January 15, 1999
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)–The Irish better get used to living in a bus.
Notre Dame plays seven of its remaining 12 games on the road starting with Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh.
The No. 9 Irish (12-2, 4-2 Big East) are coming off a 79-56 win over Providence on Sunday as sophomore center Ruth Riley scored a career-high 36 points and added 13 rebounds.
Notre Dame has won three straight Big East matchups, including a somewhat sloppy win over West Virginia last week.
“We concentrated on defense and then our offense goes to pot,” said coach Muffet McGraw. “But our plan was to jam the ball into Ruth and that was working so our guards just stayed with it.”
The Friars played without their leading scorer, 6-foot-5 Dani Trippany, who is out with a stress fracture. With Trippany out, the Irish were able to get the ball inside to Riley, who responded with 17 points and nine rebounds in the first half.
Monika Roberts and Dana Simonelli each scored 13 points for Providence, as the Friars shot 54 percent before halftime.
“We talked about that at halftime,” McGraw said. “I was disappointed with that 54 percent number. We didn’t do a good job of rotating defensively.”
The Panthers (7-7, 2-4 Big East) dropped an 80-61 decision to Georgetown on Wednesday, giving Pittsburgh its fourth conference loss in the last five games.
Despite Nickela Morris’ 17 points and Monique Toney’s 15 off the bench, the Panthers couldn’t overcome a brutal 6-for-24 night from three-point range.