NCAA Tournament: Former St. John’s star Lindsay Allen finds role for unbeaten Notre Dame

March 21, 2014

Former St. John’s guard Lindsay Allen started every game at Notre Dame this season and will make her NCAA Tournament debut Sunday. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Just a year removed from leading St. John’s to a 30-win season and a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship, former All-Met Player of the Year Lindsay Allen is now at the center of Notre Dame’s run to the NCAA Tournament after having one of the best freshman seasons in school history.

letters032013

The unbeaten Fighting Irish (32-0) are the top-seed in the Notre Dame Region and will meet 16th-seed Robert Morris on Sunday, marking Allen’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

“I thought it would feel a little different, but it just feels the same. We prepare the same way for each opponent,” Allen said. “I’m going to be anxious and excited to play the first game though…we’re definitely getting back into the flow of things.”

It has been a wild year for Allen, who finished as one of the most decorated players in WCAC history (she finished her career with 110 wins) last year. The Cadets went 33-1 and beat Good Counsel in the tournament championship game last winter, and Allen went on to play in the McDonald’s All-American game before reporting to South Bend.

“It’s definitely been crazy, from winning the championship last year at St. John’s, being All-Met Player of the Year, going to Notre Dame this summer,” Allen said. “Now I’m getting ready to play in my first NCAA Tournament. So it’s definitely been crazy, but it’s been a lot of fun.”

Her arrival came on the heels of the Irish losing star point guard Skylar Diggins, one of the program’s all-time greats who went on to become the No. 3 overall pick in the WNBA Draft.

But Allen was not intimidated to come in and compete for the starting point guard position right away, and in November against UNC-Wilmington she became the first true freshman to start a season opener in two decades. Since then, Allen has become a staple for the national title contender. She has started every game this season, and ranks in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s top-10 in both assists (3.8) and assist to turnover ratio (1.97). She has 122 assists entering the tournament, the most ever by a Notre Dame freshman. Only Diggins has recorded 100 or more dimes as a freshman at the school.

Playing in the NCAA Tournament is a lot to digest at a school that carries lofty expectations, Allen said, but playing at St. John’s has prepared her for the college game. Part of the transition was the coaching staff at Notre Dame not making Allen feel as though she had to be “Skylar Diggins 2.0,” as she puts it.

“They just wanted me to play my game, and be who I am,” Allen said.

NUMBER CRUNCH: 35

The number of goals scored in Thursday’s girls’ lacrosse game between Lake Braddock and T.C. Williams, as the Bruins escaped with an 18-17 win.

BREAKFAST LINKS

– Hockey proved to be a unifying force when The Canada Israel Hockey School visited the Jewish Day School last week, bringing together Israeli athletes with different backgrounds but a common passion on the ice.

– Dominion linebacker Chad Smith has added a scholarship offer from Wisconsin and plans to enroll in school early, reports the Post’s Tariq Lee.

– Former Gonzaga star Cedrick Lindsay is determined to continue his basketball career after suffering a season-ending knee injury at Richmond this year.

PHOTOS OF THE DAY

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Baseball: Madison at Stone Bridge, 6:30

The season gets underway for both teams Friday night, with Stone Bridge looking to atone for three losses to Madison last season, all of which came by eight runs or more.

Roman Stubbs covers the University of Maryland athletics for The Washington Post.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Sports
Stats, scores and schedules
Next Story
Brandon Parker · March 20, 2014