SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Jacqueline Batteast scored 19 points to
lead Notre Dame (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) past Syracuse 74-61 on Wednesday night.
Notre Dame (15-3, 3-2 Big East) improved its record against
Syracuse to 15-1 since the Irish joined the Big East for the
1995-96 season. The Orange's lone victory came in the 2002 Big East
Megan Duffy and Charel Allen each had 17 points, and Courtney
LaVere had 13 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double
of the season for the Irish, who outrebounded Syracuse 40-27.
Notre Dame's bench also contributed 30 points while Syracuse's
three reserves netted only three points, all on free throws.
Rochelle Coleman led the Orange (10-6, 2-3) with 16 points,
Chineze Nwagbo had 15, Jessica Richter 14. Freshman center Vaida
Sipaviciute had 10 points, eight blocks, and six rebounds.
The Orange trailed by 13 at halftime and drew to 56-49 on a
three-point play by Nwagbo at 11:04. Batteast was called for her
fourth foul on the play and had to sit. The Irish missed their next
five shots, but Syracuse also sputtered and only managed to close
to 57-51 on a layup by Sipaviciute at 7:27.
Batteast returned and hit a driving layup, Teresa Borton
followed with another layup, and Batteast hit a pair of free throws
and a three-point play to boost the Notre Dame lead to 66-54 with
3:27 remaining, putting the game out of reach.
Syracuse, riding a modest two-game win streak in the league,
took a 15-9 lead midway through the first half. The Orange went
5-for-9 from the field while Notre Dame shot just 4-for-18.
That changed in a hurry. After a Notre Dame timeout, the Irish
hit six of their next seven shots and scored 14 straight points to
Batteast began the run with a jumper in the lane, Duffy followed
with four straight points and LaVere added six, her turnaround
jumper in the lane giving Notre Dame a 23-15 lead with 9:13 left.
LaVere was a torrid 6-for-7, scoring all of her points in the
opening period. She drained a 3-pointer from the right corner with
1:17 left to boost the lead to 40-26. It was her first 3 of the
season and only her second attempt from beyond the arc.
A 3 by Duffy from the right wing in the final minute gave the
Irish a 43-30 lead at the break.