Feb. 1, 2003
* For the third consecutive game, Notre Dame went with a three-guard lineup, starting junior Le’Tania Severe, freshman Megan Duffy and senior Alicia Ratay in the backcourt. Sophomores Jacqueline Batteast and Teresa Borton made up the Irish front line. Notre Dame is 2-1 when it debuts with this lineup. Tonight’s game marked the 58th consecutive start for Ratay and the 116th of her career. The latter total ties her with Karen Robinson (1987-91) for third place on the Notre Dame career starts list. Up next for Ratay is Mollie Peirick, who started 118 games from 1994-98.
* Tonight’s victory snapped a four-game home losing streak for Notre Dame, and a four-game BIG EAST losing streak at the Joyce Center (dating back to last season). Prior to this evening, the Irish had last won a home game on Dec. 23 vs. Colorado State (46-45), and last defeated a conference foe at the Joyce Center on Feb. 19, 2002, when they downed this same West Virginia club (72-63).
* Notre Dame extends its series winning streak over West Virginia to 11 games, making the Mountaineers one of six opponents on this year’s schedule against whom the Irish currently have a double-digit winning streak (others are Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John’s and Seton Hall).
* West Virginia remains one of eight BIG EAST teams that has never won at the Joyce Center (now 0-6). The other teams to come up empty in South Bend are Boston College (0-5), Georgetown (0-7), Pittsburgh (0-5), Providence (0-5), St. John’s (0-5), Syracuse (0-7) and Virginia Tech (0-2).
* The last three games in the Notre Dame-West Virginia series have been decided by an average of seven points, with tonight’s five-point spread being the closest in the 11-game series.
* The Irish improve to 106-22 (.828) all-time in BIG EAST regular-season play, maintaining the best winning percentage in conference history. Notre Dame has won 62 of its last 74 regular-season conference games and is 57-7 (.891) all-time against the BIG EAST at the Joyce Center.
* Tonight’s game marked the fourth time this season Notre Dame has been involved in a game decided by five points or less. The Irish are 3-1 in these affairs, defeating Colorado State, Villanova and West Virginia, while losing to Rutgers. Notre Dame is 16-13 (.552) in these close games since joining the BIG EAST in 1995-96.
* For the 15th time in 19 games this season, Notre Dame had three players scoring in double figures (and narrowly missed a fourth, as freshman forward Courtney LaVere finished with nine points). The Irish are 11-4 in these games.
* Tonight’s game marked the first time in eight games this year that Notre Dame has won when losing the rebounding battle. West Virginia claimed a 45-35 edge on the glass this evening.
* For the third time in seven games this season, the Irish rallied from a halftime deficit to post a victory. Notre Dame turned the trick in their first meeting with West Virginia on Jan. 8, and also came from behind to defeat USC on Nov. 29.
* Tonight’s game represented the first time Notre Dame has had two 20-point scorers in the same game since Dec. 31 at Marquette, when Jacqueline Batteast carded 23 points and Le’Tania Severe chalked up 20 points.
* Notre Dame recorded a season-low 11 turnovers, one better than their previous mark of 12, set twice this season (vs. Cleveland State, at Villanova).
* Other Notre Dame trends: 11-3 when posting a higher field goal percentage than the opposition; 8-3 when shooting 45 percent or better from the floor; 10-3 when holding the opposition under 40 percent shooting from the floor; 10-3 when making more free throws than the opposition; 6-1 when committing fewer turnovers than the opposition; 6-2 in games decided by 10 points or less.
* Sophomore center Teresa Borton made all seven of her field goal attempts, the second-best shooting performance by an Irish player in Joyce Center history. Sandy Botham went 9-for-9 from the floor against Evansville on Feb. 28, 1986. Borton’s efficiency ratio also was the third-best in school history at any venue, trailing only Botham and a 12-for-12 night by Karen Robinson at Saint Louis on Jan. 14, 1989. In addition, it’s the second 7-for-7 game of Borton’s career — she also turned the trick against Seton Hall on Jan. 9, 2002 at the Joyce Center.
* Senior guard Alicia Ratay tied her season high with 21 points this evening. She also scored 21 points at Valparaiso on Dec. 4. Ratay now has 1,577 career points, placing her just 12 behind Trena Keys (1982-86) and 13 behind Karen Robinson (1987-91) for fifth and fourth place on the Irish career scoring list.
* Ratay posted the 84th double-figure scoring game of her career this evening, good for fourth in school history. She also notched her 22nd 20-point outing, putting her seventh all-time at Notre Dame and just one behind Shari Matvey (1979-83) and Heidi Bunek (1985-89) for fifth place all-time.
* Ratay made eight free throws tonight, tying her with Katryna Gaither (1993-97) for third place on the Irish career free throws chart. Ratay has made 328 charity tosses in her career.
* Sophomore forward Jacqueline Batteast scored in dobule figures for the 17th time in 19 games this season, rolling up her fourth 20-point game to tie Courtney LaVere for team-high honors. Batteast also charted a team-high five assists and tied her career best with four blocks (set most recently vs. Miami on Jan. 11).
* Junior guard Le’Tania Severe collected a season-high seven rebounds, matching the total she compiled against Purdue on Jan. 4.
* Freshman guard Megan Duffy came into Saturday’s contest having made only one of three free throws in the final five minutes of games this year. However, she calmly buried all four of her charity tosses in the final 24 seconds against West Virginia to ice the win.
* Notre Dame returns to action Wednesday at 7 p.m. (EST) against Georgetown at the Joyce Center. The Irish lead the all-time series with the Hoyas, 16-1, including a 7-0 mark at home. Notre Dame won the only meeting between the clubs last season, taking an 86-66 win in Washington, D.C.
— ND —