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    Friday, Nov. 28, 1996

    Gaither Sets Scoring Record In Win Over Ohio

    Atlanta, Ga. -- Senior center KATRYNA GAITHER scored a school record and career-high 40 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead ninth-ranked Notre Dame (5-1) to a 95-82 win over Ohio University (0-1) in the first round of the Comfort Inn Downtown Classic in Atlanta, Ga. Gaither, who hit 17 of 22 field goal attempts, scored 29 points in the second half.

    Gaither has now scored 20 or more points in all six of Note Dame's contests. Her double-double was the third of the season and the 27th of her career. It also marked the 62nd straight game that she has been in double figures scoring.

    Beth Morgan added 25 points as she hit on 11 of 25 field goal attempts. Morgan scored 17 points in the first half. Rosanne Bohman added 11 points as the only other players in double figures for Notre Dame.

    The 95 points scored by Notre Dame were the most since the Irish beat Duquesne 95-67 on February 6, 1996.

    The Irish, who trailed 47-46 at the half, shot 56.7 percent from the field for the game and connected on 60 percent of their shots in the second half (18 of 30).

    Ohio University, playing its first game of the season came out strong as the Bobcats hit eight of 10 three-pointers in the first half and shot 62.1 percent from the field. Four Ohio players were in double figures as the Bobcats were led by Marlene Stollings 25 points. Natalie Britt added 19 points, while Gwyneth Ballard chipped in 16 and Renee Robare netted 13.

    The contest saw 11 lead changes and six ties. Trailing by one at the half, Notre Dame took a four point lead (53-49) when Mollie Peirick nailed a three-pointer from the left corner of the baseline. Stollings scored five straight points for the Bobcats as she hit two consecutive three-pointers to give the Bobcats a 55-53 lead with 17:21 remaining in the contest.

    The run continued for Ohio as Stollings added six points over the next four minutes as Ohio led 65-60 with 13:09 remaining in the contest.

    Notre Dame's defense then took over as Gaither blocked two shots and the Irish outscored the Bobcats 21-6 over the next eight minutes of the contest to take an 81-71 lead with 5:09 remaining. The run also included a 9-0 stretch for the Irish who forced 13 Bobcat turnovers in the second half.

    The Irish defense also limited Ohio University to just 20 percent shooting from three-point range as the Bobcats hit on just two of 10 three-point attempts. Notre Dame also limited its opponent to just 35.5 percent shooting for the second half.

    Morgan kept the Irish in the game in the first half with her 17 points. The Irish trailed for most of the first half and by as many six points on three occasions. Notre Dame fell behind 28-22 with 9:53 left before halftime on a Ballard layup, but the Irish responded with an 11-5 run to take a 33-30 lead on a Morgan jumper.

    Robare tied the game at 33-33 with a three-pointer with 6:04 remaining and then the lead changed hands four times with three ties before the half.

    Notre Dame outrebounded Ohio 34-33 in the contest. The Irish were 14 of 18 (.778) from the charity stripe, whiel the Bobcats hit 12 of their 13 attemtps.

    "That was the best any team has shot against us in a game," Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. "We've got to expect that teams are going to be ready to play us. We stepped it up defensively in the second half and took them out of their game. These are the type of games we are going to have to expect this season. Teams are going to be ready to play us.

    Once again, Katryna was unstoppable. She has done it all for us all season long. I'm very proud of her,. She's deceiving on the court, but Katryna works very hard to get herself open for scoring opportunities."

    Notre Dame will play host Georgia Tech tomorrow (November 30) in the championship game at 3:00 p.m., while Ohio plays Drexel in the consolation contest.

    NOTRE DAME 95, OHIO U. 82

    Ohio -- Robare 4 3-4 13, Britt 8 1-1 19, Stollings 9 2-2 26, Grbac 2 2-2 6, Ballard 6 4-4 16, Blackstone 1 0-0 2, Deering 0 0-0 0, Turner 0 0-0 0. Team 30 12-13 82.

    Notre Dame -- Peirick 2 2-2 8, Augustin 0 1-2 1, Morgan 11 2-2 25, Bohman 4 3-4 11, Gaither 17 6-7 40, Jordan 0 0-1 0, McMillen 1 0-0 2, Henderson 0 0-0 0, Hutchinson 3 0-0 8. Totals 38 14-18 95.

    Halftime score: Ohio, 47-46. Three point field goals: Ohio 10 (Stollings 6, Britt 2, Robare 2), Notre Dame 5 (Peirick 3, Hutchinson 2, Morgan). Rebounds: Ohio 33 (Grbac 7), Notre Dame 34 (Gaither 14). Assists: Ohio 20 (Robare 10), Notre Dame 20 (Augustin 5). Other: Notre Dame (Gaither 7 steals, 7 offensive rebounds, 2 steals). Total fouls: Ohio 16, Notre Dame 16. Fouled out: Peirick (ND).

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