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ACC: Irish Eliminate Duke, 55-49
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ACC: Irish Eliminate Duke, 55-49
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ACC: Irish Eliminate Duke, 55-49
By Rob Clough
March 7, 2015

Analysis and Stats (JS)

In memory of Jim Sabiston

Game Analysis

Why Notre Dame Won: They beat Duke at their own game by controlling the boards, going +6 on the game and winning second chance points 13-8. That helped them survive what was an otherwise sloppy game for them.

Why Duke Lost: The Devils simply couldn't finish at the rim enough and couldn't hit enough perimeter jump shots to unclog the lane. They also missed out on a number of crucial block-outs.

The Game Turned When...: Rebecca Greenwell airballed a three with under two minutes to go and Jewell Loyd scored after she grabbed an offensive rebound.

X-Factor: Michaela Mabrey, Notre Dame. Her three early treys gave Notre Dame an early double-digit lead, one they'd need because of future offensive breakdowns.

Key Stat: Notre Dame's 13-8 edge in second half points was the key to their win, especially because those offensive rebounds came at times when Duke was threatening their lead.

Areas for Improvement: Notre Dame's passing was far from crisp, as they had more turnovers than assists. They also didn't have nearly enough scoring balance as they usually did and had to rely on jump shots rather than their passing game. Duke got outrebounded and outhustled and once again couldn't finish at the rim.

Ramifications: Notre Dame will be competing for the ACC title against a hungry opponent and certainly clinched a #1 seed in Greensboro for the NCAA tournament. Duke did not embarrass themselves against the #2 team in the country and will almost certainly host an NCAA pod.

Duke Starters (from post to point)

Elizabeth Williams


Liz missed a number of chippies in the first half but did come back to score on a step-through and a late post-up. In the second half, she gave Notre Dame fits with her physical play, scoring 11 points in the half with power moves and grabbing tough rebounds. She played tough defense on Turner and had a tremendous block and rebound on her.

Amber Henson


Amber really struggled from the field in this game, as she missed inside and outside and was pushed around by Notre Dame's posts.

Azurá Stevens


Azura' scored on a high-low, hit a short jumper and scored on a drive in the first half, displaying her versatility. She had a stickback and long jumper in the second half, in addition to finding Williams inside. Stevens did have problems at the foul line and was muscled out of the lane a few times, and also had trouble finishing some shots. That said, she is a tremendous "next play" player who doesn't care about missed shots.

Ka'lia Johnson


This was one of KJ's best games in quite a while. She scored on a drive, a jumper and made a point of drawing contact so as to go to the foul line. She assisted on Greenwell's huge three pointer and played solid defense on ND's Lindsay Allen.

Rebecca Greenwell


Rebecca once again got locked up by Notre Dame's defense, who sent a chaser after her for portions of the game. She was able to score on a drive and hit that big three, but taking another three right after that wasn't the right move at the time. No one can question Becca's toughness in this game, as she hustled for loose balls and grabbed rebounds.

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Off the Duke Bench (in order of entry)

Kendall Cooper


Kendall hit a short jumper and scored on a dish from Williams. She also had a couple of assists into Williams and a dish to Johnson for a trey. Kendall also missed some shots, but she was well-guarded by a Notre Dame team that had obviously prepared for her.

Erin Mathias


Erin had a couple of spot minutes and grabbed a board.

Mercedes Riggs


Mercedes grabbed a couple of rebounds but had no other significant plays.

ACC: Irish Eliminate Duke, 55-49
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ACC: Irish Eliminate Duke, 55-49
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