for this game

Notre Dame back in the Final Four for first time since 2001

Mar 29, 2011 - 2:39 AM Dayton, OH (Sports Network) - Skylar Diggins scored 24 points to lead the second-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish to a 73-59 victory over the Tennessee Lady Vols in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament.

Natalie Novosel added 17 points for the Fighting Irish (30-7), who will take on either Duke or Connecticut in the Final Four. Becca Bruszewski contributed 13 points, while Brittany Mallory tallied 10 points for Notre Dame, which is headed back to the Final Four for the first time since 2001 when the Fighting Irish won the National title.

Taber Spani and Shekinna Stricklen registered 13 points apiece for Tennessee (34-3), while Glory Johnson finished with a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.

Notre Dame went into the intermission with a 29-24 advantage after holding Tennessee to a meager 33.3 percent shooting effort over the first 20 minutes of action.

The Fighting Irish pulled away in the second stanza, as they shot a respectable 48.3 percent from the floor, en route to the win.

Notre Dame did a tremendous job defensively, as the Fighting Irish held the Lady Vols to just 32.8 percent shooting, and also forced top-seeded Tennessee into 19 turnovers.

It was the first victory for Notre Dame against Tennessee in 21 meetings.