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  ACC Quarterfinal: #1 Notre Dame 83, #9 FSU 57
Total Irish Domination in Icy Greensboro
March 7, 2014

 
By JP Mundy, Photos by Orin Day

Jewell Loyd and top seed Notre Dame ran over #9 seed FSU, 83-57, in the second 2014 ACC quarterfinal.
Photo by Orin Day - Full Gallery Below

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GREENSBORO -- Notre Dame shot 65 percent in the first half to build a 22-point first-half lead and cruised to a 83-57 victory over Florida State in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals Friday afternoon. Jewell Loyd scored 17 points, one of four Irish players in double figures on the day. Kayla McBride scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds while Michaela Mabrey and Natalie Achonwa had 12 and 11, respectively.

Florida State was once again led by Natasha Howard, who scored 29 points while pulling down five boards. However, she was the lone Seminole in double figures, with Lauren Coleman (seven points) was FSU's second-leading scorer for the game. Florida State turned the ball over 20 times, leading to 23 Notre Dame points. Cheetah Delgado, who scored a career-high 20 points in the second round against Miami, was held scoreless in her final game in a Seminole uniform.

Top Performers

  1. Jewell Loyd, Notre Dame 17 points, 5 rebounds. Loyd was just the brightest star in a lineup Friday that produced four double-digit scorers. Loyd will be a legitimate Wade Trophy favorite before her time in South Bend is through..

  2. Natasha Howard, Florida State 29 points, 5 rebounds. Howard was the lone bright spot on a Seminole team that was simply overwhelmed by the Notre Dame attack. With Delgado being held without a basket, Florida State essentially had only one offensive threat.

Game Analysis

Why Notre Dame won: The Irish shot 65 percent from the floor in the first half, and 60 percent for the game. Add to that a victory in the rebounding battle and that's a recipe for a blowout win.

Why Florida State lost: It's not like McBride, Loyd and Achonwa scored 30 points apiece. Sue Semrau's club just had few choices offensively save for Natasha Howard.

The Game Turned When...: Starting lineups were introduced, and none of the Irish regulars were sidelined with illness or injury. They're that good.

X-Factor: Notre Dame was credited with 10 steals, half of Florida State's turnovers. When Notre Dame gets rolling, they look unstoppable- hence their unblemished record.

Key Stat: Most impressive in this blowout win are the Irish' 24 assists on the afternoon. That's an astounding tally, and reflects the unselfishness of this talented group.

Areas for Improvement: Florida State needs more reliable offensive options beyond Howard -- that could mean better consistency from Delgado as an outside threat. Notre Dame started just a tad slow Friday, but coach Muffet McGraw attributed that to having not played for a few days.

Ramifications: Florida State heads home hoping for an NCAA at-large bid, while the Irish advance to a Saturday semifinal versus N.C. State. Wolfpack coach Wes Moore could only smile watching the first half barrage by the Notre Dame offense,

They Said It: "We have really high goals. I think our seniors are really focused on those goals and what we want to accomplish. So we know that every game is important and we come into each game with a really great attitude." - Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw

We encourage you to follow @JP_Mundy on Twitter.

DWHoops Photos by Orin Day

Raw photos are available below - captions and tags will be added later as time permits.

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