7:30 PM ET, January 17, 2006
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Megan Duffy did a bit of everything to help Notre Dame (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) avoid another loss.After Suzanne Morrison scored on a layup to cap an 18-0 run for No. 10 DePaul and give the Blue Demons a 12-point lead, Duffy had two assists, a defensive rebound and a steal in the span of 51 seconds to get the Irish going again, sparking their own 18-0 run.Duffy finished with 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds to lead Notre Dame to a 78-75 victory Tuesday night over the Blue Demons, who cracked the Top 10 for the first time the previous day."Megan. What can you say about Megan? Almost a triple double," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "That's the best point guard in America right there."DePaul (16-2, 3-2 Big East), which saw its nine-game winning streak end, had a chance to tie it at the end, but a half-court shot by Allie Quigley bounced hard off the back of the rim."We had some moments, but we didn't have enough consistent moments," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said.It was just the second win in six games for the Irish (11-5, 2-3). McGraw grabbed the courtside microphone and thanked the crowd of 5,311."You know we've been struggling the last couple of weeks. I want to thank you because you made it happen," she said.Early in the second half it appeared the Irish, who led 37-33 at the half, wouldn't have a chance to win.Jenna Rubino, who had a career-high 25 points, started DePaul's 18-0 spurt with three straight 3-pointers and Rachel Carney, who had 12 points, added another 3. Quigley had 19 points for the Blue Demons, who made a season-high 13 3-pointers while shooting a season-best 45 percent from beyond the arc.Duffy blamed Notre Dame's defensive problems on poor communication."We were switching defense so much and they would kind of get it and run," she said. "In that uptempo style of play we just weren't finding their shooters. They have a lot of people who can score."But the Irish finally found DePaul's scorer, holding them scoreless for 8:29. The Blue Demons went 0-for-12 during the stretch."When the second half began Notre Dame was one and out," Bruno said. "It allows us to ignite our fastbreak."The Blue Demons made some substitutions and the Irish began getting more chances."We were careless with the basketball and the game turned back around Notre Dame's way," Bruno said.Crystal Erwin scored six of her 10 points during the run. Breona Gray added 10 points,DePaul closed to 65-64 on a 3-pointer by Carney, but Duffy answered with a basket. The Irish made 9-of-12 free throws in the final 1:37 to hold on.McGraw said she wasn't too worried when the Irish fell behind."We've had a lot of practice in getting behind big," McGraw said. "I don't think it bothered us. We've done it so much. This time we just didn't dig ourselves quite as big a hole."
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||28-61 (.459)||28-61 (.459)|
|3P Made-Attempted||13-29 (.448)||5-11 (.455)|
|FT Made-Attempted||6-8 (.750)||17-24 (.708)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (0/0)||12 (0/0)|