Jan 8, 2003
By JOHN RABY
AP Sports Writer
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (AP) – Le’Tania Severe scored a season-high 21 points, and led No. 16 Notre Dame’s big second-half comeback to a 66-59 victory Wednesday night that ended West Virginia’s’ season-opening 10-game winning streak.
Severe scored 14 points in the second half, and Alicia Ratay had 12 of her 14 after the break as the Irish (9-3) erased a 14-point deficit in the teams’ Big East Conference opener.
Kate Bulger, second to Connecticut’s Swin Cash in Big East scoring last season, led West Virginia with 22 points. The Mountaineers haven’t beaten a ranked team since the 1991-92 season.
Notre Dame’s 17-point home loss to Purdue four days earlier carried over to the first half against West Virginia.
The Irish were held to their second-lowest point total for a half this season, and things looked bleak after Bulger’s 3-pointer gave West Virginia its biggest lead at 36-22 a minute into the second half.
But the Mountaineers went cold and Notre Dame got strong rebounding play and used the 3-point shot to go on a 18-2 run and tie the game at 40 with 14:23 left.
Ratay’s 3-pointer with 12:26 left gave the Irish the lead for good at 47-45.
Severe made a pair of free throws to push the lead to 56-49 with 6:17 remaining before West Virginia crept back.
Bulger’s 3-pointer made it 62-59 with 43 seconds left, but West Virginia didn’t score again in falling to 0-10 all-time against Notre Dame.
The Mountaineers had just 10 second-half rebounds and were outrebounded 42-28 for the game.
West Virginia showed no early problems from a 10-day layoff. Instead, the Irish were flat in the first half. Notre Dame missed its first six shots and committed five early turnovers.
Bulger, sister of the St. Louis Rams’ Marc Bulger, scored 11 of her team’s first 12 points to put the Mountaineers ahead by five, and it stayed that way until teammate sophomore Liz Holbrook hit four of her 15 points to push the lead to 24-13 with 4:37 left in the first half.
Jacqueline Batteast added 12 points for Notre Dame.
Ratay became just the sixth player in Notre Dame women’s history to reach 1,500 points.