Feb. 1, 2011
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Becca Bruszewski joined some quality company at Notre Dame.
Bruszewski became the 27th player in school history to score 1,000 points and Devereaux Peters had 15 points and 11 rebounds as the eighth-ranked Fighting Irish beat No. RV/25 Syracuse 71-48 on Tuesday night.
“What a great day it was for Becca,” Irish coach Muffet McGraw said. “It was great that she was able to get it right away.”
Bruszewski, a senior, said: “I’m in the record books here at Notre Dame. I’m always going to be remembered.”
Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman was frustrated the entire night with his team’s performance, but recognized that any road game in the Big East is a challenge.
“Notre Dameis a great basketball team,” Hillsman said. “We knew coming in here it would be a tough game.”
The Irish (19-4, 8-1) dominated in the paint, outscoring the Orange (16-5, 4-4) 36-16 inside. Notre Damealso outrebounded Syracuse 44-34.
“That’s something that normally doesn’t happen to us,” Hillsman said.
“Our posts are really playing well,” McGraw said. “I’m just really thrilled with the way they’re playing. They’re doing everything.”
Syracuse struggled offensively all night, shooting 25.5 percent from the field and turning the ball over 24 times. From behind the arc, the Orange were 2 for 14.
“We didn’t play our best,” Hillsman said. “In this conference, when you don’t play your best, you’re not going to win.”
Neither the Syracuse post players nor guards could get going in the paint, as active hands and sturdy positioning kept the Orange from getting anything easy.
“They just didn’t give ground,” Hillsman said. “You have to give them a lot of credit for being very tough inside.”
Elashier Hall, Syracuse’s leading scorer on the season, was held scoreless on 0 for 3 from the field.
“We did a great job on her,” McGraw said. “A lot of people guarded her, and I thought they all did a great job on her.”
Although the Irish dominated on the defensive side of the ball, Notre Damewas far from fluid on offense.
“I wasn’t happy at all with the offense because it didn’t flow,” McGraw said. “But, overall, we’re winning with defense and that’s what we want to do.”
Center Kayla Alexander led the Orange with 19 points and five rebounds.
Syracuse guard Iasia Hemingway was hit with a technical foul with 10:31 to play when she caught Natalie Achonwa with an elbow after recovering a rebound.
Achonwa had 13 points off the bench for the Irish.
Skylar Diggins scored eight points for the Irish was held to eight points, but she did pull in seven rebounds and get five steals.
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame picks up its third win over a ranked BIG EAST Conference opponent in its last four games, winning all three by an average of 26.0 points per game after having previously ousted No. 16/17 Georgetown (80-58) and No. RV/23 St. John’s (69-36) … for the fifth time in nine BIG EAST games, the Fighting Irish held their opponent to 50 points or fewer (including their last three in a row and four of the past five) … Notre Dame also held its 11th opponent of the season to 50 points or fewer … the Fighting Irish improve to 24-2 all-time against Syracuse, tying with Georgetown and Valparaiso for the second-most wins against one opponent in school history (behind the 30 victories against Marquette) … Notre Dame also has won 11 in a row against the Orange and all 12 meetings at Purcell Pavilion, 11 of those South Bend contests by double digits … the Fighting Irish top the 70-point mark for the 21st time in the 26-game series against Syracuse, as well as the seventh time in the past eight contests … SU’s 48 points are the fewest allowed by Notre Dame in the series since March 2, 2004, when the Fighting Irish posted a 54-33 win in the regular season finale at Purcell Pavilion … the 23-point margin is the largest for Notre Dame in the Syracuse series since Jan. 20, 2007, when the Fighting Irish earned an 83-55 victory at Purcell Pavilion … Notre Dame rises to 50-5 (.909) all-time against New York schools, including a 27-0 record at home … since joining the BIG EAST in 1995-96, the Fighting Irish are 88-25 (.779) all-time in the month of February, with a 50-5 (.909) record at home — in the 24-year Muffet McGraw era, Notre Dame is 136-40 (.773) in February games, including a 72-11 (.867) mark at home … the Fighting Irish logged double-digit steals for the 18th time, and at least 20 assists for the 13th time this year … Syracuse came into Tuesday’s game leading the nation with a +16.6 rebounding margin, but Notre Dame ended up with a +10 edge on the glass, the 12th time this season it has outrebounded an opponent by double figures … the Fighting Irish held their opponent to a three-point percentage of 20 percent or lower for the ninth time this year (SU shot .143 on Tuesday) … senior forward Becca Bruszewski became the 27th Fighting Irish player to score 1,000 career points, currently standing 26th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,007 points (one more than 2010 graduate Melissa Lechlitner) … Bruszewski also cracked double digits for the fourth consecutive game and fifth time in the past six outings … senior forward Devereaux Peters posted her sixth double-double of the season, all in the past 11 games, and nabbed double-digit rebounds for the fourth time in five games … freshman forward Natalie Achonwa collected her eighth double-figure scoring game of the season, and first since Jan. 5 (12 points at Marquette); the 13 points also were one off Achonwa’s career high set on Dec. 11 vs. Creighton … sophomore guard Skylar Diggins registered her fourth “5-5-5” game of the season (and first “5-5-5-5” outing), packing the stat sheet with eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and a season-high five steals.