Dec. 4, 2002
* For the second time this season, Notre Dame started three sophomores on the front line, with center Teresa Borton flanked by forwards Jacqueline Batteast and Katy Flecky. The Irish co-captains, junior Le’Tania Severe and senior Alicia Ratay, made up the backcourt. Notre Dame is 2-0 this season with this starting lineup.
* Ratay became the 10th player in Notre Dame history to start 100 games in her career when she got the call from head coach Muffet McGraw tonight. Ratay also moved into a tie with Margaret Nowlin (1988-92) for ninth place on the Irish career games started list.
* Ratay reached another milestone this evening, becoming the fifth player in school history (and the first since Kelley Siemon in 2001) to amass 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists in her career — Ratay needed one assist coming into the Valparaiso contest. She now has 1,417 points, 521 rebounds and 201 assists in her 101-game Notre Dame career. In addition to Siemon, the others to hit the 1000-500-200 career barriers were Beth Morgan (1993-97), current Irish assistant coach Letitia Bowen (1991-95) and Trena Keys (1982-86).
* The Irish now are 16-0 all-time against Valparaiso, preserving the best record against one opponent in school history. Notre Dame is 7-0 on the Crusaders’ home court, and 4-0 at the Athletics-Recreation Center. In addition, the Irish are 19-0 in their history against current Mid-Continent Conference teams.
* Notre Dame improves to 98-29 (.772) all-time against other Indiana schools. Historically, the Irish have had the most success against Butler (19-6), followed by Evansville (18-1) and tonight’s opponent, Valparaiso (16-0).
* Notre Dame nearly managed to have five players score in double figures for the third consecutive game, missing out on that feat by a single point (Teresa Borton wound up with nine points). Still, tonight’s game marks the first time the Irish have had four players in double digits in three straight games since the first three contests of the 2001 NCAA Tournament vs. Alcorn State (five), Michigan (four) and Utah (four).
* For the third consecutive game, Notre Dame shot 50 percent or better from the field, finishing at an even .500 (21-of-42) tonight at Valparaiso. The last time the Irish hit 50 percent from the floor in three straight games was March 6-19, 2001, when they lost in the BIG EAST Championship game at Connecticut (50.9 percent), then defeated Alcorn State (54.5 percent) and Michigan (51.5 percent) in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
* Notre Dame notched its second road win in as many tries this evening, a feat which took two months and eight games to accomplish last season. In fact, since opening the 2001-02 campaign with five straight losses away from home, the Irish have won eight of their last 10 games outside the Joyce Center, including their last six in a row.
* Notre Dame made a living at the free throw line tonight, connecting on 30-of-40 charity tosses. That’s the most free throws made by the Irish since March 19, 2000, when they canned a school-record 33 charities in an NCAA Tournament win over George Washington. The 40 free throw attempts are the most for Notre Dame since it tried 46 freebies vs. Connecticut on Jan. 15, 2001 — the Irish made 26 free throws that afternoon en route to their first-ever win over the Huskies.
* Junior guard Le’Tania Severe set new career highs with 11 free throws and 14 free throw attempts this evening. Severe’s 14 attempts tied her for fifth on Notre Dame’s single-game list with four other players, most recently Meaghan Leahy, who made 12-of-14 free throws vs. Fordham on Nov. 27, 2000. With 15 points tonight, Severe now has scored in double figures in all three Irish games this year, after breaking into double digits just seven times in her career prior to this season.
* Senior guard Alicia Ratay tallied a game-high 21 points, carding the 20th 20-point game of her career, good for seventh on the Irish career list. Ratay also registered the 76th double-figure scoring game of her career, which ties her with Niele Ivey (1996-2001) for sixth place on the Notre Dame all-time charts. In addition, Ratay is breathing down Ivey’s neck on the school’s career scoring list with 1,417 points, just behind Ivey’s career mark of 1,430 points which is eighth-best in Notre Dame history.
* With her 8-of-10 performance at the foul line tonight, Ratay moved into eighth place on Notre Dame’s career free throws made chart with 275 charity conversions. She already holds the school record for career free throw percentage, hitting at an .868 clip from the stripe (275-317) during her tenure.
* Severe dished out a season-high five assists tonight, logging the 17th five-assist game of her career.