Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Pull Away From No. 18 Eagles

Feb. 5, 2000

Postgame Audio!
? Coach McGraw
? K. Siemon
? R. Riley

Box Score

AP Sports Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Notre Dame did just what it wanted against Boston College. The fifth-ranked Irish got the ball to 6-foot-5 Ruth Riley inside and Riley delivered.

Riley scored 12 of her 23 points during an 18-5 second-half run and Danielle Green added 19 as Notre Dame beat No. 18 Boston College 72-59 Saturday for its 15th straight victory, matching the school record.

“We followed our game plan of getting the ball down low,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “We wanted to dominate in the paint.”

Thanks to Riley and 6-3 Kelley Siemon, Notre Dame (19-2, 10-0 Big East) did just that. Siemon had 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds off the bench and Notre Dame outrebounded Boston College 44-31.

The Irish also got themselves to the free throw line, making 15-of-20. Boston College (18-5, 7-2) was 3-for-6 at the line.

“They weren’t calling the inside bumps and we needed to get those calls,” Boston College coach Cathy Inglese said.

Boston College, which had won 14 of 15, tied it at 38 on Alissa Murphy’s 3-pointer 25 seconds into the second half. Notre Dame, how 39-3 against Big East opponents at home, then turned to Riley inside and she turned around the game.

Getting good position against shorter defenders, Riley scored four baskets and sank four free throws as Notre Dame built a 56-43 lead that proved insurmountable.

“We knew they were strong inside,” said Cal Bouchard, whose 17 points led Boston College. “One of our goals going in was containing the paint and containing penetration. I think we did that in spurts, but we didn’t do it for the full 40 minutes.”

Riley, who played only eight minutes in the first half, scored 15 of Notre Dame’s first 21 points in the second half. Green scored nine of the last 13 to keep Boston College at bay.

Boston College drew to 63-56 on Bouchard’s jumper with 2:58 remaining. But Notre Dame answered with nine straight points – five by Green – to put it away.

“The difference was in the second half, we kept our starters on the floor,” said McGraw, who kept Riley on the bench for the final 5:49 of the first half after she got her second foul. “That and BC missed some easy shots, I thought.”

Boston College shot just 36 percent. Murphy finished with 14 points for the Eagles and Jamie Cournoyer scored 13.

Boston College started 6-3 Kim Mackie for just the third time this season to get more size on the floor against Riley. But Riley scored seven points and drew two fouls on Mackie in the first 2:55, so Inglese went back to a smaller lineup.

With six different players scoring, Notre Dame three times led by eight and was up 29-22 when Riley went to bench. Boston College took advantage of the opportunity.

Murphy made a 3-pointer and a jumper in a 7-0 run that tied it at 29. Alicia Ratay, who scored 12 points, hit a pullup jumper that gave Notre Dame a 36-31 lead, but Julie Henderson fouled Bouchard as she made a 3-pointer and Bouchard sank the free throw, drawing the Eagles to 36-35.

Siemon’s basket inside left Notre Dame ahead 38-35 at halftime.

“We knew BC would have some spurts and we would have ours,” Riley said. “We just wanted to stay positive.”