Shop Fantasy Central Golf Guide Email Travel Subscribe SI About Us College Basketball Men's

 
  U.S. SPORTS
  w. college bb
scores
schedules
standings
polls
player stats
team stats
conferences
teams
scoreboards
baseball S
pro football S
col. football S
pro basketball S
m. college bb S
hockey S
golf plus S
tennis S
soccer S
motor sports
olympic sports
women's sports
more sports
 WORLD SPORT

EVENTS
 Sportsman of the Year
 Heisman Trophy
 Swimsuit 2001

CENTERS
 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Video Plus
 Statitudes
 Your Turn
 Message Boards
 Email Newsletters
 Golf Guide
 Cities
 

CNNSI.com GROUP
 Sports Illustrated
 Life of Reilly
 SI Women
 SI for Kids
 Press Room
 TBS/TNT Sports
 CNN Languages

COMMERCE
 SI Customer Service
 SI Media Kits
 Get into College
 Sports Memorabilia
 TeamStore

Back on top, back to the final

Notre Dame advances to fourth Big East tourney final

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Monday March 05, 2001 9:20 PM
Updated: Tuesday March 06, 2001 2:14 AM

  Ruth Riley Ruth Riley was held to two points, but captured eight rebounds and swatted a game-high five shots. AP

STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- Virginia Tech had an answer for Ruth Riley. It was the rest of the Notre Dame players the Hokies couldn't control.

Alicia Ratay and Kelly Siemon scored 14 points each, and reserve center Amanda Barksdale had nine rebounds and three blocks as the Fighting Irish cruised to a 67-49 in the Big East tournament semifinal on Monday night.

Riley, the conference player of the year, finished with two free throws and was in foul trouble early.

"It was a bit of a rough offensive go for me," Riley said. "They did a good job of double-teaming me, which I have faced all year, but didn't do so well handling it tonight."

The Fighting Irish, which regained the No. 1 ranking Monday, advanced to their fourth championship game since joining the conference six years ago. They'll play Connecticut, a 94-66 winner against Rutgers in the other semifinal. The Irish (28-1) have lost all three finals to Connecticut, which moved up to No. 2.

The top-seeded Irish hit just two of their first 10 shots. Tere Williams put Virginia Tech (21-8) up quickly with six consecutive points and the Hokies led 6-2 with 15:56 left in the first half. It would be their last lead of the game.

Notre Dame then made its next four shots to start the run and had a 36-17 lead at the break.

"Offensively, I'm surprised we struggled so much," Tech head coach Bonnie Hendrickson said. "When your three leading scorers are 3-for-30 when you go into the locker room, it is a bad night."

Tech struggled against the Irish zone and were forced to hurry shots to beat the clock. The Hokies shot just 17 percent in the first half and finished with 17-of-64 shooting for 27 percent.

"We went to the zone to see how it looked and it looked good. We decided to stay with it," Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. "It has been our best defense all year long and we did a good job of doubling down."

Riley got in foul trouble early and sat out most of the second half. The Hokies closed within 15 at 40-15 with 18:18 left in the second half with 3-pointers from Lisa Guarneri and Sarah Hicks and a bucket from Williams. Riley picked up her third foul and the Hokies saw an opening.

The Irish countered with a 6-0 run, getting four points from Niele Ivey, and Barksdale rejected any notion of a comeback with two quick blocks. Siemon also had nine rebounds.

The Fighting Irish were coming off an 89-33 quarterfinal victory against Georgetown, which set a tournament record for largest margin of victory.

"Obviously the Big East [tournament] is something we hope to do well in and we are excited were are playing tomorrow," Siemon said.

Williams led Virginia Tech with 15 points and seven boards.

"We couldn't make shots and we were getting good looks," Williams said. "I just couldn't finish. I had good looks and even on Ruth and made a move on her, but couldn't finish the shot."


 
Related information
Stories
Notre Dame returns to No.1
No. 2 UConn routs No. 8 Rutgers in Big East semifinal
Stats
Virginia Tech-Notre Dame Game Summary
Multimedia
Visit Multimedia Central for the latest audio and video
Search our site Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day
Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


CNNSI Copyright © 2001
CNN/Sports Illustrated
An AOL Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.