SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw was pleased with everything about her team after Sunday's 90-31 victory over Charlotte -- at least at first.
"I really have no complaints about this one," she said.Freshman guard Skylar Diggins wanted to make sure everyone knew how rare it was for McGraw to make such a statement."Make sure you're all recording this," Diggins said, drawing a laugh from her coach.The fourth-ranked Irish (10-0) had reason to be happy after registering their most lopsided victory since a 113-35 win against Liberty to open the 1989-90 season. It was their fewest points allowed since a 66-31 win over St. John's in 2002.Still, after a longer look at the final statistics, McGraw said she was disappointed that her team had 13 turnovers in each half."So there's something I can be unhappy about," she said.Charlotte coach Karen Aston was disappointed her team didn't give Notre Dame a better game considering the 49ers played the Irish tough in a 68-61 loss last season."I was surprised by our lack of competitiveness," she said. "I'm disappointed we didn't compete better and give them a better game."The 43 turnovers forced and 24 steals by the Irish were their most since they joined the Big East for the 1995-96 season. Five players had at least three steals, led by five by Kaila Turner.Ashley Barlow scored a season-high 19 points, Turner added 11 and all 12 Irish players who got in the game scored.Notre Dame missed its first seven shots, then scored seven points in 25 seconds when Barlow hit a 3, Diggins had a steal and basket, then Diggins stole the ball again and scored on a rebound."It really ignited the whole team," McGraw said.Aston said once the Irish got going, the 49ers couldn't stop them."It snowballed on us," she said. "We lost our composure and lost our character and completely lost our frame of mind as far as what our focus was in the game."The Irish extended the lead to 16-0 before Charlotte scored its first points, and added a 30-3 run in the second half.The Irish had more points in the paint (32), more points from their reserves (52) and more points off turnovers (44) than the 49ers had total points. Notre Dame also held Charlotte (5-6) to 24.5 percent shooting, the first time the 49ers shot below 30 percent in a game since 2006.Shannon McCallum led Charlotte with 10 points.