The First Four of the 2011 NCAA Women's Basketball Finals

    It all came down to Notre Dame facing Texas A & M in Indianapolis for the coveted title. Two teams that surprised many an observer but not each other. In the end, A & M just had enough resolve and a big three pointer to earn the 76-70 victory, their first national championship. Time to take a look at the first four minutes of each half by possession.

First half: 

Notre Dame                                                           Texas A & M

1. TO                                                                          2 PT FG

2. TO                                                                          TO

3. 2 PT FG                                                                 2 PT FG

4. 2 FTs                                                                     Missed FGA

5. TO                                                                          2 PT FG

6. TO                                                                          2 PT FG

7. TO                                                                          TO

8. Missed FGA                                                          2 PT FG and Missed FTA

Score: 10-4 A & M

Offensive Efficiency: A & M  125  ND 50

Slow start for the Irish. The Aggies forced turnovers on four of ND's initial 8 possessions. That was a key point coach Muffet McGraw had to address early. On the other end Gary Blair's club ran some nice sets to establish the early lead.

Half score: 35-33 ND

The first four of the second half:

Notre Dame                                                              Texas A & M

1. 2 FTs                                                                       Missed FGA

2. 2 FTs                                                                       2 PT FG

3. One of 2 FTs                                                          TO

4. 2 FTs                                                                       2 PT FG

5. 2 PT FG                                                                  2 FTs

6. 2 PT FG                                                                  2 PT FG    

7. 2 PT FG                                                                  -----

Score : 48-41 ND

First four scoring: 13-8 ND

Offensive efficiency (first four): ND 186  A & M 133

Impressive start of the second half for both. Notre Dame scoring on all seven  possessions. Of greater significance was the fact the Irish drew fouls, adding to A & M's personals and getting ND closer to an early bonus. The fact that A & M was able to weather that early spurt is testament to their will and resilience. 

The final numbers:

Possessions: ND   71  A & M  73

Offensive Efficiency:  ND 99  A & M  104