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Green doesn’t bring Irish luck in Sweet 16

Heather VanHoegarden | Monday, March 29, 2004

HARTFORD – Notre Dame decided to wear green jerseys for its matchup with Penn State Saturday afternoon. According to coach Muffet McGraw, the team made the decision to wear the jerseys Friday night, as they brought both their regular navy jerseys and the green ones.

“We hadn’t had much success in the blue ones, so we thought we’d switch colors and see how that worked,” McGraw said.

Breona Gray added to the green with her green headband, and Katy Flecky and Anne Weese sported high green socks.

The last time the Irish sported green was last year in the Big East quarterfinals in Piscataway, N. J. In that game, the Irish lost to Villanova 50-39. In 2002, Notre Dame wore the green against Tennessee in its NCAA second round game, and lost big – 89-50.

The Irish are 3-0 at home, 0-2 on the road and 3-1 in the NCAA tournament wearing the green. Their last win in green came during their national championship season in 2001, when they defeated Alcorn State 98-49 at home in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The first time the women’s basketball wore green was in 1999, when they defeated Notre Carolina Dec. 4. at the Wachovia Invitational in Richmond, Va.

Coming to play

Jacqueline Batteast ended her junior season on a high note, unlike last year. Batteast finished with three straight double-doubles in all three NCAA tournament games. Before this year, she had only scored in double digits in one NCAA tournament game. Batteast finished with averages of 22 points and 11.7 rebounds in the three games.

“I’m so proud of [Batteast],” McGraw said. “I think she had a great tournament. She has really had a fantastic year.”

Saturday’s double-double was the 13th of the season for Batteast, and the 32nd of her career.

The two seniors

Senior Jeneka Joyce logged a season-high 30 minutes Saturday afternoon. She was 1-for-4 from the field, good for three points. She also had two rebounds. Going into the game, she was averaging just 14 minutes per game in 26 appearances. Her previous high for minutes this season was 25, against Pittsburgh Feb. 21 and Southwest Missouri State in the NCAA first round, a game that went to overtime. Joyce netted 16 points against the Panthers and six against the Lady Bears.

Meanwhile, senior starter Monique Hernandez played just five minutes, after averaging 15.9 coming into the game.