INDIANAPOLIS – In the end, it was the trademark defense of Texas A&M orchestrated by associate head coach Vic Schaefer that propelled the Aggies into their first national championship. A&M won the title Tuesday night defeating Notre Dame 76-70 in front of a crowd of 17,473 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Aggies came out gunning on the offensive end as well with the tip from post player Danielle Adams going to starting point guard Sydney Colson who made a quick layup within ten seconds. However, Notre Dame was undaunted but fell behind by double digits at 13:37 when Adams made an easy layup. The Aggies were ahead by as much as 13 but a steal by Notre Dame point guard Skylar Diggins that led to a layup began an Irish run that culminated in a tie game at 1:34. Both teams had 34 on the scoreboard and Adams turned the ball over on an A&M possession and Diggins capitalized, giving the Irish a two-point lead (35-33) going into the break, the only lead change in the first half.
Notre Dame’s Devereaux Peters was the only player in double figures at the break. She had 10 points.
Notre Dame seemed the have control of the second half and built a seven point lead within the first five minutes but Texas A&M’s tank was not empty. Adams was determined to put the team on her back and earn a victory.
“I had a little voice in my head that said, ‘Don’t let this team down,'” she said. “And my teammates, every time we would get down, we would tell each other, we’re not going to lose this game. And, I mean, we fought hard, from day one, from 6 a.m. to practice. I mean, we worked hard the whole season to prepare for this point. And that’s what we did. And I just took the game over. I wasn’t going to let my team lose. I mean, they’ve been doing everything for me, so I decided to take them on my back and just let them ride on my back.”
On the strength of rebounding and defense that led to Notre Dame turnovers, the Aggies tied the game up at 13:57. For much of the next several minutes it was a back and forth contest between the two squads, with a few ties until Adams made a layup at 3:27. From that point on the Aggies led, stifling Notre Dame’s offense, and ended the game with a six-point lead.
Adams, named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, finished with 30 points and nine rebounds. Teammate Tyra White had 18 points and five rebounds while Sydney Colson tallied 10 points.
For Notre Dame, Diggins had 23 points, Devereaux Peters scored 21 and Natalie Novosel finished with 14.
All Tournament Team
- Most Outstanding Player, Danielle Adams (Texas A&M)
- Maya Moore, Connecticut
- Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame
- Devereaux Peters, Notre Dame
- Tyra White, Texas A&M