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Notre Dame overcomes slow start, cruises past IPFW

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw was probably the only thing that kept Becca Bruszewski from having a career night.

After scoring 14 points in the first half and matching her career high with four steals, Bruszewski played only seven minutes in the second to finish with 18 points and five assists as the Fighting Irish (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) cruised to a 96-60 victory over IPFW on Tuesday night.

Bruszewski, whose career high for points is 20, had been slowed by fouls in recent games.

"Without foul trouble, that's what Becca's going to do for us every game. I think she's been doing that for us every game, just in smaller pieces because of the foul trouble," McGraw said. "It's probably frustrating for her we subbed so early because she was playing so well."

Bruszewski said she played smarter.

"I guess just getting around in the post without touching them at all, because that's what I struggled with," she said.

Lindsay Schrader added 14 points and eight rebounds as the Irish (8-0) dominated inside, outscoring the Mastodons (2-5) 62-12 in the paint and outrebounding them 39-27. IPFW's leading scorer Stephanie Rosado (14.7 points a game) was 1-of-12 shooting for eight points and Eva Inova (10 ppg) was 0-of-3.

"Our two posts go 1-for-15, it's going to be tough for us to win a basketball game," IPFW coach Chris Paul said.

Anne Boese, making her first start, had a career-high 24 points for the Mastodons on 6-of-8 shooting from 3-point range. She said the Notre Dame defense was tough.

"Once somebody got the ball it was a matter of split seconds before they all swarmed us," she said. "It was tough to get open shots."

The Irish, playing with their highest ranking in five seasons, are off to their best start since going 23-0 and winning the national championship in 2000-01.