Jan. 5, 2011
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw was thrilled with the play of Devereaux Peters.
Peters scored 18 points to lead No. 13 Notre Dame to a 73-55 victory over Marquette on Wednesday night.
“Devereaux was just outstanding,” McGraw said. “She was a human highlight film, I thought, on offense. She did just a fantastic job. She was always in the right spot and took advantage of the mismatch that she had.”
The 6-2 senior forward came in averaging 9.8 points, but had 12 in the first half for Notre Dame (13-3, 2-0 BIG EAST). She made 9 of 12 shots, grabbed eight rebounds, made four steals and blocked two shots as the Fighting Irish won their season-high eighth straight game.
Peters played well in a two-game tournament on the West Coast at the end of December. She scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against Gonzaga and the next day, she had 16 points, five steals and six rebounds against Loyola Marymount.
“She was MVP of the tournament we just came off in Seattle, and she has played really well all year long,” McGraw said. “She is on kind of an upswing right now, just running the floor and doing everything that she is capable of doing, which is a lot.”
Peters would like to avoid any reference to being a highlight reel, though.
“I wouldn’t say all that,” she said. “We’ve been looking a lot more in the post. And everybody else is looking for me. It’s helping me out. I don’t think it’s just me, really.”
Peters made four layups and a tip-in in the first half as Notre Dame scored 24 points in the paint to Marquette’s eight.
“I am obviously pretty athletic, so I try to use that as one of my strengths against other teams,” she said. “And especially in the BIG EAST, where they are really physical, I tried to play a little more physical. I tried to box out, do the little things, because they are pretty athletic as well.”
Marquette’s head coach Terri Mitchell was impressed with Peters, too.
“I thought she just played outstanding tonight,” Mitchell said. “On both ends of the court, I just thought she was a big difference maker. I felt like when we stopped the ball in transition, she just dove and gave us her length. She was able to catch over us and score. If you don’t push her off the block, she will just shoot right over you.”
Natalie Novosel added 14 points, including 10 during a decisive second half run for Notre Dame.
Tatiyiana McMorris scored 15 points to lead Marquette (12-3, 0-2) which shot 33.9 percent and had 24 turnovers.
Angel Robinson scored 14 points and her jumper to open the second half pulled Marquette to 40-33, but then Notre Dame’s defense took over. After Robinson’s shot, the Golden Eagles went 1 for 15 with seven turnovers and let the game slip away.
Novosel’s 10 points sparked a 19-3 run capped by Skylar Diggins’ two free throws that pushed the lead to 59-36 with 10:44 left to play.
Notre Dame faces No. 2 Connecticut at home on Saturday.
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame snaps a two-game losing streak at the Al McGuire Center, picking up its first win at Marquette since Dec. 19, 2004 (a 50-47 victory on a Jacqueline Batteast three-pointer at the horn) … this was the largest win for the Fighting Irish at Marquette since Dec. 21, 2000, when Notre Dame posted a 75-56 win over the Golden Eagles at their former home, U.S. Cellular Arena … Notre Dame improves to 30-6 all-time against Marquette, including an 11-5 record on the road — the 30 series wins and 36 series games both are school records … the Fighting Irish are the first team to win back-to-back games in the series since Marquette joined the BIG EAST Conference in 2005-06 … Notre Dame is 12-2 against Marquette in conference play, including the schools’ prior memberships in the (now-defunct) North Star Conference (4-0) and the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League) (4-0) in addition to the BIG EAST (4-2) … the Fighting Irish have scored at least 70 points in 24 of their last 30 games against Marquette, while the Golden Eagles have reached the 70-point mark five times in that span … Notre Dame is 200-17 (.922) when leading at halftime since the start of the 2000-01 season, including wins in 128 of their last 139 such contests and an active streak of 37 in a row … the Fighting Irish move to 219-15 (.936) when holding their opponent to fewer than 60 points since joining the BIG EAST in 1995-96.