November 17, 2011 – Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team charged ahead Thursday night, claiming a berth in the Championship round of the Preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament with a 98-43 victory over Hartford.
Notre Dame, ranked No. 2 in the country, led 50-20 at halftime as it continued its two-prong attack that on one end of the court causes an average of 37 turnovers per game, and on the other end of the court scores an average of 93 points per game.
The Fighting Irish will play for the Preseason WNIT title at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT Sunday against Baylor, ranked No. 1 in the nation’s polls. The game will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.
Notre Dame got plenty of firepower from its lineup, with Skylar Diggins scoring 22 points in 23 minutes and Natalie Novosel pouring in 20 points in 22 minutes. Hartford was led by Daphne Elliott’s nine points.
In Thursday’s other semifinal, Baylor defeated No. 22 UCLA by a score of 83-50. The game was close – 30-23 Baylor at halftime – before UCLA ran out of gas. Brittney Griner again led Baylor with 18 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Destiny Williams chimed in with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Odyssey Sims added 22 points and 3 assists for Baylor.
UCLA, playing with eight players, got 15 points and 9 rebounds from Rebekah Gardner.
The four teams that lost in Round 2 will play one more WNIT game each in Consolation Round 3. Long Island is at Tennessee Tech at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local CT time) and Chattanooga plays at Indiana State at 8 p.m. ET/local time. Both games are Friday, Nov. 18.
The eight teams that lost in Round 1 last Friday will play two more WNIT games in Consolation Rounds 1&2. Here are the details of those games, which are Friday and Saturday:
Akron will host Detroit, Drexel, and Howard on Friday and Saturday. Detroit and Drexel will meet in the first round beginning at 5 p.m. ET Friday, and Akron and Howard will play in the 7:30 p.m. ET game later that evening. On Saturday, the winners of Friday’s games will play each other, and the losers will play each other. Saturday’s game times are 5 and 7:30 p.m. ET, with Akron playing in the 7:30 p.m. game no matter if it wins or loses on Friday.
The other host site is McNeese State in Lake Charles, La. McNeese will host ETSU, UAB, and Manhattan. In the first game Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. CT), UAB and ETSU will match up. The second game features McNeese and Manhattan at 8:30 p.m. ET. On Saturday, the winners of Friday’s games will play each other, and the losers will play each other. Saturday’s game times are 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. ET, with McNeese playing in the 1 p.m. game no matter if it wins or loses on Friday.
Thursday, Nov. 17
Notre Dame 98, Hartford 43
Baylor 83, UCLA 50
Sunday, Nov. 20
Notre Dame at Baylor, 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT
Consolation Round 3
Friday, Nov. 18
Long Island at Tennessee Tech, 8 p.m. ET
Chattanooga at Indiana State, 8 p.m. ET
Consolation Rounds 1&2
Friday, Nov. 18
Detroit vs. Drexel at Akron, 5 p.m. ET
Howard at Akron, 7:30 p.m. ET
At McNeese State
UAB vs. ETSU at McNeese, 6:30 p.m. ET
Manhattan at McNeese, 8:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Nov. 19
Detroit-Drexel winner vs. Akron-Howard winner, time TBA
Detroit-Drexel loser vs. Akron-Howard loser, time TBA
At McNeese State
UAB-ETSU winner vs. McNeese-Manhattan winner, time TBA
UAB-ETSU loser vs. McNeese-Manhattan loser, time TBA