2:00 PM ET, December 29, 2007
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- A bad first half at IUPUI last week may have been just what Notre Dame's Erica Williamson needed to get going.Williamson missed four layups in a minute and a half against IUPUI. She then came back in the second half and scored nine points in eight minutes. She continued to improve Saturday, scoring a career-high 16 points in 20 minutes to lead the 16th-ranked Fighting Irish to an 82-39 victory over St. Francis of Pennsylvania."I went into the second half of IUPUI knowing I could play so much better, and I wanted to prove to both the coaching staff, our fans and my teammates that I could play better. That's what I tried to do," Williamson said.Williamson said she tried to take the same attitude into Saturday's game."I just tried to go after every rebound," she said.Williamson, who scored in double figures six times last year as a freshman, accomplished the feat for the first time this season, becoming the 10th Irish player to score in double figures this season.Irish coach Muffet McGraw said it was the best game of the season for the 6-foot-4 center."I think she's really on the upswing right now," McGraw said. "I'm really pleased with the way she's being a presence defensively. She's working hard, taking charges, scoring points. That is exactly what we've been missing is a post presence, and I think she showed that today."Williamson added eight rebounds and three blocks as the Irish dominated inside, outscoring the Red Flash 54-10 in the paint. Devereaux Peters added 10 points and eight rebounds.St. Francis used a 17-4 run midway through the first half to cut Notre Dame's lead to 21-19. But Notre Dame's inside game and defense were too much. The Irish blew the game open by ending the first half on a 21-6 spurt and starting the second half with a 29-6 run.St. Francis made just 3-of-24 shots from the field in the second half and shot 29 percent for the game."We just don't have enough scoring, and obviously size is a huge factor," St. Francis coach Susan Robinson Fruchtl said. "Peters and Williamson really gave us a lot of problems on the interior and on rebounding. They had five offensive rebounds each and probably scored on most of those. That was the big difference in the game."Ashley Barlow added 12 points for the Irish. Britney Hodges led the Red Flash with 18 points.The Irish (11-1) won their ninth straight, and the 39 points were the fewest allowed by Notre Dame since a 41-35 victory over Seton Hall on March 1, 2005. The Red Flash (3-8) lost their sixth straight to fall to 1-6 on the road.
|FG Made-Attempted||13-45 (.289)||36-68 (.529)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-10 (.300)||3-12 (.250)|
|FT Made-Attempted||10-12 (.833)||7-12 (.583)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||12 (0/0)||12 (0/0)|