2:00 PM ET, January 17, 2009
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) missed some easy shots, didn't play defense as well as coach Muffet McGraw would have liked and still came away with a victory over St. John's. Barely.The Fighting Irish, who led by as many as 11 in the second half and trailed by as many as five with 9:40 left, held on for a 70-67 victory when Lindsay Schrader deflected a 3-pointer by Kelly McManmon in the corner as the buzzer sounded.St. John's bench jumped up thinking McManmon, who fell down, was fouled, but there was no call.McGraw, who criticized the Irish (15-2, 4-1 Big East) for playing poor defense for a second straight game, said her team defended well at the end."We were switching on all the screens and Lindsay was able to just keep her hands up and get a little bit of a deflection," she said.St. John's coach Kim Barnes Arico let out a sound of disgust when asked if she thought it was a clean block."We will have to watch the film on that, but I have to decline to comment," she said. "But I'm very interested to see the film. I don't want to question the officials' call until I see the film."The Irish, who led 34-27 at halftime, extended the lead to 40-29 early in the second half on a three-point play by Erica Williamson. But with the Irish missing eight straight shots, the Red Storm (13-4, 1-3) used a 12-0 run to take their first lead. The Red Storm went ahead 52-48 when Monique McLean, who led St. John's with 17 points and eight rebounds, hit a 3-pointer midway through the period.The teams traded the lead five times in the last six minutes, including four times on four possessions. The final time came when Erica Solomon scored inside with 1:24 left to give the Irish a 67-66 lead. St. John's failed to keep up when De'Shena Stevens, who finished with 11 points, missed inside and Solomon came up with the rebound."I saw a lot of their shirts under the basket and all of a sudden Rock [Solomon] came away with the ball," McGraw said. "I don't know how she got it. That was just an incredible rebound, and they were just pounding us on the boards at that point."Solomon, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds, then made a free throw with 26 seconds left to give the Irish a 68-66 lead.Sky Lindsay made a free throw with 14 seconds left for St. John's to cut the lead to 68-67. Ashley Barlow, who finished with 13 points, made a pair of free throws with 13 seconds remaining to give the Irish the three-point lead.Schrader added nine of her 13 points in the final 8:07 and Becca Bruszewski also had 13."We made some huge plays down the stretch to win the game, which was really important for us to do after losing the lead," McGraw said.
|FG Made-Attempted||26-63 (.413)||25-55 (.455)|
|3P Made-Attempted||7-19 (.368)||6-13 (.462)|
|FT Made-Attempted||8-11 (.727)||14-17 (.824)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (0/0)||13 (0/0)|