2:00 PM ET, January 9, 2005
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) -- Once Jackie Adamshick calmed Villanova with a big stretch of baskets, the rest of the Wildcats helped out with an upset win over Notre Dame."When she started making some shots, we started to relax as a team," Villanova coach Harry Perretta said. "Other people began to make some shots then."Adamshick had 25 points and Kate Dessart Mager scored the winning basket to lead Villanova to a 59-54 win over the Fighting Irish (No. 3 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) on Sunday.Betsy McManus made four free throws in the final 25 seconds for Villanova (9-4, 2-0 Big East), snapping Notre Dame's six-game winning streak. McManus had seven points, two assists and no turnovers in 32 minutes at point guard.The Fighting Irish (13-2, 2-1) never had an answer for Adamshick in the first half or Dessart Mager in the second. The two combined to go 16-for-30 from the floor with seven rebounds."We were just trying find a mismatch in the game that we could go after to help us offensively," Perretta said.Dessart Mager -- who scored all of her 14 points in the second half -- made the winning basket off the inbounds pass and one second left on the shot clock for a 51-49 lead with 1:39 left and the small, boisterous crowd erupted.Villanova was looking for Adamshick off a screen, but when she got hung up, Jenna Viani found Dessart Mager wide open underneath the basket."Sometimes when you're meant to win, things like that happen," Perretta said.Dessart Mager and McManus each added two free throws before Notre Dame's Jacqueline Batteast hit a 3-pointer with 13.3 seconds left to make it 55-52. It wasn't enough, though, as Villanova sealed the game at the free-throw line."We're coming together as a team. We've seen it lately in practice and we saw it today," Dessart Mager said.Batteast scored 22 points and Teresa Borton added 17 for Notre Dame. The Irish shot 44 percent from the floor, but Villanova scored 19 points off 20 Irish turnovers."We made a lot of mental errors at critical times and it cost us the game," said Irish coach Muffet McGraw, who played at nearby Saint Joseph's. "We made mistakes and they took advantage."After missing her only shot in the first half, Dessart Mager went 5-for-6 in the second half and scored six straight points in one stretch that helped the Wildcats take a seven-point lead.When the Irish pulled to 44-43, Adamshick delivered with a 3-pointer from the left side."We had a lot of trouble guarding her," McGraw said.But Adamshick -- who shot 11-for-23 and fell two points shy of matching her career high -- didn't score again. The Irish got baskets from Teresa Borton and Courtney LaVere to make it 47-47.Dessart Mager and Batteast swapped baskets before Dessart Mager hit the winner.Notre Dame seemed poised to turn the game into a blowout early until Adamshick started a Villanova run with six straight points and later added a nice spin around two defenders in the lane for an easy layup to cut it to 21-19.She scored the final two baskets of the first half and helped force a Notre Dame shot-clock violation on its last possession to give the Wildcats a 25-24 halftime lead."Most games we start off poorly like that we kind of fall part," Perretta said. "Today, Jackie got the offense going in the first half."The Wildcats have won four of their last six games against the Irish. Villanova also earned its second win over a ranked team this year, also beating then-No. 23 Penn State in November.
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