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Irish Pull Away From Syracuse

Jan. 15, 2000

Box Score

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Niele Ivey says it wasn’t anything special – the balls just went in.

Ivey scored a season-high 22 points and had eight assists Saturday to lead sixth-ranked Notre Dame to a school-record 16th consecutive home win, 71-56 over Syracuse.

She made six 3-pointers, including two straight to open the second half, for the Irish (13-2, 4-0 Big East), who also got 15 points from Ruth Riley and 14 from Danielle Green.

Ivey was modest about the stellar performance, saying she doesn’t like to hog the ball.

“Today I got some open shots and they went in. I want to get everyone involved in the game, though,” she said.

The Orangmen (7-7, 0-3) were led by Beth Record’s 13 points, Jakia Ervin’s 12 and Shannon Perry’s 11.

Record, the Big East’s leading scorer with an 18.3 point per game average, sat out nine minutes of the first half with an ankle injury.

The Orangemen were down only 32-30 at halftime but fell victim to poor shooting from the field and the line.

“We missed three easy layups and half of our 18 free throws. If we put those points on the board, we are right in the game,” coach Marianna Freeman said.

It appeared that Riley would dominate the whole game. She scored 10 points in the first six minutes, but Freeman inserted sophomore center Tara Trammell as a defensive replacement and neutralized the high-scoring center.

“We knew Ruth was much stronger going to the baseline than she is going (inside) and Tara did a good job defending that way,” Freeman said. “I thought we played a very good first half and I think we are a much improved team but so are our opponents.”

Ivey picked up where Riley left off. At halftime, Irish coach Muffet McGraw gave her team a goal.

“We wanted to come out at halftime and scored 10 straight points,” Irish she said. “We got eight.”

McGraw wasn’t impressed with the 16 home-game winning streak.

“I don’t pay attention to that stuff,” she said. “All it indicates is that our road schedule may be tougher than our home schedule.”