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Notre Dame beats Baylor 88-69 to get to Final Four

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 31, 2014 at 10:09 pm •  Published: March 31, 2014
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"That was huge," McGraw said. "We needed every single thing that she did. Jewell felt like she could score whenever she wanted. We were running things for her and she delivered on every possession."

By the time Sims hit a pullup in the lane with 5:32 left the Lady Bears trailed 31-24. The Irish led 44-32 at the half as Loyd, who earned most outstanding player of the region honors, finished with 21 points in the first 20 minutes.

Sims rallied the Lady Bears scoring the first nine points of the second half to cut the deficit to 46-41. After a Notre Dame basket Baylor was called for back-to-back offensive fouls — the eighth and ninth called in the game — and coach Kim Mulkey had seen enough, letting the officials know her displeasure. That earned her a technical foul.

The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes and Baylor closed to within 65-60 before Notre Dame took over scoring 16 of the next 20 points, including eight from the free throw line. The Irish were 30 for 33 from the foul line in the game.

During the game-changing run is when Achonwa got hurt. She went down holding her left knee and after a few moments got up with help and pointed to her teammates, telling them to get it done before heading to the locker room.

They followed their senior leader's advice coming away with the victory. And she joined them for the celebration on the court.

The win was Notre Dame's first against Baylor, which had won the previous four meetings — including a victory in the 2012 national championship game that completed a 40-0 season for the Lady Bears. Now Notre Dame is two wins away from becoming the eighth team to go through the season unbeaten.

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