Baylor rallies to beat Notre DamePublished 9:45am Thursday, December 6, 2012
NOTRE DAME – In a highly anticipated rematch of last year’s national championship game, the Notre Dame women’s basketball team again came up short against Brittney Griner and the Baylor Bears losing 73-61 in Purcell Pavilion Wednesday night.
Notre Dame started out well, building a nine point lead early in the first half. However, things would take a turn for the worse when its shooting grew cold.
Though they had plenty of open looks, the Lady Irish struggled mightily to get anything to fall shooting a woeful 35 percent from the field for the game.
Irish star guard Skylar Diggins had one of the worst nights of her storied career scoring only eight points going 4-for-19 from the field and 0-for-5 from behind the three point line.
“It’s frustrating,” Diggins said. “I have to make shots. I thought we could’ve won if I just hit a freaking shot.”
Defensively, the Irish did well in containing the 6-8 Griner at first but the All-American center got things going in the second half and powered her team the victory. She finished the contest with 24 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots.
“I thought we defended her well, we had her (Griner) taking free throw line jumpers which is where we wanted her,” Irish coach Muffet McGraw said. “If she can make that shot, you can’t guard her.”
Baylor also got back its starting point guard Odyssey Sims who had missed Baylor’s previous four games. She scored 16 points going 10-for-10 from the free throw line and also added six assists.
“It was nice to have her back. She’s the best point guard in the country,” said Bears coach Kim Mulkey.
The game also served as a homecoming of sorts for Baylor senior forward Destiny Williams who grew up and played her high school ball in Benton Harbor.
“I was really excited. I saw some familiar faces and got to play in front of my family and friends one last time in college. It was awesome,” she said.
Along with missing shots, points from the bench were an added concern for Notre Dame as its bench was outscored 14-0 in the contest. The Irish only had four players score a bucket throughout the entire game.
“I’m not doing a good job with our bench. I need to help them find their role on this team and so far I haven’t,” McGraw said.
Freshmen sensation Jewell Lloyd led Notre Dame with 24 points. She hit four 3-pointers and was effective driving the lane. Junior guard Kayla McBride and forward Natalie Achonwa added 18-points and 11-points respectively.
“I’m not upset with the outcome of that game. There were a lot of teachable moments where we can learn from, we missed some shots we usually knockdown, but we proved that we can play with that team,” said McGraw.
Diggins added. “We have some growing up to do, but we have time and we’ll build from this game.”