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Bonnie Samuelson scores 17, but Stanford loses 81-60 to Notre Dame in Sweet 16

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Stanford was simply overmatched.

Lindsay Allen scored a career-high 28 points to help top-seeded Notre Dame defeat the Cardinal 81-60 in the NCAA women's Sweet 16 on Friday night.

Allen entered the night averaging just under 10 points per game, but she matched her career high with 24 points in the first half. Jewell Loyd took over after halftime and scored 17 of her 21 points after the break for the Fighting Irish (34-2).

Bonnie Samuelson scored 17 points and Erica McCall and Amber Orrange each added 12 for No. 4 seed Stanford (26-10).

Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said her team competed, and it still wasn't enough.

"I just think we lost to a really outstanding team," she said. "Congratulate Notre Dame and Muffet. I thought our team played really, really well. They had some really outstanding players, and they played a really great game."

It was the first postseason meeting for two of women's basketball's coaching greats — VanDerveer and Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw. It was just the third ever meeting between the schools — Stanford won the previous meetings in 1990 and 1991.

Allen scored nine quick points to help the Irish take a 20-11 lead. The Cardinal trimmed that to 34-29 with about 3 minutes left in the first half before Allen drained two 3-pointers to help the Fighting Irish close the half on an 8-2 run and take a 42-31 lead into the break.

PHOTO: Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw huddles with the team against Stanford during the second half of a women's college basketball regional semifinal game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 27, 2015, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw huddles with the team against Stanford during the second half of a women's college basketball regional semifinal game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 27, 2015, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Stanford cut its deficit to 48-44 early in the second half before Loyd got going. Her 3-point play with just over 10 minutes remaining put Notre Dame up 59-47. The Fighting Irish shot 52 percent in the second half to pull away.

"Jewell Loyd is probably the (national) player of the year," VanDerveer said. "We were just dodging some bullets in the first half, and she picked it up in the second half."

TIP-INS

Stanford: Lili Thompson tweaked her left knee and played just seven minutes in the first half, but she returned to start the second half. The team's top scorer for the season finished with just two points on 1 for 8 shooting. ... Stanford had 17 offensive rebounds, but just 14 second-chance points.

Notre Dame: Loyd, the team's top scorer for the season, made just 2 of 10 field goals and scored four points in the first half. ... Notre Dame committed just four turnovers in the first 20 minutes. ... The Fighting Irish made all 13 of their free throws.

UP NEXT

Stanford: Season over.

Notre Dame: Faces Baylor in Oklahoma City Regional final on Sunday.


Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.

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