7:00 PM ET, January 5, 2005
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame's easy victory wasn't enough to please coach Muffet McGraw.The Fighting Irish (No. 3 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) beat Syracuse 75-58 on Wednesday night and never let the Orange get closer than 11 points in the second half, but McGraw was still unhappy with her team's lack of intensity."We've been ranked in the Top 25 for some time now," she said. "We've really held our poise and played well. I think that tonight was the first time we had a letdown."Breona Gray, Teresa Borton and Megan Duffy each scored 17 points for the Irish. Gray shot 6-for-12 and finished with a career-high point total. Borton shot 6-for-7, and the Irish outscored Syracuse 28-18 in the paint."We were fortunate that Breona and Teresa had spectacular games," McGraw said. "They came ready to play, shot the ball and did a lot of great things. We need to get the whole team on that level. It's disappointing that our leaders didn't play like that."The Fighting Irish (13-1, 2-0 Big East) broke the game open with a 16-3 run in the first half and are off to their best start since opening 23-0 in 2000-01, their NCAA championship season.Syracuse (8-5, 0-2) fell to 0-13 against Notre Dame in Big East play and 2-17 overall.Gray, held scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting Sunday against Seton Hall, was determined to play better against Syracuse."I just wanted to show up and bring it," she said.Jacqueline Batteast added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Irish, who outrebounded the Orange 45-37. Only two other players scored for Notre Dame.Jessica Richter shot 5-for-13 from 3-point range and finished with a career-high 17 points for Syracuse. The Orange made a season-high nine 3-pointers on a season-high 29 attempts.Lauren Kohn added 11 points and Amanda Adamson had 10.Syracuse shot 31 percent, its second-worst outing of the season. That still wasn't good enough for McGraw, who was especially irritated at Notre Dame's defense against Syracuse's 3-point shooters."Our scouting report had them listed as the shooters, but I think we forgot to read it," she said.Syracuse coach Keith Cieplicki was pleased with his team's outside play."I can't say it was by design, but shooting 31 percent (from 3-point range) is good," he said. "Notre Dame is a very good defensive team and we thought we would take the first good shot we got."