April 18, 2024

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Notre Dame star Hidalgo was forced to have his nose piercing removed, resulting in him missing time in Sweet 16 loss to Oregon State

Notre Dame star Hidalgo was forced to have his nose piercing removed, resulting in him missing time in Sweet 16 loss to Oregon State

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Notre Dame star Hannah Hidalgo had to have her nose piercing removed and miss time on her team Loss 70-65 To Oregon State on Friday in the Sweet 16.

That was the day for freshman Hidalgo, who scored just 10 points despite averaging 22.9 per game. Her performance matched her season low in scoring.

The first-team All-American wasted about four minutes early in the second quarter.

“It's hard because you know I was a mess and I had to sit for five minutes because of the nose ring which is BS,” Hidalgo said.

Rule 1-25.7 of NCAA women's basketball states that jewelry is not permitted to be worn during games.

“No, obviously I didn’t know the jewelry rules,” Hidalgo said. “But she told me I could cover it up. Then she said you can't cover it up after we were already in the second quarter.

So Hidalgo sat at the end of the bench while the coaching staff frantically tried to remove the ring using tools.

Coach Neely Ivey said Hidalgo had a nose ring all season.

“I think it was the focal point of the Sweet 16 with jewelry,” Ivey said. “I just wish we had known beforehand. We couldn't control it, so we had to move on.”

When Hidalgo went out, the Irish were down by two points. It came back with 5:51 left in the quarter with Notre Dame down 25-22.

Hidalgo did not make a field goal after re-entering the game until 57 seconds remained. I only made 4 shots out of 17.

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Ivey said removing the ring hurt Hidalgo's flow. The two shared a long hug at the end of the third quarter when Hidalgo was substituted. Hidalgo was emotional throughout the match.

“She said not to let my crime affect me,” Hidalgo said. “Don't let it get to my mind because I'm an emotional player trying to do my best, and she was just trying to encourage me.”

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