Not so Sweet... Muffet's Squad falls in Sweet 16 to Oklahoma in OT

Melissa Lechlitner and Lindsay Schrader showed they didn't want their careers to end.

But in the end, their efforts weren't enough as the Irish seniors suffered a bitter final chapter to their storied Notre Dame careers with an 77-72 overtime loss to Oklahoma in the Sunday's Sweet 16 in Kansas City.

With the game tied at 72 with 4.4 seconds left in overtime, Sooner senior Nyeshia Stevenson hit a 3-pointer to give Oklahoma a 3-point lead.

After a timeout, Notre Dame senior Erica Williamson chucked a baseball pass about 75 feet, but Stevenson snagged it and knocked down two free throws to seal the win.

After the game, Irish coach Muffet McGraw said perhaps they should have just given the ball to freshman Skylar Diggins and given her a chance to tie it. Diggins had just 10 points on the night, but forced the game into overtime with a 3-pointer with 33 seconds left in regulation.

But the story for the Irish was the play of Lechlitner. The South Bend St. Joe grad put on one of her all-time best performances in her final game, finishing with 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting.

She was one point shy of her career high but did surpass 1,000 points in four years at Notre Dame.

Lindsay Schrader also refused to go down without a fight, finishing with 19 points and and eight rebounds. Schrader scored Notre Dame's final points, hitting a short turnaround to tie the game at 72 with 33 seconds left.

That's when Stevenson hit the three for the Sooners. She finished with 21 points and Abi Olajuwon added 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Sooners (26-10), who lost to Notre Dame in overtime in the second round in 2008.

Oklahoma muffed a chance to win at the end of regulation, as Danielle Robinson slipped 30 feet from the basket.

Notre Dame (29-6), lost its fourth straight regional semifinal dating back to 2001 when it won the national championship.

The Irish seniors finished with 58 of the team's 72 points as Ashley Barlow had 13 and Erica Williamson added four.

But Notre Dame got practically nothing from its bench, which has been a strength of the team all season. Becca Bruszewski went without a point as the Irish reserves combined for just four points.

The Irish were also out-rebounded in the game 44-33.


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