Feb. 2, 2001
From the Associated Press
Notre Dame, winner of 20 straight games, looks to achieve the longest winning streak in school history as it heads to Chestnut Hill to face Boston College.
The top-ranked Fighting Irish (20-0, 9-0 Big East) are coming off a 64-44 win over Providence on Wednesday, matching the all-time school record with their 20th consecutive victory.
Notre Dame also became just the seventh team ever to put together back-to-back seasons with 20 straight wins.
The Irish have shattered their best start to a season ever, besting last season’s 15-0 run to begin the year.
Keeping the winning streak alive combined with being the No. 1 team in the nation can be difficult, as Notre Dame nearly fell victim to a Providence team that’s tied for last place in the conference.
In the first half against the Lady Friars, the Irish shot 9-for-28 (32.1 percent), committed 12 turnovers and trailed 18-11 with 6:16 left – their largest deficit of the season.
The added media attention and extra pressure that comes with the privilege of being atop the poll may be affecting the team’s concentration.
“It’s nice to have the attention, great to come out and see the (Joyce Center) full, but I think now we need to take some time to ourselves and focus on the rest of the season,” Riley said.
Riley leads the Big East in scoring at 17.9 points per contest, while point guard Niele Ivey adds 13.0 points per game and ranks eighth in the nation in assists with 7.9 a contest.
Adding to the depth and balance of the team is sophomore shooting guard Alicia Ratay (14.2 ppg), who leads the nation in 3-point shooting at 59.7 percent (46-of-77).
Boston College (8-12, 2-7) has lost three straight and seven of its last eight games.
Becky Gottstein is clearly the Eagles’ top option on offense, averaging team highs with 15.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Freshman Amber Jacobs is the only other B.C. player scoring in double figures, averaging 12.3 points a contest.
Boston College trails the all-time series 3-5, but has won three of the four meetings on its home floor.