Nov 6, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Junior guard Alicia Ratay scored a game-high 20 points and hit four of seven three-pointers to help lift defending national champion Notre Dame to a 76-62 win over the Ohio Girls Basketball Magazine Legends in exhibition action Tuesday night before a crowd of 6,993 at the Joyce Center.
Ratay, who set an NCAA record last season by hitting 54.7 percent from three-point range, narrowly missed a double-double, grabbing eight rebounds in 34 minutes of action. Notre Dame’s freshmen also made an early statement, as three of the six Irish rookies nearly posted double-doubles in their first collegiate action. Center Teresa Borton tallied 10 points and nine rebounds, while forward Jacqueline Batteast had eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds and guard Kelsey Wicks came off the bench to log nine points and a game-best 10 rebounds.
Notre Dame displayed exceptional depth in the victory, as 10 different players cracked the scoring column. The Irish also picked up a sizeable boost from their bench, getting 24 points and 16 rebounds from the reserves. And, Notre Dame crashed the boards well, pulling down 60 rebounds, including 28 on the offensive glass.
The OGBM Legends, who dropped to 2-4 on their 15-game, 15-day college exhibition tour of the Midwest, were led by Jannon Roland, who matched Ratay with a game-high 20 points. The Legends featured five current or former WNBA players on their roster, including Roland and Nicole Levandusky of the WNBA champion Los Angeles Sparks, who chipped in with 17 points.
Notre Dame struggled to find its shooting touch in the first half, connecting on just 15 of 40 shots (.375) in the opening 20 minutes. There were four ties and six lead changes in the first half before OGBM went on a 19-9 run to take its largest lead of the night at 40-30 with 2:35 to go in the period. The Irish responded by closing the stanza on a 10-0 run, sparked by three-pointers from Wicks and Ratay, to pull even at 40-40 at the break.
After the teams traded baskets on their first two possessions of the second half, Notre Dame erupted with a 13-2 run, getting six points from Borton in the spurt to grab a 58-47 lead with 13:11 to play. The Legends matched the Irish point for point over the next seven minutes before mounting one last comeback, scoring five in a row and getting within 68-62 on Tomeka Patterson’s layup at the 2:12 mark. However, Borton countered with a layup off a pass from Batteast, who added another bunny moments later to seal the victory.
No. 15 Notre Dame will play its second exhibition game of the 2001-02 season Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. (EST) when it welcomes Division II entity Christian Brothers to the Joyce Center. The Irish will open the regular season at home on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. (EST) against Valparaiso.
— ND —