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Irish Insights

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Unexpected finish

The play that ended any hopes of Notre Dame winning its second NCAA women's tournament title in program history wasn't even supposed to happen.

Texas A&M guard Tyra White got a pass from Sydney Colson on an in-bounds play from under Notre Dame's basket with 1:07 to play, and White buried a three-pointer as the shot clock ran out.

The three-pointer gave the Aggies a five-point lead, and they went on to top the Irish 76-70 Tuesday night in front of a largely pro-Notre Dame crowd of 17,473 in Conseco Fieldhouse.

"I really didn't know the ball was coming to me," said White, who finished with 18 points and was named to the All-tournament team. "The play was designed for Danielle (Adams). But when I came off I seen they were triple-teaming her, and I knew Colson was going to pass me the ball, because she's smart like that. I just wanted to hit it.

"(The defender) kinda hit my elbow, so I really didn't think it was going to go in, but it did. I'm glad it went in."

Irish coach Muffet McGraw, who led Notre Dame to the 2001 title, called the shot a knife in the heart, but nobody sliced up the Irish in the second half as much as Adams.

The Aggies 6-foot-1 forward scored 22 of her 30 points in the second half and her four-point burst, after the game was tied at 66, gave Texas A&M the lead for good at 70-66 with 2:39 to play.

"She's a big post, and she knows what she's doing," said Irish forward Devereaux Peters, who scored 21 points and was named to the All-tournament team. "She got low, and she got easy buckets. We couldn't guard her."

Texas A&M had no trouble guarding Notre Dame start Skylar Diggins at the start of the game, but the sophomore came up with a strong performance as the game went on.

Diggins was held scoreless until she scored a layup off a steal with 7:47 to play in the first half. She finished with a team-high 23 points. Diggins came into the game averaging 18.6 points in five tournament games.

And even though she didn't collect a championship like she did in her sophomore season at South Bend Washington, the future remains bright for the Irish point guard.

"She really stepped up her game, I thought, in the NCAA tournament, particularly as the games went on" McGraw said. "… I think she really gave herself a big shot of credibility, I guess, I would say, coming into next year as one of the top players in the Big East and one of the top players in the country.

"I'm really looking forward to the next two years with her."

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