Nov. 4, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Sophomore center Teresa Borton (Yakima, Wash./West Valley HS) was perfect from the field and the free throw line, scoring a game-high 20 points to lift No. 10 Notre Dame to an easy 87-50 exhibition victory over the Houston Jaguars Monday night before a crowd of 6,096 at the Joyce Center.
Borton was 8-for-8 from the field and made all four of her free throws, and would have matched her career-high point total had it been a regular season game. Borton’s field goal percentage also would have been the second-best shooting night in Joyce Center history, topped only by Sandy Botham’s 9-for-9 outing against Evansville on Feb. 28, 1986.
Borton also added nine rebounds, part of a dominating 62-39 advantage for the Irish on the boards. Sophomore forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) struggled from the field, hitting only 3-of-16 shots, but made up for it in other ways, finishing with 11 points, a game-high 15 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocked shots. Junior guard Le’Tania Severe (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Fort Lauderdale HS) made her first five shots from the field and wound up with 15 points, while freshman forward Courtney LaVere (Ventura, Calif./Buena HS) had a successful debut, scoring 12 points and grabbing six rebounds.
No Houston player scored in double figures for the game, with Tracey Bovgere, Anitra Davis and Andrea Jackson all tallying a team-high eight points for the Jaguars. Houston shot just 23.4 percent from the field (15-of-64), including 1-of-22 (.045) from three-point range, and turned the ball over 28 times.
Monday’s game never was in question, as Notre Dame scored the first 13 of the first 15 points in just over five minutes, hitting six of its first nine shots from the field. Houston cut the lead to nine points twice, but a 19-6 Irish run quickly moved the hosts out to a 34-12 edge with 5:01 remaining in the first half. During that spree, Notre Dame’s defense clamped down on the Jaguars, holding the visitors to a single basket over a span of 8:37. Houston made a late charge in the first half, getting within 39-25 on a layup by LaCharlotte Smith with six seconds left in the period.
The Irish quickly put to rest any hopes of a Jaguar comeback, going on a 17-6 run to open the second half. Freshman guard Megan Duffy (Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne HS) punctuated the flurry with a three-point field goal from the top of the key, giving Notre Dame a 56-31 lead with 14:13 to play. Houston never got closer than 20 points the rest of the way, with the Irish opening up their largest lead of the night (85-49) on Borton’s layup with 55 seconds to play.
Notre Dame will play its second and final exhibition game Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. (EST) against the Ohio Girls Basketball Magazine All-Stars at the Joyce Center. The Irish will open the 2002-03 regular season Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. (EST) against former Midwestern Collegiate Conference rival Cleveland State, also at the Joyce Center.
Earlier on Monday, Notre Dame learned it had been ranked 10th in the Associated Press preseason poll. It marks the sixth time in the last seven seasons that the Irish have appeared in the AP preseason survey, and the third time in the last four years that Notre Dame has been ranked in the top 10 at the start of the campaign. In 1999-2000, the Irish debuted at No. 7 in the AP poll, followed by a No. 6 preseason ranking to begin the 2000-01 season.
No less than five of Notre Dame’s 2002-03 opponents appear in the AP preseason poll, including three in the top 10. Tennessee is ranked second, followed by Connecticut (No. 4), Purdue (No. 8), Colorado State (No. 19) and Boston College (No. 20). The BIG EAST was one of three conferences to have three teams ranked in the AP poll, joining the Big 12 (five) and the Big Ten (three).
In addition, six other Irish opponents are receiving votes in the first AP poll. Villanova (eight points), USC (six points), Temple (three points), DePaul (two points), Rutgers (two points) and Pittsburgh (one point) all earned recognition from the nation’s sportswriters.
Here’s a complete rundown of the 2002-03 Associated Press preseason poll (first-place votes are in parentheses):
1. Duke (38)
2. Tennessee (4)
3. LSU (1)
4. Connecticut (1)
5. Kansas State
7. Texas Tech
10. NOTRE DAME
13. North Carolina
14. Penn State
16. Louisiana Tech
19. Colorado State
20. Boston College
21. George Washington
23. Iowa State
24. Mississippi State
25. UC Santa Barbara
Others receiving votes: Texas Christian 100, Washington 94, Tulane 88, Virginia 81, Old Dominion 75, Oregon 67, Brigham Young 46, Colorado 46 , N.C. State 26, New Mexico 26, South Carolina 21, Ohio State 14, Florida 12, Pepperdine 8, Villanova 8, Michigan State 6, USC 6, Harvard 5, Houston 5, Michigan 5, Ball State 3, Temple 3, DePaul 2, Rutgers 2, Pittsburgh 1, Rice 1, Siena 1.
Notre Dame opponents in bold
— ND —