Feb. 8, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. (AP) – Even against a team winless in the BIG EAST, Skylar Diggins was impressive.
Diggins had 14 points, six assists, seven rebounds, and five steals to help No. 8 Notre Dame beat Seton Hall 89-38 Tuesday night.
“She’s doing everything, and she’s just starting to peak,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said.
Notre Dame’s defense suffocated Seton Hall the entire night, limiting the Pirates to 24.6 percent shooting from the floor and forcing 24 turnovers. “I was really pleased with the defensive intensity,” McGraw said. “I thought we had a great focus.”
Jasmine Crew led the Pirates with 10 points despite fouling out with 10:18 remaining in the game. Seton Hall (7-16, 0-10 BIG EAST) has yet to win a BIG EAST matchup this season.
Notre Dame (21-4, 10-1) made its first nine field goal attempts. Fighting Irish guard Kaila Turner was injured with 7:57 to play and did not return.
Kandice Green, Seton Hall’s leading scorer and rebounder on the season, went down with a left ankle injury with 16:26 remaining in the first half and didn’t return.
“What we tried to do is concentrate a lot on their pressure,” Seton Hall coach Anne Donovan said. “We practiced it for two days, and it went completely out the window.”
“We got it going, we got layups, people were just really finding each other today,” Diggins said. “We’re getting better every game.”
Seton Hall’s Brittany Morris stole the ball from Natalie Achonwa and Turner on consecutive possessions to cut the score to 26-13 with 9:55 to go.
The Irish stretched the lead back to 44-23 at halftime, and went on another run in the second half, leading 63-25 with 13:06 to play.
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame picks up its 10th BIG EAST Conference win of the season, marking the 15th time in the program’s 16-year BIG EAST membership (1995-96 to present) that the Fighting Irish have recorded double-digit conference wins … it’s also the 21st time in the 24-year tenure of head coach Muffet McGraw that Notre Dame has posted at least 10 league wins — the lone exceptions have come in 1987-88 (7-3 in the North Star Conference), 1991-92 (8-4 in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference/Horizon League) and 2005-06 (8-8 in the BIG EAST) … Tuesday’s 51-point margin of victory is the second-largest spread ever for Notre Dame in a BIG EAST Conference regular season game, topped only by a 91-35 win over Seton Hall on Jan. 31, 1998 at Purcell Pavilion; the Fighting Irish also posted an 89-33 win over Georgetown in the quarterfinals of the 2001 BIG EAST Championship (March 4, 2001 in Storrs, Conn.) … Notre Dame held Seton Hall to a .246 field goal percentage, the lowest by a Fighting Irish BIG EAST opponent since Jan. 2, 2005, when Seton Hall shot .222 from the field in a 54-33 Notre Dame win at Purcell Pavilion … conversely, the Fighting Irish shot a season-high .640 from the field, tying for the 10th-best field goal percentage in school history, and best since Nov. 23, 2008 (.646 in a 102-54 win at Boston College), and Notre Dame’s third-best field goal percentage ever against a BIG EAST opponent (best since Feb. 13, 2008, when it shot .643 in a 99-76 win over Marquette at Purcell Pavilion) … the Fighting Irish tied their season high with six double-figure scorers, having first achieved that against Louisville on Jan. 12 (80-60 win at Purcell Pavilion) … Notre Dame posted its 19th double-digit steal game, 14th 20-assist game, 14th game shooting .500 or better, and 14th game with a double-digit rebound margin (eighth of +15 or better) this season … the Fighting Irish logged their school-record ninth 35-point win and 12th 30-point victory, as well as their sixth 50-point win of the year … Tuesday marked the fifth time this season Notre Dame has held its opponent to fewer than 40 points, and the 12th time it has limited the opposition to 50 points or fewer … the Fighting Irish are 19-4 all-time against Seton Hall (9-2 at Purcell Pavilion) and have won the last five games in the series, as well as 19 of the 21 meetings since Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST in 1995-96 … sophomore guard Skylar Diggins tallied her fifth game with seven-plus assists this season, and her 16th five-assist outing of the year (she had seven all of last season) … for the second time in three games, Diggins packed the stat sheet with a “5-5-5-5” game (14 points, seven assists, six rebounds, season-high-tying five steals), the second of her career, as well as the 13th career “5-5-5” outing for the South Bend native … senior forward Becca Bruszewski extended her double-digit scoring streak to a career-high six games, while also giving her 1,033 career points (one shy of Mollie Peirick’s total from 1994-98, which is 24th on the program’s all-time scoring list) … junior guard Natalie Novosel collected her career-best 10th consecutive double-figure scoring night … freshman forward Natalie Achonwa scored in double figures for the third consecutive game … senior guard Brittany Mallory posted her fifth double-digit scoring night of the year (first since a season-high 14 points in a win over #16/17 Georgetown on Jan. 18 at Purcell Pavilion) … Mallory also tied her season high with five steals, the fourth time this year she’s had five thefts in a game … freshman forward Ariel Braker tied for game-high honors with six rebounds, the ninth different Fighting Irish player to lead the team in rebounds in at least one game this season.