Jewell Loyd scored 17 points to lead the Fighting Irish to a quarterfinal victory over Natasha Howard and the Florida State Seminoles.
GREENSBORO, N.C.– Any teams hoping to derail Notre Dame’s perfect season would be wise not to let the Irish shoot 60 percent from the field (65 percent in the first half), lest you suffer the same fate as the Florida State Seminoles, who fell 83-57 in the ACC Tournament Friday.
The Irish had four players in double figures while Natasha Howard’s 29-point game was the lone bright spot for the Seminoles. Senior Cheetah Delgado, who had previously had a career-high game during the regular season against the Irish, was held scoreless by a Notre Dame defense that was credited with 10 steals.
“She actually had a career-high against us when we played them during the season so we were coming in geared up to play her,” Irish coach Muffet McGraw said of Delgado. “We knew that she was somebody capable of scoring.”
Notre Dame’s hot-shooting first half built a 22-point halftime deficit, which proved to be much too big a hole for the Seminoles to escape. One of the strengths of this talented Irish team is their unselfishness, which was once again on display against FSU. Notre Dame dished out 24 assists on the afternoon, putting 11 Irish players into the scoring column. In contrast, Florida State found it difficult to hold on to the basketball, eventually tallying 20 turnovers as they were eliminated from the tournament.
The Irish will now face N.C. State in the semifinals, while Florida State heads home to hopefully prepare for the NCAA tournament. The Seminoles’ RPI sits at 40, which should be good enough to get them into the field.