January 30, 1999
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Providence has had more than enough of Notre Dame’s Ruth Riley this year.
Riley scored a school-record 41 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the seventh-ranked Irish to their eighth straight win, a 97-59 decision over Providence on Saturday night.
Riley’s previous career-high, 36 points, also came against Providence – at South Bend on Jan. 10 in a 79-56 Notre Dame win.
“I’m sure having that first game against (Providence) gave her a lot of confidence for tonight,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “I don’t think they had anyone who could stop her.”
Riley was 18-for-22 from the field and 5-for-7 from the foul line, helping Notre Dame (17-2, 9-2 Big East) to its best start in school history.
Riley scored 26 points in the first half as Notre Dame held Providence (3-16, 2-10) to 29 percent shooting from the field and took a 51-34 advantage into the break.
“She is so strong and supplements that with her great soft touch,” Friars coach Jim Jabir said. “We couldn’t move her and we couldn’t double-down quick enough. She is a fundamentally tough athlete to defend.”
Chrissy Vozab’s 11 points led Providence, which has lost eight of its last nine.
The Notre Dame single-game scoring record was previously held by Katryna Gaither, who scored 40 points against Ohio University on Nov. 29, 1996. Riley’s 18 field goals also broke Gaither’s single-game record of 17.
“It’s a great honor to have that record,” Riley said. “My sister was at the game the night (Gaither) scored 40. When she told me about it, I said: ‘Forty points in a college game? That’s awesome.”
Even without playing the final 9:15 of the game, Riley fell just a point short of the Big East single-game record of 42 points, set by Cozette Ballantine of St. John’s against Providence on Feb. 13, 1991.
Sheila McMillen and Danielle Green added 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Fighting Irish.
The game was the fourth straight Notre Dame has won by 30 points or more.