Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins drives to the basket against Providence.

No. 4 Notre Dame Punishes Providence, 66-47

Feb. 14, 2012

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. (AP)Devereaux Peters and No. 4 Notre Dame were frustrated heading into Tuesday night’s game against Providence. Their exasperation only grew when they got off to a slow start.

Eventually, they shook it off in a big way.

Peters had 19 points and 11 rebounds, leading the Irish to a 66-47 victory over the Friars.

Notre Dame (25-2, 12-1 BIG EAST) was coming off a 65-63 loss to West Virginia on Sunday that ended a 21-game winning streak. Peters had 17 rebounds and blocked six shots against the Mountaineers, but also went 1 for 8 from the field and finished with four points.

“That’s never going to happen again in my career here,” she said Tuesday. “That is just unacceptable. I don’t care what the circumstances are. (Against West Virginia) I wasn’t squaring up, I wasn’t being aggressive, I wasn’t being physical. I just have to keep pushing and look for the ball more.”

Skylar Diggins finished with 19 points and seven assists for the Irish (25-2, 12-1 Big East), who shot 48 percent from the field and outrebounded the Friars 41-25. Peters’ eighth double-double of the season helped Notre Dame outscore Providence 40-26 in the paint.

Providence (13-13, 5-8) played much of the first half without leading scorer and rebounder Teya Wright, who sprained an ankle early in the game and was held to five points and three rebounds in 23 minutes of play.

“Hopefully she will be ready for the Georgetown game,” said Providence coach Phil Seymore, whose team faces the Hoyas on Saturday. “We have won some games without her when we have gone with smaller lineups. I did not know if she was 100 percent and ready to go. Defensively she wasn’t doing some of the things that I wanted her to do so I might have taken her out for that reason.”

Rachel Barnes scored 16 for Providence, and Symone Roberts added 12.

Wright, who averages 13 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, went down early but Providence was able to find holes in the Irish defense and was down only 9-8 at the 15:47 mark. Wright returned two minutes later and played with a slight limp off and on for 11 minutes the rest of the half.

Notre Dame put together a 16-2 run to take a 33-20 lead with 4:38 remaining.

“We had a little frustration,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “I was frustrated right off the bat since Sunday and I think that is probably why we came out the way we did. I was just so ready to get off to a good start and really wanted to challenge them and I think that was the bad way to go. I think I riled them up a little bit too much. We were quicker to be frustrated with the loss on our mind and the little mistakes got magnified.”

The Irish shot 56 percent in the first half and led 37-27 at the break. Diggins had 15 points at intermission.

Providence opened the second half with five quick points but Notre Dame went on a 12-3 run to take a 55-38 lead with 10:53 to go. The Irish’s largest lead was 22, at 65-43 lead with 2:42 to go.

Notre Dame went 15 for 23 from the foul line, compared to 2 for 5 for the Friars.

“That means we were shooting a lot of jump shots,” Seymore said. “We were not getting the ball inside enough to get to the line and that was the big difference in the game. They went to the line 23 times and we went five times. You can’t win basketball games like that.”

— ND —

POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame picks up its 25th win of the season, reaching that mark for the third consecutive year and fourth time in five seasons — the only other time the Fighting Irish had three consecutive 25-win campaigns prior to their current run was 1998-99 (26-5), 1999-2000 (27-5) and 2000-01 (34-2), a streak that also included a 31-7 mark two years before (1996-97), giving Notre Dame the same stretch of four 25-win seasons in five years that it has now achieved … the Fighting Irish earn their 12th conference victory of the season, marking the 12th time in their 17-year BIG EAST membership they have collected at least 12 league wins in a campaign … Notre Dame held its opponent to 50 points or fewer for the 16th time this season, extending its school record in that category … the Fighting Irish forced at least 20 opponent turnovers for the 19th time this year (and fourth consecutive game), and nabbed double-digit steals for the 21st time this season … Notre Dame grabbed at least 40 rebounds for the 17th time in the past 21 games, while also finishing on the positive side of the rebounding margin (or even) for the 20th time in that span … the Fighting Irish are 8-0 this season when playing for the second time in a three-day span, and 24-7 (.774) when faced with such a tight turnaround during the past four seasons (2008-09 to present) … Notre Dame is 96-28 (.774) in the month of February since joining the BIG EAST in 1995-96, including a 55-6 (.902) home record … the Fighting Irish move to 20-0 all-time against Providence, including a 10-0 mark at Purcell Pavilion, and have won 17 of those 20 series games by double-digit margins … Notre Dame held the Friars below 50 points for the second consecutive series meeting, with this marking the fewest points Providence has scored in South Bend since Jan. 31, 2001 (a 64-44 Fighting Irish win) … fifth-year senior forward Devereaux Peters posted her eighth double-double of the season, and fifth in the past seven games … Peters chalked up double-digit rebounds for the sixth time in seven outings … Peters also collected the 200th steal of her career (she now has 202) … junior guard Skylar Diggins delivered her 450th career assist (now at 454) … Diggins notched her 79th career double-digit scoring game, taking over sole possession of eighth place on that all-time Fighting Irish list, one more than three players (Trena Keys from 1982-86, Lindsay Schrader from 2005-10 and Ashley Barlow from 2006-10) … senior guard/tri-captain Natalie Novosel moved into a tie with Shari Matvey (1979-83) for 15th place on the Notre Dame career scoring chart with 1,373 points … Novosel also is now tied with current Fighting Irish assistant coach Niele Ivey for third on the school’s career games played list (132) … Notre Dame improves to 7-1 all-time when playing on Valentines Day, including a 6-0 record in the 25-year Muffet McGraw era (1987-88 to present).