Jan. 19, 2015
Inside The Game: #6/7 Notre Dame 88, #5/6 Tennessee 77
January 19, 2015 – Notre Dame, Indiana (Purcell Pavilion)
It Was Over When: The Fighting Irish went on a 7-0 run in a 51-second span midway through the second half to double their lead to a game-high 14 points. The run started at 9:23 with a three-pointer from junior guard Jewell Loyd, following a block from freshman forward and reigning ACC Player of the Week Brianna Turner and senior guard Madison Cable’s rebound. Notre Dame followed that up with a rebound by sophomore forward Taya Reimer, leading to a layup by Turner 23 seconds later, forcing a Lady Vol timeout. Out of the break, Cable stepped in front of a UT pass and went coast-to-coast for a layup at 8:32 to bring the sellout crowd at Purcell Pavilion to its feet and give the Fighting Irish a 66-52 lead.
Game Ball Goes To: Junior guard Jewell Loyd, who finished with a game-high 34 points on 13 of 23 shooting. The 30-point effort was her third of the season and sixth of her career (both tying school records) and moved her career total to 1,545 points, just one point away from tying former Notre Dame All-America forward and current Fighting Irish operations specialist/2014 WNBA first-round draft pick Natalie Achonwa (1,546 points) for 12th place on the program’s career scoring list. Loyd (who is averaging 27.7 points in seven games against ranked opponents this year) added five rebounds and four assists for good measure against Tennessee.
Unsung Hero: In her second game back after missing two contests for personal reasons, sophomore forward Taya Reimer nearly logged a double-double, ending up with nine points (on four of six shooting) and a game-high 10 rebounds. She now has snared 10 or more rebounds in three games this season and seven times in her career.
Unofficial Play of the Game: Up just one with 3.8 seconds remaining in the first half, Notre Dame hit a buzzer beater for the second time this season to bolster its lead to 40-37 entering the break. Freshman forward Kathryn Westbeld threw the long inbounds pass to sophomore guard Lindsay Allen, who put up a three-pointer from just beyond midcourt with two seconds remaining. The ball was long and went off the backboard, where Loyd was waiting. She caught the ball and put it back up for two points — all while in the air — to give the Fighting Irish the momentum entering the locker room.
Stat Of The Game: After starting off 0-20 against Tennessee from 1983 to 2008, the Fighting Irish have now won five in a row against one of the nation’s traditional women’s basketball powers. All five Notre Dame wins have been by double digits, with two coming in Knoxville, two coming at Purcell Pavilion and one coming in the 2011 NCAA Elite Eight in Dayton, Ohio.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame picks up its sixth win in seven tries against a ranked opponent this season, and its third against a top-10 opponent (according to either major national poll) … the Fighting Irish earned their first win over a top-five team (according to the Associated Press poll) since March 31, 2014, when they defeated No. 5/6 Baylor, 88-69 in the NCAA Elite Eight at Purcell Pavilion … Notre Dame is 9-0 on Big Monday during the past four seasons (5-0 on the road, 4-0 at home) … the Fighting Irish are a combined 12-4 (.750) against Tennessee (five wins) and Connecticut (seven wins) in the past four-plus seasons, starting with a 73-59 victory over UT in the 2011 NCAA Elite Eight at Dayton, Ohio … Notre Dame’s 88 points on Monday were the most it has scored in the 25-game series against Tennessee (previous high came in last year’s 86-70 win at UT) … the Fighting Irish have won 11 of their last 12 games against Southeastern Conference opponents … Notre Dame shot better than 50 percent from the field for the eighth time in its last nine games, and posted its second-highest field-goal percentage of the season (.603 vs. Chattanooga on Nov. 21 at Purcell Pavilion) … Loyd’s three 30-point games this season all have come against ranked opponents, and she ties the school single-season record for 30-point games (she did so last year, while Shari Matvey did it in 1979-80, Katryna Gaither did so in 1994-95 and current associate coach Beth Cunningham pulled off the feat in 1995-96) … Loyd’s six career 30-point games ties the program’s all-time mark, first set by Gaither from 1993-97 … Loyd’s 34 points tied for the third-most points in a game by a Notre Dame player in Purcell Pavilion history and most since Ruth Riley tied her own arena record with 36 points against Miami (Fla.) on Feb. 22, 2000 — Riley also scored 36 points against Providence on Jan. 10, 1999, at Purcell Pavilion … Turner logged her sixth five-block game this season (all within the past eight games) — since returning from her shoulder injury, Turner is averaging 4.8 blocks per game … Notre Dame drew its third consecutive home sellout, fourth of the season and 45th in program history.
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame continues its mini two-game home stand at 7 p.m. (ET) Thursday when it plays host to Georgia Tech in the first part of an Atlantic Coast Conference home-and-home series with the Yellow Jackets at Purcell Pavilion. The game will be broadcast 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
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director