CHICAGO – After Saturday's win in the regional semifinal, Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer insisted her team would have to play better – more specifically, shoot better – if they wanted to get past Notre Dame on Monday.
And after an anemic first few minutes, Stanford has done so, shooting 41.2 percent from the field to take a 33-26 lead over Notre Dame at halftime.
Even more notably for the Cardinal, Notre Dame seems to have been infected by the same bug that plagued Stanford on Saturday. The Irish are shooting 10 for 39, a mix of poor shots thrown up in frustration and attempts that rolled around the rim before falling away.
Arike Ogunbowale hit the first basket of the game and then went cold until the second quarter, but now leads Notre Dame with eight points. Brianna Turner and Jackie Young each have six. Jessica Shepard has seven rebounds.
Alanna Smith of Stanford is well on her way to a double-double with 10 points and seven rebounds, while Kiana Williams has scored eight points.
The Irish, who were dominant under the basket and easily out-rebounded Texas A&M in the regional semifinal on Saturday, are not replicating the performance tonight. Stanford leads the rebounding battle 28-22.