Saturday, December 27, 2014
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Notre Dame burns Arizona State Sun Devils to advance to Sweet 16

The next rounds of games are set for Saturday, March 29, and Monday, March 31.

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 8:53 p.m.

TOLEDO — Notre Dame is coming back home.

The second-ranked Fighting Irish overcame a sluggish first half to post a 84-67 victory over Arizona State in the second round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament Monday, March 24.

Coach Muffet McGraw's team will now play Saturday in the Sweet 16 in the Purcell Pavilion. The game times will be set later this week.

Tickets are still available through the Univerisity of Notre Dame ticket office.

Natalie Achonwa had 25 points and 11 rebounds for the unbeaten Fighting Irish (34-0), who have won their last 15 games by double digits, although the Sun Devils (23-10) kept this one close during a sloppy first half. Deja Mann scored 16 points for Arizona State.

Notre Dame led 32-26 at halftime before scoring the first six points of the second. Led by the 6-foot-3 Achonwa, the Irish outscored Arizona State 46-34 in the paint.

Kayla McBride had 22 points and nine assists for Notre Dame, which advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 12th time in the last 18 years.

The Irish are now two home victories away from a fourth straight Final Four. The regional semifinals and final will be played at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame will face the winner of Monday’s game between fourth-seeded Purdue and fifth-seeded Oklahoma State.

The Sun Devils committed two early shot clock violations and fell behind 8-2, but Arizona State was able to avoid an early blowout. A 3-pointer by Mann started an 8-0 run that gave the Sun Devils a 15-12 lead and forced Notre Dame to take a timeout.

Arizona State beat Vanderbilt in the first round despite foul trouble and turnovers, and the Sun Devils put Notre Dame on the line a lot as well. They also committed 14 turnovers in the first half, but they forced 12 by the Irish to keep the game close.

Notre Dame led 32-26 at halftime, but six points was its biggest lead of the half.

In the second half, Notre Dame shot 53 percent from the field to leave Arizona State behind. The Irish were whistled for seven fouls in the first 4:02 after halftime, putting the Sun Devils in the bonus early, but Arizona State still couldn’t keep up.

Loyd’s layup in transition made it 55-39, and when McBride added a 3-pointer from the left wing, it was 73-48.

In other words, another Notre Dame rout.

Loyd finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Achonwa shot 8 of 10 from the field and fell a point short of her career high, set Jan. 12 at Virginia.

Both teams finished with 22 turnovers, but the Irish had 19 assists to Arizona State’s five. Notre Dame made 25 of 32 free throws.

Adrianne Thomas scored 14 points for the Sun Devils, who had 11 players play at least six minutes but couldn’t wear down the Irish.

NOTRE DAME 84, ARIZONA ST. 67

ARIZONA ST. (23-10)

Mann 5-9 4-4 16, Amukamara 2-6 0-0 4, Brunner 1-6 5-6 7, Davis 0-8 2-2 2, Moos 2-6 0-0 4, Hempen 1-4 2-4 4, Hawkins 4-7 0-1 9, Burke 3-3 1-1 7, Thomas 3-6 8-8 14, Dornstauder 0-0 0-0 0, Normen 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-56 22-26 67.

NOTRE DAME (34-0)

Achonwa 8-10 9-12 25, Allen 1-2 2-3 4, McBride 8-19 4-4 22, Loyd 5-12 9-11 19, Braker 1-2 0-0 2, Holloway 0-2 0-0 0, Nelson 0-0 0-0 0, Reimer 2-5 1-2 5, Cable 2-2 0-0 4, Mabrey 1-2 0-0 3, Huffman 0-0 0-0 0, Wright 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-57 25-32 84.

Halftime_Notre Dame 32-26. 3-Point Goals_Arizona St. 3-14 (Mann 2-5, Hawkins 1-3, Thomas 0-1, Hempen 0-1, Davis 0-4), Notre Dame 3-6 (McBride 2-4, Mabrey 1-1, Loyd 0-1). Fouled Out_Amukamara, Burke. Rebounds_Arizona St. 31 (Brunner 10), Notre Dame 39 (Achonwa 11). Assists_Arizona St. 5 (Davis, Mann 2), Notre Dame 19 (McBride 9). Total Fouls_Arizona St. 27, Notre Dame 22. A_3,544.


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