Dec 21, 2002
By TOM COYNE
AP Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Courtney LaVere caught the pass underneath the backboard and went up for an easy basket. Same thing the next time down the court. Then she picked up a loose ball underneath and tossed it in.
Then another easy basket underneath. Then she scored on a lefthanded layup. Then another easy basket inside. In the span of 5 minutes, 20 seconds, LaVere scored 12 of Notre Dame’s 14 points as the 12th-ranked Irish began pulling away from Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne midway through the first half en route to an 82-54 victory on Saturday.
Alicia Ratay tries to drive through Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne guards Courtney Nicley and Maggie Bruening during first-half action.
“She had a mismatch inside, then she had some openings against the zone that got us on a roll,” Irish coach Muffet McGraw said. “That was an important part of the game.”
With the scored tied at 12, the Irish (6-1) used an 18-3 run to begin pulling away from the Mastodons (2-8). When the Mastodons began focusing on stopping the Irish inside, Alicia Ratay started hitting outside, making all three of her 3-point attempts in the first half.
“They had such a substantial size advantage inside and we had made a determination that we were going to plug it off inside and try to make them shoot it from the outside,” IPFW coach Bruce Patterson said.
LaVere and Ratay each finished with 20 points and Jacqueline Batteast added 16 for the Irish.
Batteast said LaVere’s inside play opened things up for the rest of the Irish, especially Ratay.
“She got a lot of open 3s. Alicia hasn’t been getting a lot of shots lately. The way Courtney was scoring you have to start doubling on her and Alicia was wide open,” Batteast said.
The Irish dominated inside. Teresa Borton had three of Notre Dame’s eight blocked shots and added 11 rebounds as the Irish outrebounded the Mastodons 46-33.
The way Courtney was scoring you have to start doubling on her and Alicia was wide open.Jacqueline Batteast
The Mastodons, in their second season in Division I, were led by 17 points from Amy Gearlds, who missed two games with a separated left shoulder, while Geneva Murdock had 12 points and Courtney Nicley 11.
LaVere, a freshman, had 17 points in the first half, a point shy of her season high against Cleveland State in her first game.
“I just felt it,” LaVere said. “I had a lot of openings in the zone. So when I saw an opening I would just try to go there.”
LaVere and Ratay were the first Irish players to score 20 points in the same game since Ratay and Batteast last January in a win over Virginia Tech. The Irish shot 50 percent to 32 percent for the Mastodons.
The Irish led by as many as 32 points in the second half when Ratay made two free throws with 13:29 left to open a 65-34 lead. IFPW cut the lead to 72-51 when Ashley Elmore scored from inside with 4:29 left.