SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame's depth was too much for Michigan to handle.
The Fighting Irish (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP), led by 19 points from Charel Allen and 15 from Tulyah Gaines, used a pressing defense to gain control Sunday and cruised to a 77-46 victory, the fourth straight win of 30 points or more by the Fighting Irish.As in past games, the Notre Dame defense generated much of the offense, as the Irish (6-1) scored 22 points off 22 turnovers by Michigan."Rebound and run is our focus every game," Gaines said. "We saw they weren't getting out as quick as they'd probably like to, so we kept pushing it."The Irish held Michigan (4-3) to 27 percent shooting and only two Michigan players had baskets from the floor until midway through the second half. It was Michigan's third loss by more than 20 points in its last four games."I feel like a wounded fish in shark infested waters. That's kind of where we are right now," Michigan coach Kevin Borseth said. "People are coming after us, it's evident by the number of free throws we're shooting. People are saying, 'You know what, they're a piece of cake. We're going to come after them and just bury them.' That's how I feel at this point."The Irish had 10 players with 10 or more minutes of playing time and no starter played more than 28 minutes. Michigan used only eight players and four of the five starters played 31 minutes or more. The only starter who didn't was Krista Phillips, the leading scorer at 10.5 points a game, who played just 16 minutes because of foul trouble.Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said Notre Dame's depth is key."It makes them play harder when they're in there knowing they play five or six minutes at a stretch and then come out and get a rest," she said.The Irish took control early with a 21-5 run and put the game away in the second half with a 22-5 run. Borseth said the problems were more his team's struggles than Notre Dame's defense."We didn't do a good job of moving the way we wanted to be able to move, the way we practice to move," he said.Janelle Cooper led Michigan with 11 points. Lindsay Schrader added 11 points and Devereaux Peters added 10 points, and the Irish outscored Michigan 40-12 inside.The Irish fell 593 tickets shy of their fourth sellout in school history, although it appeared some of the 10,825 people who bought tickets stayed home because of the bad weather. Two of those sellouts came during the 2001 national championship season against No. 1 Connecticut and Georgetown. The other was against No. 1 Tennessee on Dec. 31, 2005.McGraw said the crowd gave her team a boost."I thought it was a huge factor," she said. "The fans make us go."