Dec 14, 2002
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Notre Dame attacked inside and Temple simply had no answer.
The eighth-ranked Fighting Irish scored 28 points in the paint in the second half and beat Temple 84-61 behind 17 points from Alicia Ratay and 16 points and nine rebounds from Courtney LaVere.
LaVere had only had two points at halftime.
After scoring just 10 inside points in the first half, the Irish (5-1) scored 10 inside during a 14-0 spurt early in the second half that broke the game open. Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said her message at halftime was the Irish needed to get back to being aggressive.
“I felt we had a big advantage inside, our posts have been playing so well. We really needed to score around the basket, so I felt we should look inside,” she said.
Le’Tania Severe took it to the basket at the start of the second half for a layup, racing past two Temple defenders. Kelsey Wicks followed with a layup, Katy Flecky scored inside and then Ratay scored on a layup.
“I think it set the tone of, ‘We’re going to attack you, we’re going right at you, you’d better be ready,”‘ McGraw said.
The Owls (4-4) weren’t. After matching Notre Dame’s first two baskets, the Owls went scoreless for 5:10.
“We didn’t respond,” Temple coach Dawn Staley said. “We couldn’t keep up. We’re not a team that scores a whole lot of points. But we are a team that plays better defense than we did tonight – a lot better.”
The Irish shot 47.1 percent in the second half and 44.4 percent for the game as five Irish players were in double figures, including Jacqueline Batteast with 14, Kelsey Wicks with 12 and Katy Flecky 11. Flecky added seven rebounds as Notre Dame outrebounded Temple 44-34.
“We’re going to attack you, we’re going right at you, you’d better be ready.”Coach Muffet McGraw
Khadija Bowens led Temple with 17 points. Stacey Smalls added 14 points and five rebounds. The Owls scored only 16 points from inside the paint.
McGraw said she was pleased so many players seemed willing to step up after the Irish played poorly in losing 75-59 to DePaul on Wednesday.
“I think in the DePaul game we got back on our heels a lot. We just couldn’t seem to execute,” she said. “Tonight we tried to take over the game. At DePaul we were kind of waiting around for someone to take over. Today everyone stepped up and tried to add a little bit more.”
Notre Dame was in control throughout the first half, leading by as many as 10 points, before Temple closed to 35-28 at halftime. The Irish then pulled early in the second half.
“I thought we came out in the second half and really took it to them,” McGraw said.