Irish held to 41 but get past Seton Hall

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP) -- If No. 10 Notre Dame plays the way it
did against Seton Hall in its regular-season finale, the Irish
aren't going to go far in the Big East Conference women's

In a game that Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw felt was ugly
beyond belief, the Irish got 14 points and nine rebounds from
freshman Charel Allen and overcame a school record-tying low point
total for a road game in posting a 41-35 victory over Seton Hall on
Tuesday night.

"I thought that set the game back about 100 years," McGraw
said after Notre Dame (25-4, 13-3) clinched the second seed in the
conference tournament behind No. 9 Rutgers (23-5, 14-2) "That was
ugly to watch, ugly to coach and I can't even say it was great

"The defense was good, but My God, I don't how many layups did
we miss," McGraw added. "That was not what we wanted heading into
the Big East tournament."

The 41 points tied the school record set in a 66-41 loss at
Marquette in 1978, the first year of women's basketball at Notre
Dame. The record low for a game at home was set last year, when the
Irish beat Villanova 38-36.

Until Tuesday night, McGraw had felt her team was peaking,
particularly after recent win over West Virginia.

All that changed with one game.

The Irish shot a season-low 22 percent from the field (13-of-59)
and they struggled against a gutty Seton Hall team that now has
lost 10 conference games in the regular season.

"I am just disappointed in our upperclassmen," McGraw said
after the Irish won for the 12th time in 13 games. "We all took
the night off on the same night and we are not going to go far in
the tournament if we do that again."

Notre Dame edged Connecticut in the tiebreaker to determine the
No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, which starts on Saturday
in Hartford. After a first-round bye, the Irish will play on Sunday
against the winner of the West Virginia-Pittsburgh. Seton Hall will
play St. John's in a first-round game on Saturday.

Jacqueline Batteast, the conference's second-leading scorer,
finished with 11 points on 4-for-16 shooting.

Ashley Bush had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Seton Hall in her
final home game.

"I thought we did a great job defensively," Seton Hall coach
Phyllis Mangina said. "...We had our opportunities to win this
game and let it slip away."

Asia Carroll hit two late 3-pointers for the Pirates (14-13,
6-10), with the last getting them within 36-31 with 1:11 to go.

Allen then iced the game with four late free throws.

"When your leading scorer and rebounder is a freshman, you have
to be happy with that," McGraw said.

Down 17-15 at the half, Notre Dame took the lead for good with a
7-0 spurt that came during a span where the officials changed a
3-pointer by Bush into a two-point basket.

The switch cut the lead to 19-18 and Allen hit two free throws
to put the Irish ahead 20-19. Batteast then scored the next five
points, hitting one of two free throws, a shot in the lane and a
layup for a 25-19 lead with 14:16 to play.

Seton Hall twice cut the lead to four points, but Batteast hit a
jumper to ignite a seven-point spurt that Megan Duffy capped with
her only basket of the game.

Bush almost single-handedly gave Seton Hall a 17-15 halftime
lead. She scored 11 points and frustrated Batteast with her tough
defense, limiting the conference's second-leading scorer to two
points on 1-of-5 shooting

Notre Dame did not score in the final 7:31, and it had only two
points in the final 10:09 in matching its season-low for a half.

Despite having no fouls, Batteast played 14 minutes and several
times seemed upset. After being pulled for the second time in the
half, she had an animated discussion with assistant coach Jonathan

The Irish shot 18.8 percent, hitting 6-of-32 shots and turning
the ball over eight times.