Feb. 13, 2007
VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Junior guard Charel Allen (Monessen, Pa./Monessen) poured in a game-high 25 points to pace four players in double figures as Notre Dame turned in one of its best road performances of the season, rolling to a 75-58 BIG EAST Conference win over Villanova on Tuesday night at The Pavilion. It was not only the fourth consecutive win for the Irish (17-8, 8-4 BIG EAST), tying a season high, but also the most points Notre Dame has scored on VU's home court since 1997.
Allen, the reigning BIG EAST Player of the Week, logged her second consecutive 25-point game and her fifth in the past nine contests. She also tallied six rebounds and tied her career high with six assists, all without a turnover in 37 minutes of action. Freshman guard Ashley Barlow (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) chalked up 15 points, six rebounds and five steals, while junior center Melissa D'Amico (Manorville, N.Y./William Floyd) came off the bench to score 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Senior guard Breona Gray (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman) also turned in an efficient performance with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting (2-2 from the three-point line).
Stacie Witman and Jackie Adamshick carded 16 points and seven rebounds apiece for Villanova (7-18, 1-11), which lost its 10th consecutive game. Notre Dame also held the Wildcats to 4-of-19 (.211) from beyond the arc and forced the normally sure-handed VU offense into 20 turnovers, with 14 coming on Irish steals.
Notre Dame came flying out of the gate, scoring the first six points in 42 seconds. Villanova came back with an 11-2 run and took its largest lead of the night on Kyle Dougherty's layup with 15:54 remaining in the first half. However, that spread lasted all of 14 seconds, as Allen canned a three-pointer on the next possession, igniting an 11-0 Irish run that put the visitors in front to stay. Notre Dame also tightened up on defense, holding the Wildcats to one field goal over the final 6:06 while taking a 34-25 halftime lead.
Villanova pieced together a rally early in the second half, using an 11-4 spurt and trimming the Irish lead to 45-42 on Maria Getty's three-pointer with 12:55 to go. Once again, Allen stepped into the breach, hitting a layup 40 seconds later as Notre Dame scored 10 of the next 12 points in a 6:30 span. VU never got closer than nine points the rest of the way, with the Irish steadily pulling clear down the stretch and ending up with their largest margin of the night at the final horn.
Notre Dame will be back in action Saturday when it travels to Providence for a 2 p.m. (ET) BIG EAST contest at Alumni Hall.
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame takes a 14-8 series lead over Villanova and snaps a two-game losing streak against the Wildcats with its first win since Jan. 24, 2004 (38-36 at the Joyce Center) ... the Irish log their first victory at The Pavilion since Jan. 25, 2003 (58-56) and post their largest win over Villanova since Dec. 6, 2000 (64-33 at the Joyce Center) ... Notre Dame's 75 points are the most the Irish have scored vs. Villanova since Feb. 28, 1999 when they defeated the Wildcats 83-53 in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals at Piscataway, N.J. ... it also was Notre Dame's highest point total at The Pavilion since Jan. 12, 1997 when the Irish won, 77-54 ... the previous six series games had been decided by a combined total of 17 points, while Tuesday's margin matched that spread ... Notre Dame registered a season-low eight turnovers, with its previous best being a 10-turnover night vs. St. John's on Jan. 16 ... the Irish had four double-figure scorers for the third consecutive game and the eighth time this season (7-1 record) ... Tuesday's game was the 750th of head coach Muffet McGraw's career, with the Pottsville, Pa., native now sporting a 534-216 (.712) record in 25 seasons (the past 20 at Notre Dame, where she is 446-175).