Feb. 16, 2015
Inside The Game: #4 Notre Dame 63, #10/11 Duke 50
February 16, 2015 – Notre Dame, Indiana (Purcell Pavilion)
It Was Over When: After Duke’s Elizabeth Williams converted a free throw for a three-point play to trim Notre Dame’s lead to eight at 41-33 with 15:07 left in the game, the Fighting Irish went on an 11-0 run to bump the lead up to a game-high 19 points. The final dagger was a Brianna Turner lay-up with 11:05 remaining in the contest to make the score 52-33 and Duke never got closer than the final 13-point margin.
Game Ball Goes To: Junior guard Jewell Loyd, who despite a tough shooting night from the field (5-18 FG), tied her career high with four three-pointers and made seven of eight free throws for a game-high 21 points (the seventh time she has scored 20 points in eight games against a ranked opponent this year). Loyd also had six rebounds, a team high-tying five assists and two steals. On defense, she helped hold Duke sharpshooting guard Rebecca Greenwell to four points on two of five shooting.
Unsung Hero: Senior guard Madison Cable contributed a little bit in every category, nailing three first-half three-pointers (all nine of her points on the night) in addition to grabbing six rebounds and swiping a game-high four steals.
Unofficial Play of the Game: Down 19-17 midway through the first half, the Fighting Irish had only seconds remaining on the shot clock, as Duke looked to keep the pressure on the home team. Loyd had the ball and was swarmed by Blue Devil defenders, but alertly dished to a wide-open Cable in the left corner, who canned a big three-pointer as the shot clock expired to give Notre Dame its first lead of the game (and, as it turned out, the lead for good). Including a previous Lindsay Allen three pointer, the Fighting Irish ended the first half on a 20-5 run to take a 10-point lead into the locker room.
Stat Of The Game: With the win, Notre Dame improved to 7-1 against ranked opponents this season, including 4-1 record against teams appearing in the top 10 of one or both major national polls (Duke moved up to No. 10 in the Associated Press poll hours before tipoff).
People Watching: There were numerous familiar faces in the Purcell Pavilion crowd on Monday night, including several Notre Dame women’s basketball alumnae — Ariel Braker, Skylar Diggins, Natalie Novosel, Devereaux Peters, Ruth Riley and Lindsay Schrader, not to mention current Fighting Irish assistant coaches and former All-America players at Notre Dame, Beth Cunningham and Niele Ivey, and the program’s operations specialist, Natalie Achonwa. Oh yes, and the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves, also was in the building, sitting courtside opposite the Notre Dame bench.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame held Duke to a season-low 50 points, the fewest the Fighting Irish have allowed to a top-10 opponent since March 27, 2012, when they defeated fifth-ranked Maryland, 80-49, in the NCAA Elite Eight (Raleigh Regional final) at RBC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina … Notre Dame held an opponent with out a three-point basket for the first time since March 9, 2014, when Duke was held scoreless on five attempts from beyond the arc in a 69-53 Fighting Irish win in the ACC Tournament championship game at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina … conversely, Notre Dame tied its season high with nine three-pointers, having previously reached that total at No. 25 DePaul on Dec. 10 (94-93 overtime win) and at UCLA on Dec. 28 (82-67 win) … Notre Dame moves to 10-1 all-time against Duke and has won the past eight games in the series … Monday’s 50 points were the fewest scored by either team in the series (previous low had been Duke’s 53 points in last year’s ACC title game) … Notre Dame is 25-2 (.926) all-time against teams from the state of North Carolina, including an active 15-game winning streak, and the Fighting Irish are 9-0 all-time against North Carolina schools at Purcell Pavilion … Notre Dame improves to 10-0 all-time on ESPN2’s “Big Monday” package (5-0 home, 5-0 road) … the Fighting Irish are 118-28 (.808) in the month of February since 1995-96, including an active 23-game winning streak in February games, and they are 66-6 (.917) at home in February during the past 20 seasons … Notre Dame has won a season-high 10 consecutive games, all by double figures, including three wins over top-10 teams in that span (No. 12/10 North Carolina, No. 5/6 Tennessee, No. 10/11 Duke) … Loyd chalked up her 15th 20-point game this season, tying for fifth on the Notre Dame single-season list (most since Diggins had 15 in 2011-12) … Loyd also logged her 30th career 20-point game, taking sole possession of sixth place on the Fighting Irish record book … with Monday’s win, the Fighting Irish senior class of Cable, Whitney Holloway and Markisha Wright improves to 131-9 (.936) all-time, the second-most wins by one senior class in program history, passing the Class of 2013 (Diggins and Kaila Turner), which compiled 130 victories — the only more successful class to date was recently-departed Class of 2014 led by Achonwa, Braker and Kayla McBride, which posted 138 wins.
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame hits the road Thursday for a 7 p.m. (ET) contest in Atlanta against Georgia Tech at McCamish Pavilion. The game will be televised on ACC/Regional Sports Networks (includes Comcast Channel 101 in South Bend, numerous Fox Sports regional affiliates and ESPN3/WatchESPN in areas not blacked out). In addition, radio coverage will be available in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and free of charge worldwide online through the official Notre Dame athletics multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv).
–Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director