Women's NCAA Tournament Norfolk Second Round Game Breakdowns

Notre Dame Women's College Basketball

Women's NCAA Tournament Norfolk Second Round Game Breakdowns


#1 Notre Dame vs. #9 Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa)

Notre Dame dropped 97 points on Tennessee-Martin during the first round matchup on Sunday. The Irish were able to dominate the paint and Jewell Loyd scored 27 points, while Kayla McBride added 22. Notre Dame may not slow down much against Iowa. The Hawkeyes dropped Miami on their home floor on Sunday night thanks to a great performance by sophomore point guard Samantha Logic. Playing at home is nice, but there is a big difference this year between Miami and Notre Dame. The Hawkeyes will have to be hitting on all cylinders to keep up with the top seed. However, with Theairra Taylor, Jaime Printy, Morgan Johnson and Melissa Dixon, Iowa does have plenty of scoring options. Finding some way to stop McBride, Loyd and all-everything Skylar Diggins will be the more difficult part.


#4 South Carolina vs. #12 Kansas (Boulder, Colorado)

As usual, South Carolina’s defense was too much for an inferior opponent like South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits shot just 32.7 percent from the floor and 21.4 percent from beyond the arc. The Gamecocks defense will have a bit more of a test from an upset-minded Kansas squad. The Jayhawks have been here before. Last year they beat Nebraska in the first round and moved onto the Sweet Sixteen with a win over Delaware. This time around their first victim was Colorado. Kansas got out to a ten point halftime lead and never looked back, beating the Buffaloes 67-52 in Boulder. The Jayhawks had five players reach double digits in the scoring column against Colorado, but turnovers were once again a problem. KU will not be able to afford to commit 19 turnovers against South Carolina’s slow it down team. Every possession will be very important and the Gamecocks always do a great job of taking advantage of their opponent’s mistakes.


#3 Texas A&M vs. #6 Nebraska (College Station, Texas)

Maybe it took a little longer than expected, but Texas A&M pulled away from Wichita State and ended up with an easy 71-45 victory at home. Their balanced scoring and toughness in the paint wore down the cold shooting Shockers. Meanwhile, Nebraska avoided another upset by beating Chattanooga 73-59. Jordan Hooper had her way with the Mocs frontcourt, scoring 21 points and grabbing a dozen rebounds. Chattanooga shot the ball relatively well from outside, but they could not stop the interior scorers of the Cornhuskers. Perhaps the most telling statistic is the fact that Chattanooga went to the free-throw line once, while Nebraska made 23 trips. Hooper will go up against Kristi Bellock in a very intriguing battle in the paint. Neither Texas A&M nor Nebraska are particularly efficient from outside the arc, but whoever can knock down some three-pointers could give a huge boost to the production of their talented interior scorers. Hooper is one of those shooters as she can score from anywhere on the floor, but watch out for guard Lindsey Moore joining in on the scoring fun. If that happens, Nebraska could pull off a big upset on the road.


#2 Duke vs. #7 Oklahoma State (Durham, North Carolina)

Eventually Duke pulled away from Hampton in their 67-51 First Round win in Durham, but the Blue Devils allowed the Pirates to come back from a 17-point halftime deficit and make things a bit interesting down the stretch. Oklahoma State got a great game out of forward Toni Young, who scored 20 of her 25 points in the first half during the Cowgirls victory over DePaul. These are two teams with very efficient and potent offenses. Heading into the postseason, Duke averaged 75.0 points per game, while OSU was at 74.6. Both ranked in the top dozen in field-goal percentage. Both are also among the nation’s best rebounding squads. If all of that holds true, this will be a game about turnovers and defense. The turnover advantage goes to Oklahoma State, but the defensive advantage goes to Duke. Playing at home will not hurt Duke’s chances of denying the Cowgirls a trip to the Sweet Sixteen either.


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