November 17, 1996

Notre Dame Shocks Sixth-Ranked Iowa

Gaither pours in 27 points and grabs 14 rebounds to lead the 20th-ranked Irish past the Hawkeyes.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — All-American Katryna Gaither hadgame-highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds as the 20th-ranked NotreDame women’s basketball team recorded its biggest upset inschool history as the Irish defeated sixth-ranked Iowa 61-50 atCarver Hawkeye Arena in second round action of the Women’sNational Invitation Tournament.

The victory earns Notre Dame (2-0) a spot in the semifinals asthe Irish play fourth-ranked Tennessee in Shreveport, Louisiana.It was just the third-ever victory for the Notre Dame women’sbasketball program over a top-10 opponent. Notre Dame beatVanderbilt during the 1989-90 season and then knocked offLouisiana Tech the next season as both teams were ranked 10th atthe time of the game.

The Irish led the contest from start to finish as they took theHawkeyes out of their game. Gaither was simply remarkable asshe connected on 11 of 19 shots. Notre Dame jumped out to an 8-0lead in the contest with Gaither scoring eight of the team’sfirst 10 points.

Notre Dame led by as many as 12 points in the first half whenRosanne Bohman’s eight-foot jumper from the left baseline putthe Irish up 25-13 with 5:43 remaining in the first half.

Iowa closed the gap to four at 25-21 with 1:34 remaining whenTanegela Smith nailed two free throws. But the Irish scored thelast four ponts of the first half on baskets by Beth Morgan andJulie Henderson to lead 29-21 at the half.

Gaither scored the first basket of the second half to put theIrish up by 10 (31-21). After Iowa’s Angela Hamblin made a16-foot jumper from the left baseline to cut the lead to eight,Gaither gave the Irish an 11-point lead (34-23) as she connectedon the first of two free throws and then followed her own missedshot.

The Hawkeyes made a run at the Irish lead over the next threeminutes as Iowa cut the Notre Dame lead to one 34-33 with 15:35left in the game with a 7-0 run when Nadine Domond nailed athree-pointer from the top of the key.

Notre Dame then went on a 15-3 run of its own over the nextseven minutes as Morgan’s 18-foot jumper gave the Irish a49-37 lead with 6:01 left. Iowa came within five(54-49) with 1:55 left in the contest, but Notre Dame hit 7-of-9field goal attempts down the stretch to seal the victory.

For Iowa (1-1), it was their first home loss since February of’95. The victory for Notre Dame was its second straight over aBig Ten opponent. The Irish beat Purdue in the first round ofthe NCAA tournament last March.

Iowa returned four starters from last year’s team which advancedto the NCAA Sweet 16.

“To play as well as we did against a Final Four caliber teamthis early in the season is really encouraging,” said Notre Damecoach Muffet McGraw.

NOTRE DAME 61, IOWA 50

Notre Dame — Morgan 3-9 3-6 12, Bohman 1-2 2-2 4, Gaither 11-195-9 27, Pelrick 3-7 2-2 9, Augustin 1-3 3-3 5, Hutchinson 1-20-0 2, Henderson 1-2 0-0 2.

Iowa — Gooden 2-8 1-2 6, Smith 0-3 3-4 3, Hamblin 5-19 2-3 12,Domond 6-15 0-0 16, Herrig 0-2 2-2 2, Edwards 4-9 1-3 9, Koering1-1 0-0 2.

Halftime score: Notre Dame 29, Iowa 21. Three point field goals:Notre Dame 2-12 (Morgan, Pelrick), Iowa 5-17 (Domond 4, Gooden).Rebounds: Notre Dame 47 (Gaither 14, Morgan 8), Iowa 35 (Herrig7, Edwards 7). Assists: Notre Dame 13 (Morgan 3), Iowa 13(Gooden 3, Domond 3). Total fouls: Notre Dame 14, Iowa 17.Fouled out: None.