"… and maybe [Mosqueda-Lewis] was too wide open."
So, sure, it came down to one play here and one play there. But it also came down to Notre Dame's being the tougher-minded team on this day and the greatest freshman in all the land playing like a freshman. If you glance at Stewart's line score, 10 points, nine rebounds and six blocks, you could be fooled into thinking she had a fairly decent game.
She didn't. Certainly not for her.
"Stewie struggled a lot," Auriemma said. "You want to play really well so badly, maybe you get a little bit ahead of yourself. Obviously, it was a real struggle for her at both ends of the floor."
Stewart missed a bunch of layups. She committed four turnovers without an assist. She got nailed for a lane violation on a free throw. She got blocked and missed another shot in the final 30 seconds. Balls bounced off her. She got beat some on defense. All sorts of stuff.
"I definitely could have slowed the game down, especially on offense, in my head," Stewart said. "It's a really big wake-up call."
Faris, in particular, was hard on herself and hard on her team. She crushed herself for the team's not scoring in the final 30 seconds: "I'm a leader of the team. I'm supposed to figure out a way to win the game."
Yet she also said, "It never should have come down to that. That's more frustrating. There no reason we should have been in that position had we fixed the things we should have fixed a long time ago. … Clearly Notre Dame exposed some things that we need to fix."
"Same things, rebounding, not having a hand up on defense, not crashing the boards offensively. We've got to change our mind-set. "
Nor was Faris feeding Stewart a baby bottle of warm milk.
"No matter if you're a freshman or a senior, there's no excuse for different issues, turnovers or mistakes. Yeah, it's going to be tough. We've all been there. If you're the type of player to come here, you've got toget over that type of thing. She knows there's a lot of things she has to come back and work on."
And the coach?
"I would like to see [Stewart] take a deep breath and relax," Auriemma said. "I'd like for somebody to go down to the Charter Oak Bridge and make sure she doesn't jump off. That would be a big help for us so we'll get her back for Wednesday's game. I just want her to understand there are things about the college game, 'I don't know yet, that I'm not capable of doing yet.' The physical-ness of the game. … She looked out of sorts right from the beginning. It's not easy being a freshman in these games. But that's why you play them in January. You hope you get better."