7:00 PM ET, February 27, 2008
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- After losing in overtime to South Florida the past two seasons, No. 14 Notre Dame took all the drama out of Wednesday night's game early.The Fighting Irish used a 27-5 run in the first half to gain control and continued to pull away throughout to beat the Bulls 92-49 on Wednesday night."They showed tonight how good they are," South Florida coach Jose Fernandez said. 'I'm disappointed in our guys that we couldn't give them a much better game."Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw was pleased with the first-half play of the Irish (22-6, 10-4 Big East), who outrebounded South Florida 29-14, outscored them 28-2 in the paint, outshot them 47 percent to 23 percent and forced 14 turnovers."The first half was about as well as we've played all year," she said.The Bulls (13-14, 3-11) scored 15 points in the first half, matching their season-low in the first half against Duke in the second game of the season. They lost that game 89-52. The Irish held St. Francis of Pennsylvania to 14 points in the second half en route to an 82-39 victory on Dec. 29."I was really pleased with just about everybody," McGraw said.Lindsay Schrader, who led the Irish with 17 points and 13 rebounds, said Notre Dame's pressing defense triggered the blowout."Holding somebody to 15 points in a half is something," she said. "I think we should be proud of that."Brittany Mallory had 14 points, making 4-of-5 3-pointers, Charel Allen also added 14 and Melissa Lechlitner had 12 points. Melissa D'Amico, who started 10 games early in the season but has played sparingly since early January, finished with 10 points -- her best game since scoring 10 against Central Michigan on Nov. 20.D'Amico played because Devereaux Peters is out with a torn ligament in her left knee and Becca Bruszewski is out after undergoing surgery on her broken left ring finger on Monday.Shantia Grace led the Bulls with 15 points and Melissa Dalembert added 10 points. South Florida shot 34 percent and had 23 turnovers, leading to 28 points for the Irish. Notre Dame's reserves outscored South Florida's 38-8.The Bulls, who have lost five straight road games, fell into a tie for 13th with Seton Hall and need help to make the league tournament.The Irish need one win in their final two games against Seton Hall and at St. John's to clinch a first-round bye in the Big East tournament."I think we're playing for a lot of things," McGraw said. "We're playing for a seed in the NCAA Tournament, how high can we get?"
|FG Made-Attempted||20-59 (.339)||38-77 (.494)|
|3P Made-Attempted||2-7 (.286)||4-9 (.444)|
|FT Made-Attempted||7-12 (.583)||12-17 (.706)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||15 (0/0)||13 (0/0)|