 rebounds in 17 minutes. Henderson scored a career-high 14 and Alicia Ratay had 11 for Notre Dame.
“I think we really played as a team and everyone did what they could at that time,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “I was afraid we would shut down the second half and only look for Ruth.”
Elisa Aguilar scored 15 to lead George Washington, while Marlo Egleston had 13.
Notre Dame will play the winner of Monday night’s game between Tulane and Texas Tech in the Sweet Sixteen.