Notre Dame beats Texas A&M to advance to Elite Eight

The Stress Test The Stress Test Will Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet Mc Graw ever be able to enjoy success more than she fears failure

The Stress Test The Stress Test Will Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet Mc Graw ever be able to enjoy success more than she fears failure

But lately, they keep bumping into each other.

Cale Morris made 30 saves, but the No. 12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish fell to No. 4 MA, 4-0, on Saturday night in the NCAA Northeast Regional Final at SNHU Arena (5,679).

Baylor will play second-seeded Iowa (29-6) on Monday night, with the victor advancing to the Final Four.

"I think we really have five All-Americans on the court", Ogunbowale said. But they are a very good defensive team. Their coaching staff is outstanding.

In essentially what was a home game for the Notre Dame women's basketball team, Texas A&M fought hard to ensure that if Notre Dame was advancing to the Elite 8, it wasn't going to be easy.

STANFORD 55, MISSOURI STATE 46: Alanna Smith and Stanford outlasted Missouri State, sending the cold-shooting Cardinal back to the Elite Eight for the third time in four years. The two schools often recruit the same players. Notre Dame ranks fifth with eight. VanDerveer has 1,067 victories in 40 years - 915 at Stanford.

All part of an effort that reminded the Irish they could be in for a few more battles as they go for another title.

"The bigger the moment, the bigger she plays", McGraw said of Ogunbowale. "She gets pretty good players, but she makes them better".

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But then they opened the game up with a big second quarter to stretch their lead out to 21 points, 67-46, at the half. Dragic, who has been slowed this season due to a knee injury, made his first start since December 10.

Was it just me ... or did it seem like Carter shot much better than her final 13 of 34 - which is what Joe Montana was in completions and attempts (with four interceptions) in the legendary 1979 Cotton Bowl 35-34 win versus Houston - for 38.2 percent?

With a bit of a sluggish start, the Irish offense, which averages 89 points per game, turned to Shepard, who took it upon herself to start the scoring for Notre Dame (34-3, 14-2 ACC), as the Irish were down by three over three minutes into the game - borderline uncharted territory for the squad.

The lone Irish loss there came two years ago ... to Stanford. The Cardinal returned the favor in the 2016 regional semifinals and rallied to beat the Irish in the Elite Eight in 2017. "We had better defense in the second half, so when we get rebounds and get in transition, we get a lot of points there".

Ogunbowale's self-proclaimed "Mamba Mentality" was on full display down the stretch, as she entered the second half with 10 points and exited with a career high. "You grow and you learn". But we always felt that people were waiting for us to trip and stumble and fall and we kind of did that at BC last weekend, but this weekend we redeemed ourselves.

This season, Ogunbowale surpassed Skylar Diggins as Notre Dame's career scoring leader, and she came up big again when the Irish needed it against Texas A&M on Saturday.

Or "Arike Ogunbowale's 12 points in final 7 minutes earn Irish a Sweet 16 victory".

But Shepard's lone weapon Saturday was not her ability to post up - the big also recorded six rebounds in the first half and eight in the second, turning up the heat for the Irish on the boards. She continued to roll, adding four more points in the second quarter and nine in the third.

Stanford shot a season-low 25 percent (17 for 68) in one of its worst offensive performances of the season. "We stressed it all year that we had a special group", UMass defenseman Cale Makar said, "and we can do special things". That was about as exciting of a hockey game as you can watch.

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