Jan. 16, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Junior guard Charel Allen (Monessen, Pa./Monessen) tossed in a career-high 31 points on 14-of-19 shooting, and junior center Melissa D'Amico (Manorville, N.Y./William Floyd) chipped in a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, as Notre Dame roared back from an early five-point deficit to defeat St. John's, 83-65 in BIG EAST Conference action on Tuesday night at the Joyce Center. Allen scored nine points in a game-changing 19-0 Irish run late in the first half, helping Notre Dame (12-5, 3-1 BIG EAST) to its ninth win in the past 12 games.
Not to be overlooked, the Irish freshman class was at it again with contributions in all facets of the game. Guard Ashley Barlow (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) scored 14 points, while backcourt mate Melissa Lechlitner (Mishawaka, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph's) dished out a career-high nine assists (the most by a Notre Dame rookie in almost 12 years) without a single turnover. Center Erica Williamson (Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenburg) also turned in a workmanlike effort with seven points and five rebounds in 16 minutes.
Monique McLean had a team-high 19 points for St. John's (5-11, 1-4), leading four Red Storm players in double figures. Kia Wright and Tiina Sten added 14 points each, while Angel Tate flirted with a double-double before ending up with 11 points and a team-best nine rebounds.
With Notre Dame coming off an overtime loss at South Florida and St. John's having won at No. 23 Pittsburgh last weekend, it wasn't a surprise that the Red Storm came out with guns blazing in the game's early moments. St. John's knocked down seven of its first nine shots from the floor en route to a pair of five-point leads, the last at 19-14 on a jumper by Wright with 11:38 left in the first half. The Irish came back with five consecutive points, but SJU then tallied eight of the next 12 markers and led 27-23 when Sten drilled a three-pointer from the left wing at the 6:32 mark.
Notre Dame then came alive in a big way, ripping off 19 unanswered points during the next 4:15, with Allen scoring nine of the last 11 points in the run. Her transition layup with 2:17 to go in the half gave the Irish their largest lead to that point at 42-27. St. John's made a dent in the margin with a 7-2 spurt to end the period, but still trailed by 10 at the intermission.
The lead remained static for the first four minutes of the second half, with McLean getting her team to within 47-37 on the second of two foul shots at the 15:46 junction. Notre Dame then fired up its perimeter shooting, connecting on 4-of-5 three-point tries during a 14-2 run that essentially put the game on ice. Lechlitner started the long-range assault, with Allen sinking one and Barlow adding a pair of treys in the three-minute spree, boosting the Irish lead to a game-high 22 points (61-39) with 12:44 to play. St. John's battled valiantly, but could not get closer than 14 points the rest of the night.
Notre Dame will back at the Joyce Center Saturday when it plays host to Syracuse in a 2 p.m. (ET) contest. Tickets remain available for that game and can be purchased through the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356), on-line at the Irish athletics web site by clicking here or on game day at the Joyce Center Gate 10 ticket windows.
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame's 83 points vs. St. John's were the most the Irish have scored against a BIG EAST opponent since Feb. 25, 2004, when they defeated No. 21/19 Miami (Fla.), 93-58 at the Joyce Center ... Notre Dame improves to 16-1 all-time against St. John's, including an 8-0 record at home ... the Irish posted their highest point total vs. the Red Storm since Jan. 9, 2001 (84-49 win in Queens) and their largest win over St. John's since Feb. 12, 2003 (76-48 at the Joyce Center) ... Notre Dame is 38-3 (.927) all-time against New York schools, with a 20-0 mark at home ... the Irish logged their seventh 80-point game of the season, inching closer to their high-water total of 15 such contests set during the 2000-01 campaign ... Notre Dame's 35 field goals are its highest tally for a single game since Nov. 12, 2004, when the Irish went 37-of-70 from the floor in a 92-73 win over Illinois State at the Joyce Center in the first round of the Preseason WNIT ... Notre Dame tried 76 shots in the game, its highest total since Nov. 26, 2001 (33-of-77 in an 89-57 win over Army at the Joyce Center) ... the Irish attempted 22 three-point field goals, the most for Notre Dame since March 21, 2004, when they went 4-of-23 from distance in a 69-65 overtime win over Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament ... Notre Dame tied a season-high with seven three-pointers (also vs. Richmond on Nov. 28) ... the Irish committed a season-low 10 turnovers, their best outing since March 19, 2006, when they had just eight giveaways in their NCAA Tournament first-round game vs. Boston College ... Charel Allen set new career highs with 31 points and 14 field goals, topping her old standards of 22 points and 10 baskets, both of which came vs. Richmond on Nov. 28 ... Allen's output was the most by an Irish player since Jan. 10, 2006, when Megan Duffy scored 32 points in a 67-65 overtime victory over Marquette at the Joyce Center ... Allen's 14 field goals are the second-most ever by a Notre Dame player in Joyce Center history; Katryna Gaither holds the arena record with 16 field goals on Jan. 9, 1995 in a 90-66 win over Cleveland State ... Melissa D'Amico collected her second double-double of the season and third of her career, highlighted by a personal-best 11 rebounds vs. St. John's -- she had grabbed 10 boards on three occasions, most recently as part of a double-double vs. Indiana on Dec. 3 ... Melissa Lechlitner delivered nine assists, the most for an Irish player since Jan. 17, 2006 when Megan Duffy had nine assists in a 78-75 win over No. 10 DePaul at the Joyce Center ... Lechlitner's nine handouts also are the most by a Notre Dame freshman since Feb. 16, 1995, when Mollie Peirick had nine assists in an 83-79 overtime win at Cleveland State.