Feb. 9, 2005
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A second-half defensive adjustment saved No. 6 Notre Dame from falling to the Big East's last-place team.
Unable to slow Providence in the first half despite a variety of defenses, Notre Dame switched to a zone in the second half. It paid off as the Fighting Irish rallied for a 75-57 win over the Friars on Wednesday night.
Jacqueline Batteast had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Notre Dame. She scored seven points during a 21-3 second-half run that broke a 46-all tie and gave Notre Dame a 67-49 lead with 5:50 left.
Notre Dame (21-3, 9-2 Big East) extended its winning streak to nine games while Providence (1-20, 0-10) lost its 10th in a row.
Shauna Snyder scored 16 of her 18 points in the first half for Providence, which led 36-30 at halftime. It was only the third time the Friars led at the break this season.
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw criticized her team's preparation and defensive effort, calling the first half "probably the worst defensive half of basketball we have (played) all year."
The Friars shot 50 percent in the first half, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range.
"We generally play a lot of zone but (Snyder) was killing us," McGraw said. "She did a great job in the first half of getting open and getting free and just making shots."
"(The Friars) shot probably better than they have all year," she added. "Credit their offense because we were nowhere near them."
The second half was a different story, with the Fighting Irish holding Providence to 21 points on 25-percent shooting (6-for-24).
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame extends its winning streak to a season-long eight games ... the Irish now are 13-0 all-time against Providence (7-0 at Alumni Hall) and have won 11 of their 13 games against the Friars by double digits ... Notre Dame is 9-1 on the road this season and has held nine of 10 road opponents to less than 60 points ... the Irish are 15-1 this season when opponents fail to reach the 60-point mark ... for the second consecutive outing, Notre Dame tied its season high for points on the road with 75 (also at Pittsburgh on Feb. 5) ... Notre Dame is 11-1 this season when scoring at least 70 points ... the Irish are 12-1 this season when they have at least three players scoring in double figures ... Notre Dame's 45 second-half points are the most the Irish have scored in the final 20 minutes against a BIG EAST opponent this season (previously: 43 vs. Rutgers on Jan. 23) ... Notre Dame shot better than 45 percent for the ninth time this season, improving to 9-0 in such contests (4-0 when reaching the 50-percent plateau) ... during their current winning streak, the Irish have shot better than 40 percent in each game, while holding their opponents to less than 40 percent in seven of eight contests (Purdue shot .448 on Jan. 16, the first game of the streak) ... Notre Dame committed 15 turnovers or less for the fourth consecutive game and 10th time this season (10-0 record) ... during their winning streak, the Irish have committed 15 or fewer turnovers in six of eight games ... Providence was held to a Notre Dame opponent season-low 24 rebounds (previously: 27, done three times and most recently by Syracuse on Jan. 19) ... senior All-America forward Jacqueline Batteast registered her sixth double-double of the season and 38th of her career ... she also collected her 900th career rebound, becoming only the fourth player in school history to eclipse that milestone (Ruth Riley, Letitia Bowen and Katryna Gaither are the others) ... in addition, Batteast becomes only the third player in school history with more than 1,700 points and 900 rebounds in her career (1,745 points/903 rebounds); others are Riley (2,072 points/1,007 rebounds) and Gaither (2,126 points/986 rebounds) ... Batteast logged the 30th 20-point game of her career, moving her into sole possession of fourth place on the Irish all-time list, passing Trena Keys (29 from 1982-86) ... junior guard Megan Duffy dished out at least five assists for 10th time in the past 11 games; she's averaging 7.0 assists per game with a 2.2 assist/turnover ratio (77 assists, 35 turnovers) in that span ... senior center Teresa Borton scored in double figures for the fourth time in the past five games; she also had one blocked shot, giving her 134 career rejections and breaking a tie with Shari Matvey (1979-83) for fifth place in the Notre Dame record books ... junior forward Courtney LaVere scored in double digits for the third time in four games ... freshman guard Tulyah Gaines posted the second-highest point total of her brief career, topped only by a 12-point night at Northern Illinois on Dec. 30.