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    Live Blog - Irish Return Home Against Pitt

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    8:37 pm, Irish 120-44, Final: An absolutely dominant game for the Irish and a 76-point victory tonight at the Purcell Pavilion. The 120-point night was the second highest scoring performance of the season for Notre Dame, topped only by the 128-point day at Mercer. A great night for the fans who exited the arena to the sounds of "The Blood of Cu Chulainn," better know as the awesome and ubiquitous-on-the-Notre-Dame-campus theme song from Boondock Saints.

    The Irish ladies will have a few days to practice and get back into the swing of the academic semester before taking on Villanova on Saturday at home. The game begins at 1 pm ET and you can catch it live on UND.com. With hockey, men's basketball, track & field, men's and women's swimming and women's tennis all at home, it will be a very busy weekend on campus.

    8:29 pm, Irish 107-41, 3:53 2nd half: At the final media timeout, the Irish are up by 66 points. A few impressive stats for Notre Dame: 29 assists, 39 points off turnovers, 22 second chance points, 41 bench points, 62 points in the paint and 7 players in double-figures. An all-around dominant performance tonight at the Purcell Pavilion.

    8:24 pm, Irish 100-37, 7:22 2nd half: 100! A midrange jumper from Kaila Turner gives the Irish 100 points for the second time this season.

    8:22 pm, Irish 98-37, 7:49 2nd half: At this point, it's only a question of "by how much." Notre Dame is cruising to its 18th win over the season and a 6-0 start to the BIG EAST schedule. Six players have scored in double-figures.

    8:15 pm, Irish 88-34, 10:39 2nd half: The BIG MAC basket! Thanks to Fraderica Miller's layup, everyone in attendance gets a Big Mac. With more than 10 minutes to play, it looks like the Irish will have no problem eclipsing the 100-point mark this evening.

    8:13 pm, Irish 83-34, 11:33 2nd half: Freshman Markisha Wright makes a couple of nice moves down low on back-to-back possessions for Notre Dame. The Panthers are finding the basket more frequently than they did during the first half, but they've still been unable to shut down the Irish offense, and find themselves down by 49 points with 11:33 to play.

    8:04 pm, Irish 70-26, 15:34 2nd half: At the first media timeout of the second half, the Irish already have 70 points, thanks to their continued hot streak from the field (62%). Peters leads with 20 points, while Novosel has 13 and Mallory and McBride have 11 apiece.

    8:01 pm, Irish 64-22, 17:15 2nd half: Interesting observation about the Pitt bench...the coaching staff sits in the middle with the players split on each side. Not sure if they do this for every game, but it's something I've never seen (for more than a few seconds if a coach is directly addressing a player) in my years of watching basketball.

    7:58 pm, Irish 61-22, 18:41 2nd half: A pair of Novosel free throws and a Mallory fast break layup give the Irish their largest lead and Pitt a quick timeout.

    7:55 pm, Irish 57-19, 19:44 2nd half: Notre Dame picks up where it left off, as Novosel connects on a three from the corner to start the second half.

    7:53 pm: "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" comes over the Purcell speakers and suddenly it feels like we're back in The House That Rock Built. Only 234 days until the home opener...

    7:42 pm: Fans are holding up and reading the children's books they've brought to donate to the Public Education Foundation. Great act of charity from the faithful Irish fans and the women's basketball program. Two Notre Dame alums are reading their book, "Clashmore Mike Comes Home" at half court.

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    7:40 pm, Irish 54-19, half: There are 20 minutes to play, but it would certainly take a comeback of historic proportions for Pittsburgh to pull off the upset. Devereaux Peters leads the Irish with 16 points, while Kayla McBride (9 points), Brittany Mallory and Natalie Novosel (8 points each) are also approaching double-figures.

    7:33 pm, Irish 41-15, 3:54 1st half: Notre Dame's lead has climbed to 26 with just a few minutes to play in the first half. With 12 second-chance points and 12 points off of Pittsburgh turnovers, Coach McGraw's team is taking advantage of nearly every scoring opportunity.

    7:26 pm, Irish 34-11, 7:06 1st half: With just over seven minutes to play until halftime, it's all Irish here at Purcell. With 12 points, Dev Peters continues to lead all scorers...more than the entire Panthers team.

    7:23 pm, Irish 30-9, 8:25 1st half: The Irish are shooting 62% and continue to dominate the Panthers (31%) in nearly all facets of the game. A Kaila Turner layup pushes the lead to 21 and Pitt burns its third timeout.

    7:17 pm, Irish 26-9, 11:00 1st half: Novosel hits a three to extend the Irish lead to 17. Notre Dame currently on a 12-0 run, as Pitt is called for a traveling violation and we go to the second media timeout. To the delight of the crowd, the ND Band breaks into Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" at the break.

    7:13 pm, Irish 23-9, 13:12 1st half: After being honored for her 1,000-point accomplishment before the game, Peters is already adding to her career total. The Chicago native leads the Irish with 12 points, and a 9-0 run forces Pitt to call its second timeout of the game.

    7:07 pm, Irish 12-5, 15:56 1st half: Everyone getting involved early for Notre Dame. We're at the first media timeout and all five starters have scored already.

    7:02 pm, Irish 6-0, 18:41 1st half: The press is on....Two more quick buckets from the Irish and Pittsburgh calls its first timeout. Good start for ND.

    7:01 pm: And we're underway at Purcell...Panthers control the opening tip-off, but the Irish snag the rebound and respond with a quick jumper from Natalie Novosel.

    6:58 pm: Now playing on the Purcell video board: http://youtu.be/Hk6fZm5rdvM

    6:53 pm: Almost game time here at Purcell! Before the Band of the Fighting Irish performed the Star Spangled Banner, fifth-year Irish forward Devereaux Peters was honored at half court and presented with a special Notre Dame basketball from Coach Muffet McGraw, in recognition of her eclipsing the 1,000-point career mark during December's victory over Longwood.

    6:39 pm: The students are back in town and today was the first day of classes. The Notre Dame band just played "Eye of the Tiger." Have to say I thought this was kind of funny, given the day's recruiting/early enrollment developments and how one future Tiger became a member of the Fighting Irish football team...

    6:33 pm: Pitt takes the court... and HERE COME THE IRISH!

    6:24 pm: ...And now comes "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." This song will always remind me of Remember the Titans...

    6:23 pm: Irish head back to the locker room after warming up to the tunes of Gym Class Heroes, Usher and Flo Rida.

    5:40 pm: The Notre Dame women's basketball team returns home for the first time since its thrilling overtime win against Connecticut on Jan. 7. Tonight's matchup features the Irish against BIG EAST foe Pittsburgh. Tipoff against the Panthers is set for 7 p.m. ET.

    Catch the game streaming live on UND.com and follow the blog right here on Irish UNDerground for updates throughout the contest. Go Irish!

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