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Notre Dame

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    Right in the heart of Florida State’s Friday Night Block Party was a huge gold banner hanging from the awning of a downtown office suite.Written in white-and-blue lettering was the warning, “Here come the Irish.
Notre Dame notebook

McBride proud of team’s play

– Kayla McBride’s night certainly didn’t follow the script.

A senior playing her final home game, the Irish guard missed 7 of 9 shots, was charged with four turnovers and played just 18 minutes because of foul trouble.

None of it detracted from her enjoyment of an 88-69 win over Baylor that sent McBride to her fourth Final Four.

“It’s not about you,” McBride said. “It’s about the entire team. We wanted this so bad. It’s your last chance.”

McBride picked up her second foul less than four minutes into the game and sat out the remainder of the first half. Then she picked up her third foul 1:19 into the second half and returned to the bench.

All three fouls were offensive.

“It’s part of the game,” McBride said. “Good call, bad call, it doesn’t matter. It happens. I’m just proud of how my team stepped up when I was out of the game.”

Notre Dame carried a 44-32 lead into halftime as Madison Cable and Michaela Mabrey filled in for McBride.

“They showed a lot of toughness,” McBride said. “They handled adversity.”

In the locker room after the game, McBride wore a huge piece of the net around her neck.

“I’m a little greedy, not going to lie,” McBride said. “I’m a senior. Everybody got their piece.”

Interior D

Baylor struggled all night to finish at the basket, with the Irish contesting nearly everything around the rim. The Bears shot 18 for 54 on 2-point attempts.

“That’s part of team defense,” Irish senior forward Ariel Braker said. “I love playing with (Natalie Achonwa) down there. All of our posts work really well trying to make sure we recover for each other.”