Dec. 2, 2008
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) -Freshman guard Natalie Novosel scored a career-best 18 points off the bench and Lindsay Schrader added 17 points and 10 rebounds Tuesday night to help No. 11/8 Notre Dame stay unbeaten with an 83-63 victory over Eastern Michigan.
The Fighting Irish (6-0) led by as many as 19 points early in the second half before the Eagles cut the lead to 59-50 with 9 minutes to play. Notre Dame answered with six points and three steals in the next 2 minutes to push the lead back to double digits for good.
Melissa Lechlitner added 15 points for the Irish, who outrebounded the Eagles 60-44 and outscored them 44-20 in the paint.
Cassie Schrock had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Eastern Michigan (2-5), which fell to 0-9 against ranked opponents.
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame and Eastern Michigan were playing one another for the first time in more than 24 years (Nov. 30, 1984 – a 70-59 Irish win in Ypsilanti) … the Irish lead the all-time series with EMU, 3-0, with two of those victories coming on the road … Notre Dame is off to its best start since a similar 6-0 debut in 2005-06 … the Irish pick up their 17th consecutive win against current Mid-American Conference schools and are 34-14 (.708) all-time against the present MAC alignment (19-5, .792, in the 22-year Muffet McGraw era) … Notre Dame also collects its ninth consecutive win over a Michigan school, rising to 52-19 (.732) all-time against the Great Lakes State and 32-7 (.821) in the McGraw era … Notre Dame and Eastern Michigan combined for a Convocation Center-record 104 rebounds in the contest … the Irish pulled down 60 rebounds in the victory, their highest total on the glass since Nov. 26, 2001, when they also grabbed 60 boards in an 89-57 win over Army at the Joyce Center … Notre Dame’s 40 free throw attempts were the most for the Irish in one game since Dec. 4, 2002, when they went 30-for-40 from the stripe in a 74-68 win at Valparaiso … Notre Dame’s +16 rebounding margin was an exact 180-degree turn from its last game against 24th-ranked Michigan State (32-48) … freshman guard Natalie Novosel became the fifth different high scorer in six games for the Irish this season; she also was the second Notre Dame rookie in as many games to toss in a game-high 18 points (Kellie Watson vs. Michigan State last Saturday) … in addition, Novosel became the 10th different Irish player to score in double figures at least once this year, with freshman guard Fraderica Miller still aiming to reach that mark … senior guard Lindsay Schrader notched her fifth career double-double and first of the year, with season highs of 17 points and 10 rebounds; it was her first double-double since Feb. 27, 2008, when she piled up 17 points and 13 rebounds in a win over South Florida at the Joyce Center … junior guard Melissa Lechlitner added a season-best 15 points, her best offensive day since late in her freshman season (16 points at Providence on Feb. 17, 2007) … playing in front of a numerous family members and supporters less than one hour from her hometown of Oak Park, Mich., freshman forward Erica Solomon narrowly missed her first career double-double, “settling” for 12 points and season highs of nine rebounds and four blocked shots; Solomon now has scored in double figures in her last four games … collectively, the four Irish freshman accounted for 37 points in Tuesday’s win at Eastern Michigan … sophomore guard Brittany Mallory drew her first career starting assignment in place of an ailing Ashley Barlow, becoming the second Irish player to earn her first start this year (Becca Bruszewski has been in the lineup for all six games thus far after coming off the bench all of last season); Lechlitner also had started just once in her first two collegiate seasons prior to becoming a fixture in the lineup this year … with Tuesday’s wire-to-wire victory, Notre Dame still has not trailed by more than one possession (three points) at any time this season … prior to Tuesday’s game at EMU, the Irish learned they had risen to No. 8 in the latest ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, marking their highest position in that poll since Feb. 15, 2005, when they were seventh.