Nov. 23, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Megan Duffy scored a career-high 26 points and teamed with Charel Allen, who had 11 points, during a decisive second-half stretch in No. 13 Notre Dame’s 74-61 victory over Indiana on Wednesday night.
It was Notre Dame’s third win in six days. The Fighting Irish (3-0) also have won three straight in the series, although the instate rivals had not met since Dec. 11, 1996.
Jenny DeMuth led Indiana (0-2) with 20 points and 11 rebounds, and freshman Whitney Thomas added 14 points and 12 rebounds. The Hoosiers have not beaten a ranked opponent since Jan. 12, 2003.
The Irish struggled to break away from the Hoosiers, in part because their top two inside players spent most of the night in foul trouble.
After building a 32-23 lead late in the first half, Indiana closed to 36-32 at halftime then used a 15-4 run to take a 51-47 lead with 10:42 to go.
That’s when Duffy and Allen took over. Allen sparked a 6-0 run, pumping her fist after a driving layup. Duffy then connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 61-53 and the Hoosiers never challenged again.
Notre Dame also got 14 points from Breona Gray, who replaced injured guard Tulyah Gaines early in the first half. Coach Muffet McGraw said Gaines sprained her right ankle and was doubtful for the Southern California game on Sunday.
The Irish shot 66.7 percent from the field in the second half.
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame starts the season 3-0 for the second consecutive season and third time in the past four seasons … the Irish move to 6-3 all-time against Indiana, including a 3-1 record in Bloomington … Notre Dame has won its last three games at Assembly Hall and has a series-long three-game winning streak … Wednesday’s game also was the first Irish visit to the IU campus in almost exactly a decade (Nov. 24, 1995 – an 82-73 ND win) … the 13-point margin of victory represents the first time in the nine-game series between the Irish and Hoosiers that a game was decided by double figures … Notre Dame registers its second win in as many games against a Big Ten Conference opponent this season (also the second year in a row the Irish have earned two Big Ten wins) … Wednesday’s win is the first for Notre Dame on the campus of a Big Ten school since Nov. 22 and 24, 2001, when the Irish downed #19 Wisconsin (83-56) and #6 Georgia (75-73) at UW’s Kohl Center to win the Coaches vs. Cancer Challenge … Notre Dame now is 9-5 (.643) all-time in its final game before Thanksgiving, including a 7-3 (.700) record since 1996, when the Irish regularly began opening their season prior to the holiday … the Irish have won 29 of their last 31 games when leading at the half and are 100-8 (.926) in such contests during the past six seasons … Notre Dame’s .549 field goal percentage is its best since Feb. 26, 2005, when the Irish connected at a .582 clip (32-of-55) in a Senior Day victory over West Virginia at the Joyce Center … coming into Wednesday’s game at Indiana, Notre Dame had made one three-pointer in 10 tries over its first two outings — the Irish had six treys in 13 attempts vs. the Hoosiers … Notre Dame has been getting excellent contributions from its bench early on this season, with the Irish reserves averaging 25.7 ppg. through three games … senior All-America guard Megan Duffy pumped in a career-high 26 points, one more than her previous best of 25, which she set in an 82-64 win over Wisconsin on Dec. 4, 2003 at the Joyce Center — it’s also the most points for an Irish player since Jacqueline Batteast had 27 points at Marquette on Dec. 19, 2004 … almost lost in the shuffle, Duffy have five assists and no turnovers while playing all 40 minutes, her first turnover-free complete game since Jan. 9, 2005 at Villanova, when she had seven assists and no giveaways in a 59-54 upset loss to the Wildcats … junior guard Breona Gray came off the bench to score 14 points, her eighth career double-figure scoring game and highest point production since a career-best 17 points against Syracuse on Jan. 5, 2005 at the Joyce Center … senior forward Courtney LaVere reached two milestones on Wednesday night — her first basket (a jumper with 8:16 left in the first half) pushed her over the 900-point mark for her career (now at 905) … LaVere also had two blocked shots, giving her an even 100 blocks for her career and making her the eighth player in school history to reach that landmark … freshman forward Chandrica Smith made her college debut at Indiana, playing three minutes.