Green leads Irish over Hurricanes
By KERRY SMITH
Assistant Sports Editor
Danielle Green left the Hurricanes seeing red as she led the Irish to a 76-54 win in Miami on Saturday.
Stepp-ing up for the Irish on offense, Green stole the limelight as she tallied a game and season-high 22 points and made six assists on the afternoon.
Green showed the Hurricanes that she meant business from the opening play. With a quick steal and layup to begin the first half, she led the Irish on a 12-0 run that put the squad on top from the outset. Miami came close at times, but was unable to capture the lead as Notre Dame led for the entire game.
With the win, the No. 5 Irish move to 15-2 on the season and remain one of three teams to beat in the Big East with a 6-0 conference record. Connecticut and Boston College share undefeated conference records with Notre Dame.
The Irish came out strong, relying on their strength in the paint to propel them to a 47-33 halftime lead.
The Hurricanes weathered the storm of the Irish offense well and went on a 16-2 run late in the second half to turn a 19-point deficit into a five-point game with 10 minutes left on the clock.
"They made some real good shots," said Green. "We had some pretty nice looks too, but we just weren't able to make them. They refused to give up, even when they were down by a lot. We turned the ball over a lot — we need to learn to limit turnovers so we don't give other teams a chance to get back in the game."
The Irish settled down and repeatedly took the ball to the basket in the final minutes, outscoring the Hurricanes 20-3 to secure the win. Green led the charge as time wound down, scoring eight of her 22 points in the last 10 minutes.
Despite a strong outing by guard Niele Ivey, who had 11 points and five steals, the Irish concentrated their offense under the basket.
"Niele Ivey is an unselfish player — she's always looking up court to see who's open," said Green. "I give her credit for our transition game. A lot of times we don't even have to set up an offense because we can score so quickly."
Dominating at the post, the Irish players combined for 48 of their 76 points from lay ups.
"We're a very good team on the fast break," said Green. "Our strategy is to get it under the basket — it is our big focus and it worked well against Miami."
Scoring wasn't the only strong point for the Irish as they out-rebounded the Hurricanes 40-27.
The Miami defense had trouble containing Irish center Ruth Riley and forward Julie Henderson. Riley scored 15 points and Henderson added 13, as they led the Irish to an impressive 54 shot percentage.
Henderson had the only double-double between the two teams, with a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Hurricanes, a team that has struggled to remain above the .500 mark, fell to 8-8 on the season and 2-3 in Big East play.
Center Martha Bodley scored 13 points to lead the Miami squad, which shot only 39 percent from the field.
The Irish will only have a few days to prepare for their next conference test — the squad will be back in action Wednesday when they travel to new York to take on the Red Storm of St. Johns.
All Sports Stories for Monday, January 24, 2000