DePaul 54

(22-10, 9-7 Big East)

(3) Notre Dame 69

(29-2, 15-1 Big East)

    Coverage: ESPNU/WatchESPN

    2:00 PM ET, March 4, 2012

    1 2 T
    DEP 26 2854
    #3ND 38 3169

    Top Performers

    DePaul: K. Harry 14 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    Notre Dame: D. Peters 16 Pts, 12 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl, 6 Blk

    No. 3 Notre Dame controls DePaul in Big East quarterfinals

    Associated Press

    HARTFORD, Conn. -- Notre Dame will be playing with some extra incentive in Monday's Big East semifinals.

    Devereaux Peters had 16 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks and the Irish beat DePaul 69-54 on Sunday, setting up a rematch with West Virginia, the only Big East team to beat Notre Dame during the regular season.

    The Mountaineers, who beat Georgetown (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) 39-32 in Sunday's first quarterfinal, won in South Bend 65-63 on Feb. 12, ending the Irish's 21-game winning streak.

    "We'll come out with a chip on our shoulder and play better with a chip on our shoulder," said Big East player of the year Skylar Diggins, who had 12 points, five assists and six steals on Sunday. "It's good for a second chance, because they beat us at home."

    Natalie Novosel added 16 points and Kayla McBride had 14 for the Irish (29-2) who are coming off the program's first outright regular-season conference championship.

    Katherine Harry had 10 of her 14 points in the first half for eighth-seeded DePaul (22-10).

    Notre Dame took control of the game with a 14-0 run that began in the first half and ended three minutes into the second with a 3-pointer from Novosel that gave the Irish a 48-26 lead.

    The Blue Demons fought back, cutting the lead to 11 on a jumper by Jasmine Penny with 7:30 left in the game.

    But three straight layups from Peters along with a blocked shot on the other end stretched the lead back out to 17, and DePaul could get no closer than 10 the rest of the way.

    "Devereaux's a great defender, she got defensive player of the year in our league," Harry said. "She's really long and uses her length and has great timing on blocking shots. Give respect where respect is due. She got herself some easy buckets on getting some offensive rebounds."

    DePaul hit four of its first six shots and led 10-7 early on the strength of two 3-pointers by Deanna Ortiz. But Notre Dame responded with an 11-2 run to take the lead for good.

    Peters and Diggins scored the final two buckets of the half, and Notre Dame blocked three DePaul shots down the stretch to go into halftime with a 38-26 lead.

    The Irish outrebounded DePaul 41-28 and Peters had six of the team's seven blocks.

    "I think I'm just being smarter about which ones to block and which ones to go straight up and make them shoot over me," Peters said.

    The Irish have now won two consecutive games at the XL Center. They closed the regular season with a 72-59 win over Connecticut to sweep the season series with the Huskies and secure sole possession of the regular-season conference title.

    Notre Dame has never won a Big East tournament title and hasn't won any conference tournament since taking the 1994 Midwestern Collegiate Conference crown.

    The Irish shared the regular-season title with UConn in 2000-01 and went on to win the program's only NCAA championship that season.

    Notre Dame has now won seven of the last eight meetings with DePaul, including a 90-70 win in South Bend on Feb. 5.

    DePaul beat South Florida 76-62 on Saturday, behind 33 points from Anna Martin. Martin was held to seven by the Irish on 3 of 10 shooting.

    "I think everybody did guard her a little bit and I think that probably trying to keep a little fresher defender on her was a little bit more effective," said Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw.

    The Blue Demons have advanced past the tournament's quarterfinals just once since joining the conference and that was last year, when they lost to Notre Dame 71-67 in the semifinals.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 54 69
    FG Made-Attempted 24-54 (.444) 30-68 (.441)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-16 (.375) 5-11 (.455)
    FT Made-Attempted 0-0 (.000) 4-7 (.571)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 10 (0/0) 5 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 4 22

    Game Leaders

    PointsK. Harry 14D. Peters 16
    ReboundsB. Hrynko 7D. Peters 12
    AssistsA. Martin 5S. Diggins 5
    StealsA. Martin 2S. Diggins 6
    BlocksA. Martin 1D. Peters 6

    2011-12 Season

    Feb 5, 2012 @ND 90, DEP 70Recap | Box Score
    » Mar 4, 2012 @ND 69, DEP 54Recap | Box Score