Junior guard Natalie Novosel scored a game-high 20 points in Sunday's 85-54 win over Butler; Novosel was named the tournament MVP after averaging 18.3 ppg., in the three-game event.

No. 18/16 Irish Down Butler, 85-54, To Win WBCA Classic

Nov. 28, 2010

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Natalie Novosel scored 20 points to lead five players in double figures, and No. 18 Notre Dame beat Butler 85-54 on Sunday to win the WBCA Classic.

Novosel, the tournament MVP, scored the first five points of the second half for Notre Dame (5-2), opening up a 20-point lead with a breakaway layup and 3-pointer from the corner.

Brittany Mallory hit 3s on consecutive possessions later in the half, and Kayla McBride made a slashing reverse layup with 12:36 remaining to give the Irish a 24-point lead.

Brittany Bowen and Terra Burns scored 14 each for Butler (3-3), while Chloe Hamilton had 11.

Kayla McBride, Devereaux Peters and Skylar Diggins all had 11 points for Notre Dame, and Becca Bruszewski finished with 10.

— ND —

POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame wins a regular season tournament title for the 14th time in program history and the second consecutive season following last Thanksgiving’s three-game run to the Paradise Jam Island Division championship in the U.S. Virgin Islands … the Fighting Irish now have won 24 of their last 27 regular season tournament games since the start of the 1996-97 season, with the only three losses coming in the Preseason WNIT semifinals (1996 – 72-59 vs. #3/2 Tennessee in Ruston, La.; 2007 – 75-59 at #3 Maryland) and the title game of the 2003 WBCA Classic (67-63 in overtime at #20 Colorado) … since the Maryland loss, Notre Dame has won six consecutive regular season tournament games … the Fighting Irish were playing Butler for the first time since Dec. 1, 1999, although it was the 26th all-time meeting between the in-state rivals, who played regularly as members of the now-defunct North Star Conference and Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now known as the Horizon League); it’s the second-most games played against a current non-conference opponent behind the 28-game series with Dayton … Notre Dame improves to 20-6 all-time against Butler and extends its current series winning streak against the Bulldogs to six consecutive games … Butler becomes the ninth Fighting Irish opponent that Notre Dame has defeated at least 20 times in series history, joining Marquette (29), Georgetown (23), Syracuse (23), Valparaiso (23), Dayton (22), Detroit (22), Loyola-Chicago (21) and Xavier (20) on that list … Sunday’s 31-point margin also was the largest in the Notre Dame-Butler series since Feb. 12, 1991, when Notre Dame downed Butler, 94-62 at Purcell Pavilion … the Fighting Irish rise to 119-32 (.788) all-time against other Indiana schools, including an active 14-game winning streak … Notre Dame also moves to 59-11 (.843) all-time against in-state opponents at Purcell Pavilion … junior guard Natalie Novosel earned the second regular season tournament MVP by a Fighting Irish player in as many seasons, following Skylar Diggins’ selection as the Paradise Jam Island Division MVP last year … Novosel’s all-tournament team selection was the first of her career; she was joined on the squad by teammates Devereaux Peters and Erica Solomon (also the first all-tournament selections of their careers), with Butler’s Chloe Hamilton and Wake Forest’s Secily Ray rounding out the 2010 WBCA Classic All-Tournament Team.