March 15, 1999
By MARY FOSTER
AP Sports Writer
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Latasha Dorsey saved her best for her final home game.
Dorsey, a senior guard, scored 24 points, including a career-best five 3-pointers, as LSU rallied for a 74-64 victory over Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA West Regional on Monday night.
“My shot was falling for me, so I was more confident shooting it,” Dorsey said. “I just didn’t want to lose on my home floor. It was very emotional. I just knew we needed this game, so I stepped up and did what I had to do.”
LSU, ranked No. 21, went on a 15-2 run over the final 6 1/2 minutes of the game as April Brown and Katrina Hibbert scored 3-pointers and Dorsey scored nine points, including a 3-pointer and four straight free throws.
“She did absolutely everything she had to, stepping up and hitting the free throws when she had to, and just a killer 3, a killer 3 in the last couple of minutes,” LSU coach Sue Gunter said.
The victory sends LSU to the round of 16 in Los Angles for a Saturday game against Louisiana Tech (28-2).
Hibbert scored 15 points for LSU despite sitting out much of the first half, Brown had 12 and Marie Ferdinand scored 11.
LSU (22-7) fell behind early in the second half as the Fighting Irish slowed down the game and shot a sizzling 85 percent from the field, to go ahead by as much as nine points.
No. 8 Notre Dame (26-5), after averaging just 19 turnovers a game this season, committed 27 against the Tigers and could not cope with their speed and pressing defense.
“We hurt ourselves,” a tearful Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “We had too many turnovers and poor free throw shooting. We’re one of the best free throw shooting teams in America and we were missing them.”
The Irish made just 9-of-15 free throws and missed four of six in the final eight minutes.
Ruth Riley led Notre Dame with 20 points and 10 rebounds. She also had four assists and three blocked shots. Danielle Green scored 19 points and Kelley Siemon added 10.
In the first half, LSU used its quickness to counter Notre Dame’s size and sharp perimeter shooting to take a 38-32 halftime lead despite being outshot 52 percent to 41 percent.
Notre Dame opened the second half with a 10-0 run to take a 42-38 lead at the 15:28 mark. The Irish shot 85 percent over the first 7:43 of the half to 35 percent for LSU, to stretch their lead to 59-51.
“I thought we were struggling a little bit from the outside,” Hibbert said. “We weren’t really attacking their defense.”
DeTrina White, whose 24 points against Evansville helped propel the Tigers into the second round, fouled out with 8:32 left. Hibbert, LSU’s leading scorer averaging 14.8 a game, played only seven minutes of the first half.