Nov. 14, 2003
BOULDER, Colo. – Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast scored 27 points and junior forward Katy Flecky added 17 to lead No. 15 Notre Dame to a 77-64 win over No. 22 Auburn in the first round of the WBCA Classic on Friday night. It was the first time the Irish had defeated a ranked team in their season opener since Nov. 14, 1998, when sixth-ranked UCLA fell by a 99-82 count. In addition, Notre Dame won its initial meeting with Auburn, marking the 19th time in the last 20 games that the Irish have defeated a first-time opponent. And, Notre Dame won its eighth consecutive season opener, improving to 14-3 in season lidlifters under head coach Muffet McGraw.
Natasha Brackett and Marita Payne had 14 points each for Auburn, last year’s WNIT champion.
Batteast was 6-for-8 from the field in the second half and scored 11 points in the first nine minutes as Notre Dame built a 59-44 lead.
Two free throws by Tia Miller got Auburn within 64-60 with 5:21 left. But Flecky hit a 3-pointer in a 9-0 run to put the game out of reach.
Notre Dame led 36-27 at halftime and went on to win for the 63rd time in their last 67 games when leading at the break (a streak that dates back to the 2000-01 season).
The Irish will take on No. 20 Colorado in the championship game of the WBCA Classic Saturday at 8:15 p.m. MT (10:15 p.m. ET in South Bend). The Buffaloes advanced to the title game with an 84-67 win over Old Dominion in Friday’s second game.
— ND —