Jan. 24, 2015
Inside The Game: #6/5 Notre Dame 74, Clemson 36
January 24, 2015 – Clemson, South Carolina (Littlejohn Coliseum)
It Was Over When: Junior guard Hannah Huffman converted a layup in traffic with 5:48 remaining in the first half, capping a 19-0 Notre Dame run that covered a span of 5:05 midway through the opening period and gave the Fighting Irish a 37-9 lead. Clemson would get no closer than 22 points the rest of the afternoon, with Notre Dame pushing its advantage over 30 points for the majority of the second half.
Game Ball Goes To: Junior guard Jewell Loyd, who needed just 24 minutes to emerge as the game’s leading scorer, registering 17 points on six of seven shooting (making her last five shots after her lone miss — a three-point attempt 4:16 into the game). Loyd also grabbed eight rebounds, her best outing on the glass since Dec. 10, when she collected a season-high 12 rebounds in a 94-93 overtime win at No. 25 DePaul (a game better known for Loyd’s career-high and school record-tying 41 points).
Unsung Hero: Huffman brought energy and passion off the bench for Notre Dame, stuffing the stat sheet with four points, three assists, one rebound, one block and one steal in 20 minutes. She also spent time guarding Clemson’s leading scorer, Nikki Dixon, helping to hold the Tigers’ standout to 15 points on six of 17 shooting.
Unofficial Play of the Game: Huffman’s defensive tenacity was on full display in the second half, particularly with 10:55 remaining when she was guarding Dixon with the shot clock winding down. Huffman stayed with Dixon on the latter’s drive down the lane, then perfectly timed her leap to block the shot. The ball came back to Dixon, but the shot clock expired just before she let her putback go (a shot that also was blocked by Huffman). It was the second of two shot-clock violations Notre Dame forced during the game.
Stat Of The Game: Notre Dame held Clemson to 36 points, the fewest points the Fighting Irish have allowed in a conference game since Jan. 4, 2012, when they posted the exact same winning score (74-36) in their BIG EAST Conference opener at Seton Hall.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame posted its largest margin of victory on the road since Jan. 16, 2014, when it earned a 109-66 win at Pittsburgh … Notre Dame allowed Clemson just 36 points and a .286 field-goal percentage, both the second-lowest of the season by a Fighting Irish opponent (Holy Cross scored 29 points and shot .186 from the floor in a 104-29 Notre Dame win on Nov. 23 in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge at Purcell Pavilion) … Clemson’s 16 second-half points tied the third-fewest allowed by the Fighting Irish in a single half this year — Holy Cross scored 13 in the second half on Nov. 23 (after scoring 16 in the first half), and Harvard also scored 13 in the first half the next night (Nov. 24), also in the Hall of Fame Challenge at Purcell Pavilion … Notre Dame is 10-0 this season when holding its opponents to fewer than 60 points, and 302-15 (.953) in such games since the beginning of the 1995-96 season … the Fighting Irish had four players score in double figures for the 11th time this season (11-0 record) … this was Notre Dame’s eighth 30-point win of the season and first since a 104-58 victory over Boston College on Jan. 11 at Purcell Pavilion … the Fighting Irish grabbed 20 offensive rebounds for the first time since Dec. 10, when they had 23 offensive boards in an overtime win at No. 25 DePaul … that same game also saw Notre Dame post a plus-20 rebounding margin, the last time the Fighting Irish had a spread that large on the glass prior to Saturday’s win at Clemson … Notre Dame is 2-0 all-time against Clemson and 3-2 all-time against teams from the state of South Carolina (the Fighting Irish are 1-2 against South Carolina) … since 2008-09, Notre Dame is 51-10 (.836) when playing a game on one day’s rest or less, including a 6-0 record this season … freshman forward Brianna Turner posted her fifth double-double of the season … Loyd moved into eighth place on the Notre Dame career scoring list with 1,591 points, edging past Trena Keys (1,589 points from 1982-86) and Karen Robinson (1,590 points from 1987-91) — up next for Loyd is a fellow Chicagoland native, Lake Zurich product Alicia Ratay, who scored 1,763 points from 1999-2003 … sophomore forward Taya Reimer collected her 10th double-digit scoring day of the season, and second in as many games — she is averaging 12.7 points and 8.7 rebounds in her last three outings … freshman forward Kathryn Westbeld posted her fifth double-digit scoring game of the season … sophomore guard Lindsay Allen dished out at least five assists for the eighth consecutive game and is averaging 6.6 assists per game in that span … junior guard/tri-captain Michaela Mabrey handed out six assists, one off her career high set twice before (most recently on Nov. 23 in the win over Holy Cross at Purcell Pavilion) … sophomore center Diamond Thompson converted a free throw with 1:44 remaining, scoring her first point since Nov. 30, when she sank a basket against Kansas (at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut) … Thompson’s foul shot put all 11 active Notre Dame players in the scoring column (senior guard/tri-captain Whitney Holloway is sidelined with an injured right foot and sophomore forward Kristina Nelson is sitting out this season while recovering from shoulder surgery), the fifth time this year every healthy Fighting Irish player has scored in a game, and first since all four games of the Hall of Fame Challenge from Nov. 23-30 vs. Holy Cross, Harvard, Quinnipiac and Kansas.
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame reaches the midpoint of its 2014-15 ACC season on Thursday when it travels to Blacksburg, Virginia, for a 7 p.m. (ET) matchup with Virginia Tech at Cassell Coliseum. The game will be televised live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app, while 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