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Women’s Basketball: Irish outmatched by Boston College in NCAA first round

Ken Fowler | Tuesday, March 21, 2006

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Senior forward Brooke Queenan scored 18 points and added 11 rebounds as No. 8-seed Boston College ended No. 9-seed Notre Dame’s season Sunday with a 78-61 victory over the Irish in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Mackey Arena.

Irish freshman Lindsay Schrader scored a career-high 29 points on 12-of-23 shooting, and senior point guard Megan Duffy netted 15 points and five assists in her final collegiate game, but Notre Dame never found an offensive rhythm to counter the Eagles and dropped its first opening round NCAA Tournament game since 1995.

“Obviously, this isn’t the way I wanted to go out, and this isn’t acceptable for the Notre Dame program,” Duffy said.

Schrader and Duffy were the only Irish players in double figures, as no one else for Notre Dame scored more than three points.

“I thought Lindsay Schrader was outstanding today,” Irish head coach Muffet McGraw said. “I knew she would be ready, because she had some great practices the past few weeks … It’s unfortunate the rest of the team didn’t help out so much today.”

Boston College took a 37-26 lead into the half thanks to 52 percent shooting and strong rebounding for the first 20 minutes. In the opening frame, the Eagles had 26 rebounds – including eight on the offensive glass – to Notre Dame’s seven. Queenan alone equaled the Irish rebounding in the period, finishing the first half with seven boards.

“We definitely came into the game with controlling the rebounds as a goal of ours,” Queenan said. “I think we did a really good job of sticking to that game plan, [especially] getting some offensive rebounds.”

The Irish were handicapped in the second half as senior forward Courtney LaVere sat out the final 21 minutes of the game with a concussion. Queenan hit LaVere in the face while going for a rebound with a little over a minute remaining in the first half.

Eagles forward Aja Parham led the Boston College attack to start the second frame and finished with 16 points and four assists.

The senior scored six points in the period before Notre Dame finally got on the board. The Eagles held the Irish scoreless for the first 4:56 of the second half.

Queenan capped the 9-0 run by hitting a jumper with 15:24 left in the game to give the Eagles a commanding 46-26 lead.

Notre Dame chipped away at the lead over the next six minutes, using a 9-1 run capped by a Duffy fall-away layup with 9:46 remaining to cut the deficit to 55-44. But foul trouble prevented the Irish from getting any closer.

“I thought we were going to make a serious run, but we didn’t have the ability to substitute at that point [because of foul trouble],” McGraw said.

Notre Dame committed 18 fouls in the second half alone and 26 in the game.

Crystal Erwin fouled out with 4:59 remaining and received a technical as she was leaving the court to lead the Irish with six fouls.

“The more we fouled, the more we sent them to the free-throw line,” Duffy said. “And that’s just giving them easy points.”

Notre Dame sent the Eagles to the foul line 29 times in the second half, and Boston College converted on 22 of those attempts.

Five Eagles finished the game in double figures. Center Kathrin Ress scored 15, guard Kindyll Dorsey netted 10 and center Lisa Macchia added 10 points of her own off the bench.

“It shows what kind of team we are when a lot of people finish with double figures in scoring,” Eagles coach Cathy Inglese said. “I think [we] distributed the ball well. I’m extremely pleased with the effort coming off the bench.”

Boston College faces No. 1-seed Ohio State tonight at Mackey arena. The winner moves on to the Albuquerque regional semifinal to face Utah/Arizona St. (winner tonight at 11:45).