Notre Dame holds Canisius to season-low 34 percent shooting

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Canisius had no answer for Notre Dame's press.

The Fighting Irish (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) went to the press early after the Golden Griffins used an 8-0 to tie the score at 8-8, and the game was quickly over. The Irish had 16 steals in forcing 29 turnovers en route to a 93-47 victory Tuesday night.

"That's our thing," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "We like the press. We're pretty good at it, and that's how we score a lot of points in transition. We like to play that way and we're comfortable playing that way."

The Griffins (3-2) weren't. After going to the press, the Irish (5-1) went on a 25-4 run. During one 5-minute scoreless drought, the Griffins turned the ball over seven times on nine possessions, including three travel calls. Canisius only got off two shots during that spurt and one of them was blocked by Erica Williamson.

"We really struggled with their pressure," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "Our point guard is small and you have Devereaux Peters at the top of that press or any of their athletic kids at the top of that press, we couldn't see over that at all, and we couldn't make the passes. And when we did get it over, we couldn't attack and make them pay at all."

The Irish continued to pull away through most of the second half without the press.

Ashley Barlow scored 18 points, Charel Allen added 17 to lead five Irish players in double figures. Peters added 12 points and Lindsay Schrader and Brittany Mallory added 10 points each for the Irish, who shot 51 percent.

The Irish players said the defense set up the offense.

"When we get steals, that's what we're really trying to do so we can get easy baskets and get right back at it and get another one," Barlow said.

Laura Buetow and Amanda Cavo had 10 points each for Canisius, which shot a season-low 34 percent.

"We're a very young team and we weren't up for that task clearly today," Zeh said. "I think they would have had a better practice than they did game from us today. We're young and injured right now."

Notre Dame won its third straight game by at least 30 points, the first time that's happened since January 1999. Still, McGraw thinks the Irish can do better.

"I just think we can execute better," she said. "We're scoring points. Teams are going to take away our transition, we've got to be able to score in the half court. That's my main concern right now."