Dec. 7, 2003
SEATTLE – The Notre Dame women’s basketball team slipped to 3-4 this season with an 85-74 loss at Washington on Sunday at Bank of America Arena in Seattle. The Irish were playing their fifth road game of the season, all against teams that were ranked or receiving votes at tipoff, and Notre Dame is now 1-4 in these contests. The loss also was just the second for the Irish in their last 12 games vs. Pac-10 Conference opposition.
Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast led Notre Dame with 19 points and added season highs of five assists and four blocked shots. Sophomore point guard Megan Duffy turned in another solid performance with 17 points and a career-high nine assists, while junior center Teresa Borton, who hails from Yakima, Wash., had a successful homecoming with a season-high 11 points on five of eight shooting off the bench.
As a team, Notre Dame committed only 11 turnovers after logging just 10 giveaways Thursday night vs. Wisconsin. The Irish also continued their hot shooting from the perimeter, hitting seven of 14 three-point attempts, led by Duffy (3-5), senior guard Jeneka Joyce (2-3) and senior guard Monique Hernandez (2-2). However, Notre Dame’s downfall once again came on the boards, where the Irish were beaten, 43-33, with Washington collecting 24 second-chance points in the game.
Giuliana Mendiola finished with a game-high 27 points for the Huskies, registering eight assists and seven rebounds for good measure. Cameo Hicks chipped in with a career-high 24 points (on 11 of 13 shooting) and eight rebounds, while Andrea Lalum chalked up a double-double for UW with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Washington shot 47.1 percent from the floor and 12 of 13 (.923) at the foul line in the win.
The Huskies (5-0) shot the ball well all afternoon long, but Notre Dame nearly matched Washington shot for shot in the first half. For the first 10 minutes of the game, both teams were hitting better than 50 percent from the field, with the Huskies maintaining a precarious single-digit lead for much of the period. UW took its biggest lead of 25-17 when Lalum banked in a short jumper at the 8:17 mark.
However, the Irish fought back, whittling away at the deficit with a 9-2 run and eventually taking their first lead on Borton’s jumper from the right block with 2:10 to go in the half. But in a recurring theme throughout the day, Mendiola stepped forward when her team needed a boost, scoring the Huskies’ last nine points of the period, hitting a three-pointer on the right wing and a driving finger roll at the halftime horn to put UW ahead, 39-35.
The four-point margin held firm for the first four minutes of the second half, before Washington went on a 9-3 spurt to take a 54-44 lead with 14:21 remaining. Notre Dame stayed within striking distance as Duffy buried a three-pointer and sophomore forward Courtney LaVere followed with a pair of free throws at the 11:58 junction. The lead was still five when Duffy hit another trey midway through the period, making it a 59-54 game.
Then, UW’s Breanne Watson was fouled while trying a three-pointer on her team’s next possession and she made all three free throws. The Irish kept the deficit at eight points for the next three minutes, with Batteast driving in for a layup for a 69-61 margin with 7:32 to go. Notre Dame then blinked and Washington took advantage, going on a 12-4 run that was capped by Hicks’ free throw for an 81-65 lead at the 3:57 mark. The Irish never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
After playing seven times in the first 23 days of the season (including five road games), Notre Dame will get a well-deserved breather, going on hiatus for the next week before returning to the hardwood Saturday at 1 p.m. (ET) when it plays host to Dayton at the Joyce Center.
— ND —