Feb. 13, 2008
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Tulyah Gaines got Notre Dame’s defense going, then she got going offensively.
Gaines stopped Marquette’s Krystal Ellis after she burned Notre Dame for 13 points in the first eight minutes. Then Gaines scored a season-high 22 points to pace the Irish offensively in a 99-76 victory on Wednesday night.
“She really did everything we needed her to do,” coach Muffet McGraw said. “She just played an outstanding game. Defensively she shut Ellis down. Offensively, just a great game.”
Ellis scored 13 points as Marquette (13-11, 5-6 BIG EAST) jumped to an early 23-17 lead on 10-of-15 shooting. But the Fighting Irish (19-5, 7-3) switched to a box-and-one defense, with Gaines guarding Ellis, and went on a 21-1 run. The Golden Eagles went more than 9 minutes without a basket. Ellis had just one shot the rest of the half and finished the game with 18 points.
“Not letting her touch the ball is the best defense,” Gaines said. “That’s what I tried to do.”
Marquette coach Terri Mitchell said it was the same defense the Golden Eagles have seen repeatedly against Big East opponents.
“We work on it. The bottom line is, if you screen and run the plays the slips will be there,” she said. “And when Krystal has two defenders, someone is open so we have to score.”
The only other player in double figures for the Golden Eagles was Courtney Weibel, who scored 11 of her 14 points in the second half.
Gaines was 10-of-15 shooting, repeatedly drove for layups. She said the defensive stops helped the Irish get going.
“When your defense is playing like that you get out and run,” she said. “I think that’s what we’re good at as a team.”
Marquette, which bounced back from a 19-point deficit against Cincinnati last week, trailed 45-31 at halftime. The Golden Eagles closed to 13 points early in the second half, but the Irish quickly answered with a 7-0 run.
The Irish, who led by as many as 32, didn’t make a basket in the final 3:58 as they failed to become the first team in 13 years to break 100 against Marquette.
“I would have liked to see us get 100,” said Lindsay Schrader, who scored 17 for the Irish. “But as long as we win I don’t care.”
Charel Allen added 13 points and the Irish shot a season-high 64 percent. Marquette had not allowed an opponent to shoot better than 49 percent this season.
“When you’re shooting in the paint, you’re really close to the paint, you’re really going to shoot well,” Mitchell said. “We had a bad night. Notre Dame had a great night.”
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame tops the 90-point mark for the sixth time this season, one shy of the school record set in both 1996-97 and 1998-99 … the Irish also narrowly miss posting their second 100-point game of the season, a feat last accomplished during the ’98-99 campaign … Notre Dame season-high .643 field goal percentage (36-of-56) was its best for a single game since Feb. 12, 1997, when the Irish shot .680 (34-of-50) in a 91-64 win over Boston College at the Joyce Center … Notre Dame matched its season high with eight blocked shots (achieved twice before, most recently on Nov. 20 at Central Michigan) … the Irish were charged with a season-high 23 turnovers, only the second time in the past 40 games they have had 20-or-more giveaways in a game (20 at Louisville on Jan. 8) … Notre Dame shot at least 84 percent from the foul line for the third consecutive game and fourth time in the past five outings, shooting a combined .854 (117-of-137) at the charity stripe in that five-game span … Notre Dame’s 21-1 first-half run tied its second-best first-half run of the season (20-0 at Central Michigan), exceeded only by a 21-0 run at Cincinnati on Feb. 2, a surge that actually crossed over into the second half … the Irish move to 28-5 all-time against Marquette, including a 17-1 record at the Joyce Center (and an active streak of 16 consecutive wins since that lone home loss on Feb. 2, 1980) … the previous five games in the series had been decided by a total of 29 points … Notre Dame’s 99 points were the most it has scored against Marquette since Dec. 21, 1990 (a series-high 109-56 win at the Joyce Center) … the Irish bench still has outscored every opponent this season, taking a narrow 29-27 edge vs. Marquette … senior guard Tulyah Gaines scored a season-high 22 points, topping her old high-water mark of 15 vs. Michigan on Dec. 2 … Gaines, who made a career-high 10 field goals (previous: 8 on three occasions, last vs. Cincinnati on Jan. 10, 2007), has scored in double figures in four consecutive games, the longest such streak of her career … senior guard Charel Allen moved into 11th place on the Notre Dame career scoring list with 1,385 points, passing Shari Matvey (1,373 from 1979-83); Allen needs 45 points to catch current Irish assistant coach Niele Ivey (1,430 points from 1996-01) for 10th place in school history … Allen added two steals vs. Marquette, putting her just nine thefts away from becoming the first player in Notre Dame’s 31-year history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 200 steals in her career … junior guard Lindsay Schrader collected a career-high four steals, one more than her previous best set on five occasions (most recently on Sunday vs. Pittsburgh) … sophomore guard Ashley Barlow tied her career high with six assists, a mark she originally set earlier this season (Nov. 27 against Canisius) … sophomore center Erica Williamson matched her season high with three blocks, having also logged three rejections on Dec. 29 against Saint Francis (Pa.) … senior center Melissa D’Amico tied her career high with six made free throws, having also done that on Nov. 10, 2006 against Central Michigan … sophomore guard Melissa Lechlitner had a season-high five rebounds (four on three occasions, including the two prior games) and career-best two blocks (one at Villanova exactly one year earlier on Feb. 13, 2007).