Notre Dame, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Jewell Loyd netted a team-high 30 points
and pulled down five rebounds as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the
Baylor Lady Bears, 88-69, in the Notre Dame regional final at Purcell
Pavilion to advance to the Final Four.
Natalie Achonwa tallied a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds for Notre Dame (36-0), which will play the winner of Maryland and Louisville on April 6 in the national semifinals. Kayla McBride chipped in 11 points with five assists, and Ariel Braker scored 10 points with six boards and four steals in the win.
Odyssey Sims was the only player to net a double-digit point total for Baylor (32-5) on the night, scoring 33 points with five rebounds, six assists and nine turnovers. Sune Agbuke grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds in the loss.
Notre Dame connected on 45.7 percent of its field goal tries in the first half, which included a 1-of-6 performance from beyond the 3-point arc. The Irish took a 44-32 lead into the intermission after Baylor hit just 32.5 percent of its shot attempts from the floor.
The Fighting Irish dropped their shooting accuracy down to 38.7 percent in the second half, but went an impressive 19-of-20 from the free-throw line. The Lady Bears improved their shooting touch in the period, but only to 35.5 percent. Notre Dame increased its already double-digit lead throughout the second frame to remain perfect on the season.
Notre Dame outscored Baylor from the free-throw line, 30-15, and forced the Lady Bears into committing 17 turnovers in the contest that resulted in 19 points off turnovers.