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take.The Phoenix (2-1) rallied from

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    January 25, 2019 6:18 AM GMT

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. LeShaun Sims Jersey . -- Green Bay got physical with top-ranked Notre Dame and gave the Fighting Irish about all they could take.The Phoenix (2-1) rallied from 17 points down midway through the third quarter and narrowed the lead to five points three times in the final 4 minutes before finally falling 71-67 in a Preseason WNIT semifinal Thursday night.The Irish (3-0) shot just 33 percent in the second half and 36 percent for the game. Arike Ogunbowale led the Irish with 18 points but didnt hit another basket after making a 15-foot jumper to extend Notre Dames lead to 17 points.Jessica Lindstrom led the Phoenix with 20 points and 16 rebounds, hitting a 3-pointer to cut Notre Dames lead to 69-64 with 19 seconds left. But Marina Mabrey, who finished with 13 points, hit two free throws to give the Irish a seven-point lead with 16 seconds left.Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw was disappointed with the Irish, saying they were ragged on offense and struggled defensively against Green Bays screens.Theyre so experienced. Theyre poised. Theyre well coached. Theyre disciplined. Offensively they were really hard to guard and defensively they made it really difficult to get the ball in the post, she said.The Irish, who normally dominate inside, had only a 28-24 advantage inside against the Phoenix and Green Bays reserves outscored Notre Dames bench 22-8.The Phoenix shot 64 percent in the second half and 45 percent for the game.We changed a little bit of the schematic and tried to put it so we could drive it and spread them out a little more, which helped us, Green Bay coach Kevin Borseth said. But we hit some shots, some big shots.Players on both sides described the game as physical.But I feel like thats just part of the game nowadays, Lindstrom said.McGraw believes having such a tough challenge will help the Irish.Hopefully we learned a lot from it. I thought we made some big plays in the end when we had to. But overall, just really disappointing, she said. We looked like the younger team on the floor, and I think we were. But I think we can play a lot smarter.BIG PICTUREGreen Bay: The Phoenix, the favorites to win the Horizon League, played their first game ever against a No. 1 ranked team and stayed within reach throughout the game as they gave the Irish all they could handle.Notre Dame: The Irish struggled offensively early against the Phoenix, who ranked ninth nationally in scoring defense last season at 52.2 points a game, but managed to pull out the victory despite being held to 36 percent shooting.POLL IMPLICATIONS:Green Bay: The Phoenix were already receiving votes and likely could well move into the rankings with an impressive showing on the road.Notre Dame: The Irish may be hard-pressed to keep the No. 1 ranking after struggling on its home court against an unranked opponent.TIP-INS: The Irish were 0 of 5 from 3-point range in the second half after going 5 of 8 in the first half. ... Green Bay was 6 of 9 from 3-point range in the third quarter. ... The Irish have players from 10 states on their roster. Every player on Green Bay is from Wisconsin. ... The Phoenix dropped to 1-2 all-time against the Irish, with the win coming in 1987.UP NEXTGreen Bay: The Phoenix are knocked out of the Preseason WNIT. Green Bay plays road games against Belmont, Chattanooga and Bradley before returning home to face Drake on Dec. 3.Notre Dame: The Irish will play No. 17 Washington in the Preseason WNIT final at South Bend on Sunday. The Irish then play at Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday. Austin Johnson Jersey . -- Sergey Tolchinksy scored his second goal of the game 3:56 into overtime as the Sault Ste. Quinton Spain Jersey . Three came down to the fourth quarter while quarterbacks continued to shine in all four games; so important to the overall quality of the game. . Despite dominating possession, Schalke needed an own goal from Nicolas Hoefler for the breakthrough a minute before the interval. The Freiburg midfielder misjudged Jefferson Farfans corner and bundled the ball into his own net. GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Steve Spurrier propped himself against a drink crate in one of the north tunnels of the stadium that he so famously dubbed The Swamp more than two decades ago.He rubbed his chin anxiously and fidgeted with his hair. By nature, the Head Ball Coach is a world-class fidgeter, especially on a rainy day like this that wreaks havoc with his neatly combed hair.But this was no ordinary day. This was his day, the day he was officially welcomed back to Florida -- as Head Gator Ambassador -- and he and his family soaked in every bit of it, starting with a two-hour autograph session at the UF Bookstore to promote his new autobiography Head Ball Coach: My Life in Football and ending with one stroll after another down memory lane as Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium became Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.I think about my life path and how blessed Ive been, said Spurrier, gazing out onto the field and watching the final few minutes of the first half in the Gators plodding 24-7 victory over UMass. Its just amazing to be here and to have had all the great things that have happened to me. When Doug Dickey brought me back here to coach quarterbacks (in 1978), we got fired after one year. I was done. I didnt know where I was going or what I was going to do. At one point, my assistant coaching record was 10-24-1.But I guess all roads just sort of keep leading back to Florida.Yes they do, for Spurrier, anyway. And its clear that even though he was gone from his alma mater for the past 14 years during coaching stops with the NFLs Washington Redskins and back in college with South Carolina, his alma mater never really left him.It was hard seeing the greatest Gator of them all not be a Gator, said Danny Wuerffel, Floridas Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in 1996 and one of Spurriers favorite players ever.Even as a 71-year-old ambassador who walks with a familiar limp thanks to a surgically replaced knee, Spurrier still scurries at a pretty good pace. And it turns out that he still has a few moves, too.As part of the Steve Spurrier Field dedication before the game, he led the Gators traditional Mr. Two Bits cheer with a rousing performance and then a Usain Bolt pose to close the deal.Is that not just like him? Spurriers wife of 50 years, Jerri, said. Where did the (Bolt pose) come from? He didnt tell me he was going to do that.Spurrier, the unquestioned king of the one-liner, shot back: Thats because you would have told.To Jerri, Spurrier isnt Steve or the Head Ball Coach. Hes simply Orr, which happens to be his middle name. And she wasnt about to concede this little verbal joust to Orr, either, as they watched the Gators while surrounded by family members from high atop in their suite.Youre trying to tell me that I talk too much? Jerri quipped.Even Spurrier knows when its time to stop. And while he isnt the emotional type, he admits that he nearly lost it as he stood on the field just before the game when the Florida band started to play the alma mater Saturday.But I held it together, he said. I had too much talking to do.Theres also a different tone, a much more tender tone, anytime he mentions Jerri, whos been a part of his life since the Spurrier legend was born at Florida more than 50 years ago as a player. They met when they were students at Florida and have been inseparable ever since.Nothing would have happened in my coaching or playing career without Jerri, Spurrier said.All day long, his former players flocked around him. They all have their favorite Spurrier stories, and most of those stories only get better with him.Wuerffel can still hear Spurrier telling him in that familiar twang after Wuerffel would throw an interception early in his career, Thats all right, Danny. Its not your fault. Its my fault for putting you in the game.Spurriers 1996 national championship team was honored on the field at halftime. James Bates was a linebacker on that team and has remained close to Spurrier, so Bates had a feeling the Head Ball Coach would spice it up some with his Mr. Two Bits performance. Bates and Wuerffel had talked, and Spurrier asked Wuerffel if he improvised any during Wuerffels guest appearance as Mr. Two Bits.I figured wed see a little freelancing, said Bates, who does a spot-on Spurrier impersonation. Im just glad hes back. This is where he belongs.One of the neatest things about Spurrier is that he treats and talks to people like hes known them his whole life.Whats going on, my man, he tells the guy running the elevator in the press box and gives him a fist bump.The Head Ball Coach isnt particularly big on shaking hands. Too many germs out there, so hes been more of a fist bump guy now going all the way back to his days as the Gators head coach.He spots somebody with a vintage Spurrier visor and asks, What year is that? Is that 1993?And his memory, expressly his ability to recall the most obscure details from years ago, is uncanny.One of the most priceless conversations of the night occurred with his longtime football operations director, Jamie Speronis, whos still in that same role at South Carolina and drove to Gainesville with his wife, Kristy, to be a part of Saturdays festivities. Speronis was wearing the same white coaching shirt he wore in 1996 for the Sugar Bowl national championship win over Florida State.See it still fits, said Spurrier, who remains in great shape and works out religiously.But as the two longtime pals sat in that north end zone tunnel and began reliving all of their memories at The Swamp together, Spurrier started counting up how many games hed actually won and lost there. The truth is that he knows the exact number as well as he knows his wedding date.Yep, only lost two games as a player, five as head coach, Spurrier said.And if you throw in a freshman game against Georgia in 1962 and a flag football game (yes, a flag football game) against the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity on campus a few years after Spurrier had been out of school, he won 83 games. Erik Walden Jersey. Remarkably, he can still remember the score and details from that flag football game.Some fraternity boys wanted to play a bunch of us former players, so we cut off half the field here at The Swamp and played them, said Spurrier, talking as if he were recalling an SEC championship game. We beat them 20-19, helluva game.So if you count that one and the freshman game, I was 83-7 here.Some of the best interaction with Spurrier came with the fans, who crammed into the UF Bookstore to buy his book and then wait in line to get an autographed copy. Buddy Martin, who co-authored the book with Spurrier, was there helping to direct traffic and said hed never seen Spurrier, admittedly not a huge autograph guy, so giddy to sign for so many people.They all had a different story to tell the Head Ball Coach when they got up to the table, many of them defining time with their first memory of Spurrier and the Gators. They recounted memorable Florida wins with him, several reminding him that he never lost to Peyton Manning, and one man told him he thought Spurriers most impressive accomplishment was standing up for the 1990 team, which had the best SEC record that year, but was ineligible to win the SEC championship because of NCAA issues.They won the SEC. They didnt get credit for it, but they did from me, Spurrier said of his first Florida team. Theyre the ones who started it all.One girl told Spurrier her first memory as a 3-year-old child was him holding up the 1996 national championship trophy.How old are you? he asked.When she told him she was 23, he said, Ive got a grandson whos 23.Another guy told Spurrier that he met him at the 1997 Citrus Bowl, and Spurrier immediately turned around to Martin and others and winced.After all the grief I gave Tennessee about going to the Citrus Bowl all those years, and we went that year, Spurrier said with a sheepish smile. I remember standing on the field before the game and Tennessee had a plane fly overhead with a banner that read: Tennessee wants to welcome Florida to the Citrus Bowl.Somebody standing beside me said, Thats not very funny, and I looked at him and said, Yeah it is. Alex Santos and his daughter, Gretta, came from Orlando to see Spurrier.I was in school here in the 1990s when he transformed the SEC, Santos said. We won championships and had fun doing it.Matt Torrey came from Chatham, New York and would have stood in line for two more hours just to spend a few seconds with Spurrier.I was a Syracuse fan and a little bit Notre Dame living up there, but still remember him kicking that field goal to beat Auburn, Torrey said. You just dont do stuff like that ... a quarterback? But he did, and Ive been a fan ever since.Spurrier even signed books for future Gators whove yet to be born. Cody and Chelsea Fowler came from Mobile, Alabama. Chelsea is 19 weeks pregnant, and the couple stood in line for Spurrier to sign a book to Caden, the name of their unborn baby boy.After two hours of signing books, it was difficult to tell whether the fans were happier to have Spurrier back or if he was happier to be back. He joked that he would stay busy ambassadoring.Sure enough, one fan asked if Spurrier could help him with his game-day parking, and Spurrier cocked his head and said, Well, thats not in my duties as ambassador, but Ill see what I can do.Florida has been searching for an athletic director to replace Jeremy Foley, whos scheduled to step down in October. One man asked Spurrier if he would be willing to take the job.No way, too much work, Spurrier chortled.Even though it was a long day, it was a day Spurrier and his entire family will cherish. Hes big on winning, big on having fun and big on family. Except for Steve Spurrier Jr., whos a member of Oklahomas staff and couldnt be there, everybody else was there to share in the celebration, including daughters Amy Moody and Lisa King and youngest son Scotty Spurrier.Im not sure he really believed that hes been missed by the Florida people as much as he has, Moody said. After today, I think he believes it now.Spurrier spent the remainder of the night with his family in the suite, as they watched the Gators pull away in the second half to win. Hes still rocking the old flip phone and was continually checking messages and also checking on other scores from around the SEC.Why can LSU not get it right on offense? Every year, they have as much talent as anybody in the SEC, and thats including Alabama, Spurrier said.And speaking of Alabama, Spurrier joked that he told Nick Saban recently that he better not coach too much longer because hes bound to have a three-loss season at some point.It happens to everybody, especially in this league, Spurrier said. He told me he didnt know what they would do to him around there if he ever lost three games. I can already hear it, people saying that hes lost it, but he sure does have that thing rolling.As the Florida game wound down to its final minutes, Spurriers fidgetiness kicked back in. It was time to go. And if you really know Spurrier when its time to go, its time to go.Come on, Jerri, lets go, he bellowed as he stood up and stretched.But not before Spurrier got one last hug from his 11-year-old granddaughter, Lauren. He might be the Head Ball Coach to the football world, but to Lauren, hes just granddaddy.I love you, he told her as he squeezed her tight.Truth is there was a lot of love to go around Saturday at the Swamp. The Head Ball Coach is back home. Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys From China Cheap Nike Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Hockey Jerseys China Nike Baseball Jerseys Cheap College Jerseys China Cheap Football Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys Canada Wholesale Nike MLB Jerseys Canada Cheap NBA Jerseys Authentic Canada Stitched Soccer Jerseys CanadaCheap Jerseys Canada NFL ' ' '