Kevin Pelton of StormBasketball.com has a nice summary of Day 1 of the State Farm Holiday Hoops Classic.
Notre Dame Shoots a Scorching 60% In the First Half To Win Seattle U Holiday Classic "Championship"
After getting a strong win against Gonzaga the night before, there was definitely the possibility that Notre Dame would come out a little slow tonight against a clearly physically overmatched Loyola Marymount team.
"You worry that you had all that intensity yesterday, it was a big win and you might not compete because you're tired and you're not focusing," said Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw. "I was worried about that but I thought we came out well."
To say they came out well might be an understatement - Notre Dame shot 60% in the first half to help mount an early 12-4 lead and never looked back on their way to a 91-47 win.
You have to commend Loyola Marymount for continuing to fight on Day 2 after Notre Dame came out so hot, but LMU was simply overmatched against a Top 25 Notre Dame team that continued their hot shooting from yesterday's second half. They've shot over 50% in every win this season until yesterday's win so this is nothing out of the ordinary.
After shooting 50% in the second half against Gonzaga yesterday, Notre Dame's continued shooting made an already difficult situation for LMU even more difficult. Notre Dame outscored LMU 54-20 in the paint on partially because of second chance opportunities, but also the result of smart cuts inside, excellent interior passing, and overpowering LMU for position on the blocks.
For Notre Dame, most impressive was their balance - as with yesterday's game against Gonzaga, they got solid performances from across the roster in the win. Most impressive was Devereaux Peters whose defensive ability all over the court made a huge difference for the Fighting Irish - in addition to her 5 steals, she deflected a number of passes, came out on the perimeter to contest (and block) three point shots, playing outstanding on-ball defense. She had 16 points while Kayla McBride played well for a team-high 20 points.
For LMU, guard Renahy Young played admirably finishing with a game-high 21 points, remaining aggressive throughout the game and getting to the basket repeatedly off the dribble using a combination of shot fakes and hesitations to get by Notre Dame defenders. But she and backcourt mate accounted for 38 of the team's 47 points which simply wasn't enough.
A few players to watch on Day 2.
De facto championship game:
Notre Dame: Natalie Novosel was outstanding, but forward Devereaux Peters was huge on the boards and will need to come up big again against a gritty Loyola Marymount team.
Loyola Marymount: After yesterday's win against Seattle University, Melanie Ysaguire talked about needing to go up strong to convert on second-chance scoring opportunities, and they'll need that again today.
De facto consolation (7 pm PST):
Gonzaga: Neither team thought they played well yesterday, but Gonzaga shot 28.2% in the second half when Notre Dame finally managed to create some separation between the two teams on their way to a win. It's unlikely that point guard Courtney Vandersloot will repeat her 4-for-14 shooting performance.
Seattle University: Salena Dickerson led Seattle U in scoring, but Amani Butler also came up big on the defensive and offensive end of the floor for the Redhawks. But the Dickerson also led the team with 5 rebounds and they'll need to be more effective on the glass to contend with Gonzaga, even if they are more of a finesse team.