Jan. 24, 2010
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)--No. 16 West Virginia could contain fourth-ranked Notre Dame and Lindsay Schrader only for a half.
After being held without a shot in the first half, Schrader went 6 for 8 from the floor in the second half and scored eight of her 16 points during a decisive run as the Fighting Irish rallied for a 74-66 victory on Sunday.
"In the second half, Schrader just took over," West Virginia coach Mike Carey said. "She got physical with us. Every time we got physical we got a foul called. She took over. I think she was the key."
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said the Irish usually turn to Schrader when they need a key basket.
"Everybody on our team knows when we're not scoring we're going to try to find Lindsay," McGraw said. "Not to the exclusion of anybody else, but that's going to be a look we want because she has so many mismatches. They had guards trying to guard her down there and we needed to take advantage of that."
The Irish trailed 44-31 after Madina Ali scored the opening basket of the second half, and trailed 49-39 when Vanessa House hit a 3 for the Mountaineers (18-2, 5-1 BIG EAST). But the Irish responded with a 16-3 run led by Schrader, who repeatedly scored baskets inside. Natalie Novosel capped it with a baseline runner that gave the Irish a 55-52 lead.
"We were rattled a little bit," said Liz Repella, who led the Mountaineers with 24 points.
The Irish put the game away with a 10-1 burst late to take a 74-63 lead.
Skylar Diggins added 15 points for the Irish, Melissa Lechlitner had 12 and Ashley Barlow had 10 points and a career-high seven assists. Korinne Campbell had 12 points and nine rebounds for West Virginia.
After being outscored 16-10 in the paint in the first half and outrebounded 18-17, the Irish had a 20-16 rebounding advantage in the second half and outscored the Mountaineers 20-14 in the paint.
"In the second half we got more disciplined and worked on our defense and rebounding," Schrader said.
The Irish (17-1, 4-1) also turned the ball over only three times in the second half after having 14 turnovers in the first half.
Carey said his team played less aggressive in the second half because three of his starters, including Repella, were in foul trouble.
"We started standing around on both ends because we were afraid of fouling. That's not an excuse. We can't play that way. I told them, `Whether you are in foul trouble or not, we've got to do what we do.' We quit doing what we do in the second half there."
The Fighting Irish improved to 5-1 against ranked opponents while the Mountaineers fell to 1-2 against ranked teams. The loss also ended a 16-game winning streak for West Virginia, the second longest in school history.
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame and West Virginia came into Sunday's game as two of only seven teams in the country with one loss or fewer ... for the second consecutive season, the Fighting Irish have registered five wins over ranked opponents, their highest total since the 2004-05 season, when they had seven Top 25 victories ... WVU is the highest AP-ranked opponent (#16) Notre Dame has defeated since March 25, 2008, when the Fighting Irish downed #14 Oklahoma, 79-75 in overtime in the second round of the NCAA Championship (Oklahoma City Regional) in West Lafayette, Ind. ... the Mountaineers are the highest ESPN/USA Today-ranked opponent (#11) Notre Dame has defeated since Dec. 6, 2006, when the Fighting Irish toppled ninth-ranked Purdue, 67-58 at Purcell Pavilion ... Notre Dame improves to 17-2 all-time against West Virginia, including a 10-0 record at Purcell Pavilion ... the past six series games all have been decided by 12 points or fewer, including the past three decided by single digits ... the Fighting Irish trailed at halftime for only the third time all season (also at Purdue and Connecticut) ... for the second consecutive game (and third time this year), Notre Dame rallies from a double-digit deficit to post a victory, coming back from a season-high 13-point deficit to win over WVU; the other double-digit comebacks were at Purdue (10 points) and at Louisville (12 points) ... Notre Dame forced 20+ turnovers for the 15th time in 18 games this season ... the Fighting Irish record double-digit steals for the 12th time this year ... Notre Dame is 10-0 this season when fielding at least four double-figure scorers ... the Fighting Irish registered a season-high five "old-fashioned" three-point plays in six opportunities on Sunday ... fifth-year senior guard/tri-captain Lindsay Schrader notched her second consecutive double-double, third in four games, fifth of the season and 16th of her career against West Virginia ... Schrader also jumped into a tie for eighth place on Notre Dame's career rebounding list with 742 boards, sharting that spot with Shari Matvey (1979-83) ... senior guard/tri-captain Ashley Barlow dished out a career-high seven assists, one more than her previous best, set on six occasions (most recently on Feb. 24, 2009 vs. Syracuse); her seven assists also matched the most by a Notre Dame player this year, set twice before (most recently on Jan. 19 by Becca Bruszewski at Louisville) ... Barlow also moved into 13th place on the Notre Dame all-time scoring list with 1,318 career points, passing Margaret Nowlin, who scored 1,312 points from 1988-92 ... Barlow posted her 70th career double-digit scoring game on Sunday, tying her for 10th place in school history with Matvey and Sheila McMillen (1995-99) ... senior guard/tri-captain Melissa Lechlitner celebrated her 22nd birthday on Sunday by scoring in double figures for the sixth time in the past seven games ... Notre Dame welcomed its second sellout crowd of the season (also Vanderbilt on Dec. 31) and eighth in the program's history, with 9,149 fans in attendance at Purcell Pavilion ... all the proceeds (gate receipts and net concessions revenue) from Sunday's game, as well as Saturday's home men's basketball contest vs. DePaul, are being donated by the Notre Dame athletics department to assist in the relief and rebuilding efforts associated with the earthquake in Haiti earlier this month; in addition, members of the Notre Dame Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) circulated through the crowd at both home games this weekend, collecting donations for the cause -- the total donation amount from the basketball games and SAAC collections (expected to be in excess of $100,000) should be determined this week.