Nov. 2, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Sophomore guard Kayla McBride (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) scored a game-high 21 points and fifth-year senior forward Devereaux Peters (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) added 16 points (on 8-of-9 shooting) and a game-best eight rebounds as No. 2 Notre Dame rolled to an 83-34 exhibition win over the defending Canadian national champion, University of Windsor, on Wednesday night before a crowd of 7,735 fans at Purcell Pavilion. It was the 27th consecutive preseason victory for the Fighting Irish, and the 32nd in their last 33 exhibition games, dating back to the 1993-94 season.
McBride added six rebounds and a game-high six steals, part of an aggressive Notre Dame defense that hounded the Lancers into 36 turnovers (with 25 coming on Fighting Irish steals) and a .268 field goal percentage, including 3-of-21 (.143) from the three-point line.
Senior guard Fraderica Miller (Atlanta, Ga./The Marist School) and freshman forward Markisha Wright (Des Moines, Iowa/Des Moines East) sparked a strong Notre Dame reserve unit, with each coming off the bench to score 12 points. Miller also collected four steals, while Wright had six rebounds and three blocks, in addition to going 4-of-4 from the field. Junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) chipped in with a balanced effort, scoring eight points and dishing out a game-high seven assists (more than the entire Windsor team) while nabbing five steals.
As a team, the Fighting Irish shot 51.5 percent for the game (34-of-66) and held a slim 36-34 rebounding edge over Windsor, which features four players standing 6-foot-3 or taller. The Lancers were led by Korissa Williams, who had team highs of 10 points and seven rebounds, while Bojana Kovacevic added eight points. Notre Dame also did a solid job defending Windsor forward Jessica Clemencon, the reigning Canadian national player of the year, limiting her to seven points and six rebounds.
Both teams got off to a sluggish offensive start on Wednesday, although the Fighting Irish defense was strong from the outset, holding the Lancers to just two points during the opening 8:30 of the contest. In that time, Notre Dame forced 10 turnovers and limited Windsor to 1-of-7 shooting while opening up a 13-2 lead.
The Lancers would pull back within seven points twice in the ensuing five minutes, the last on Kovacevic’s layup with 6:15 left in the first half. The Fighting Irish then effectively put the game on ice, closing the period with 23-4 run, fueled by six points from McBride and four apiece from Diggins, Miller and Wright.
Notre Dame continued to keep up the pressure in the second half, opening with a 19-4 run that included eight points from Peters, the last hiking the Fighting Irish lead over the 40-point mark at 61-20 with 13:32 to play. A Kovacevic three-pointer briefly pulled Windsor inside of 40 points (63-24) at the 11:22 mark, but the Lancers would get no closer, as Notre Dame steadily pulled away in the closing minutes, opening up its game-high 49-point lead on two occasions, the second being the final score.
The Fighting Irish now will turn their attention to the regular season opener, slated for 7 p.m. (ET) on Nov. 11, when they play host to Akron at Purcell Pavilion in the first round of the Preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). That game also has been designated as “Proud To Be An American Night,” with Notre Dame planning to recognize the contributions of our brave men and women in uniform in honor of Veterans Day.
Single-game tickets for the 2011-12 Notre Dame women’s basketball campaign are available by contacting the Murnane Family Ticket Office by phone (574-631-7356) or in person (Gate 9 in the Rosenthal Atrium at Purcell Pavilion) from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) weekdays. Fans also can purchase tickets on-line through the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web page (www.UND.com/tickets).
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter pages (@ndwbbsid or @notredamewbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame has won 27 consecutive exhibition games and is 32-1 in the preseason since the 1993-94 season (only loss was a 94-89 decision to the Lithuanian National Team in 1996) … Notre Dame was playing an international opponent in the preseason for the first time since Nov. 14, 2000, when the Fighting Irish defeated Finnish club team Tapiolan Honka, 98-53 at Purcell Pavilion behind a near triple-double from current Notre Dame assistant coach Niele Ivey (nine points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) … Windsor, which posted a 34-2 record last year en route to its national title and was 5-1 in preseason games this year, came into Wednesday’s contest at Notre Dame ranked No. 2 by Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), the equivalent of the NCAA north of the border … the Fighting Irish now have held four of their last five exhibition opponents to fewer than 40 points, with the University of Indianapolis the only team to top that mark (in a 97-53 Notre Dame win on Nov. 3, 2009) … the Fighting Irish have won their last six preseason contests (against NCAA Division II and Canadian opposition) by an average of 52.5 points per game … Notre Dame has forced an average of 37.8 turnovers in its last four exhibition games, with Wednesday’s total of 36 takeaways matching its mark against Indianapolis in 2009 … the Fighting Irish had at least 25 steals for the third time in the past four preseason outings (they also had 25 last year in a record-setting 102-30 win over Michigan Tech) … McBride’s 21 points matched Natalie Novosel’s 21 points last year as the most by a Notre Dame player in an exhibition since Nov. 10, 2005, when Megan Duffy scored 24 points in a 96-45 win over Ferris State … had it been a regular-season contest, McBride would have set career highs for points (20 vs. Loyola Marymount on Dec. 30, 2010) and steals (three on two occasions, the last on Nov. 26, 2010, vs. IUPUI) … Miller also would have set a new career scoring high if Wednesday’s contest had come in the regular season, with her personal best being 11 points against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 15, 2009 … Diggins’ seven assists were the most by a Fighting Irish player in the preseason since Duffy also had seven handouts on Nov. 1, 2005, in an 84-59 win over Indianapolis … junior guard Kaila Turner would have tied her career high with six assists, having set that mark against Loyola Marymount last year … Wednesday’s attendance of 7,735 was a program record for an exhibition game, topping the old standard of 7,508 set against Indianapolis in 2009.