While many people like Notre Dame, not many thought they could do what they have never done before and that's beat Tennessee. Notre Dame was 0-20 in games against Tennessee until tonight and it's all because because of two things: defense and Skylar Diggins.
And while Skylar Diggins' performance was one for the ages - with 24 points and 4 steals - even she would agree that it was their team defense that suffocated Tennessee. Even at stages of the game when it seemed that Notre Dame's offense was stagnant, their defense remained constant.
Tennessee's offense was terrible to say the least as Notre Dame held them to 32% shooting for the entire game. And Tennessee's superstar freshman Meighan Simmons struggled all night as she only scored 2 points on 1-11 shooting. You could see by her body language during the game that Notre Dame had finally done what most couldn't: rattle the freshman to a point where she essentially was non-existent for the entire game.
Credit Notre Dame's defense because truly it was their key to victory. More to come later on.