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SCOREBOARD

'Big Three' leads No. 2 Seed Notre Dame past No. 7 Seed Ole Miss

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- — Maddy Westbeld scored 20 points and Hannah Hidalgo added 19 to help No. 2 seed Notre Dame beat seventh-seeded Mississippi 71-56 on Monday in the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament.

Sonia Citron added 17 for the Fighting Irisih (28-6), who advanced to the Sweet 16 where they will play No. 3 seed Oregon State in the Albany Regional.

Kennedy Todd-Williams and Madison Scott led Ole Miss with 15 points each.

Notre Dame hit Ole Miss with an intense attack from the opening tip, establishing an uptempo tone on offense and a relentless but controlled defense early.

The Fighting Irish bolted to a 21-9 lead after one quarter, harassing Ole Miss into 4-of-17 shooting in the first quarter while connecting on 6-of-12 shots.

Notre Dame expanded its lead to 19 points at 33-14 on a 3 by Westbeld from the top of the key with 5:10 left. The Fighting Irish led by 17 points, 43-26, at halftime. Ole Miss committed 13 turnovers and only hit 38% of its shots (11-of-29).

Notre Dame connected on 59% of its field-goal attempts (16-of-27) and turned the ball over only six times.

Ole Miss used an 8-2 run to cut the Notre Dame lead to 63-50 with 5:46 left in the game, but Anna DeWolfe's jumper and a breakaway basket by Hidalgo pushed the Fighting Irish lead to 67-50, with 4:08 remaining that sealed the game.

BIG PICTURE

Ole Miss: The Rebels return the majority of the line-up, although replacing Marquesha Davis, Tyia Singleton and Rita Igbokwe will be a challenge. The program is on the rise under head coach Yollett McPhee-McCuin who has taken Ole Miss to the NCAA Tournament three seasons in a row.

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish have put together a nine-game winning streak in winning the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament and advancing to the Regional. The momentum and experience gained will serve the Fighting Irish well next season, who return Junior All-American Olivia Miles (injury) to the line-up next season.

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AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-womens-bracket/ and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness