Feb. 24, 2009
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Lindsay Schrader had 23 points and eight rebounds, Becca Bruszewski added 20 points and No. 23 Notre Dame overcame blowing a 17-point lead in the first half to beat Syracuse 90-79 on Tuesday night.
Nicole Michael led the Orange (15-12, 4-10) with 17 points and Chandrea Jones had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Irish looked like they were going to win in a blowout, opening a 24-7 lead early. But a 13-0 run by the Orange late in the half, highlighted by a four-point play by Tasha Harris, tied the score at 36.
Notre Dame led 38-36 at halftime, then opened the second half with a 5-0 spurt. The Irish took control with a 12-4 run, opening a 57-45 lead when they made four free throws as Juanita Ward was called for a foul and a technical.
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame posts its highest point total since Nov. 23, when it earned a 102-54 win at Boston College ... the Irish also had five double-figure scorers for the first time since that BC game and the third time this season ... Notre Dame notches its best field goal percentage since Jan. 10, when they shot 53.8 percent in a win over Georgetown at the Joyce Center ... the Irish matched their BIG EAST season high with 52 second-half points, having also scored 52 in the final 20 minutes vs. Georgetown (the overall season high is 53 second-half points at BC) ... Notre Dame's 24-7 game-opening blitz was its best scoring run since Jan. 13 at Marquette, when the Irish reeled off a 20-2 spurt late in the first half ... for the second time in three games, Notre Dame fielded two 20-point scorers, having also done so exactly one week ago at South Florida (with the same two players - Schrader and Bruszewski); prior to that USF game, it had been more than two years (Dec. 6, 2006 vs. Purdue) since the Irish had rolled out multiple 20-point scorers in the same game ... Notre Dame improves to 10-2 at home this season, marking the 12th time in the past 14 seasons the Irish have posted double-digit home wins ... for the third time this season, Notre Dame played twice in a little more than 48 hours, and in all three cases, the Irish have won the back end of that quick turnaround (also Nov. 25 vs. Georgia Southern and Dec. 30 at #20/19 Vanderbilt); the Irish will have one more such quirk in the schedule, with their regular-season finale next Monday (March 2) at home vs. West Virginia coming two days after a trip to Providence ... Notre Dame ties its season high with eight blocks, a mark it has attained twice before (most recently on Dec. 13 at Valparaiso) ... Notre Dame rises to 22-2 all-time against Syracuse, including an 11-0 mark at the Joyce Center, where the Irish have won the past nine (and 10 of 11) by double figures ... the Irish now have scored at least 70 points in 19 of 24 series games, with this being their highest offensive output against Syracuse since Jan. 26, 1999 (a 94-61 win at SU's former home, Manley Field House) ... meanwhile, the Orange top the 70-point mark for the third time in the series, and first since March 3, 2002, when they upset the Irish, 84-79 in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship at Piscataway, N.J. ... Notre Dame's 22 series wins are tied for the third-most against one opponent in program history, topped only by 28 wins vs. Marquette and 23 vs. Georgetown ... Notre Dame is 44-4 (.917) all-time against New York schools, including a 24-0 record at home (21 of those wins coming by double digits) ... the Irish are 80-23 (.777) in the month of February during their 14-year BIG EAST membership (1995-96 to present), including a 46-5 (.902) record at home ... for the fifth time in the past six series games vs. Syracuse, an Irish player has tied or set a new career scoring high, with Bruszewski tossing in a career-high-tying 20 points (a standard she first set at South Florida one week earlier) ... for the second consecutive game vs. the Orange, Williamson posted a double-double, having logged 14 points and 11 rebounds in last year's win at the Carrier Dome (Feb. 16, 2008); she now has four career double-doubles (half vs. Syracuse, which is not far from her former hometown of Rochester, N.Y.), including two this season (the other was on Jan. 10 vs. Georgetown with a career-high 21 points and 10 rebounds) ... Williamson's season-high 11 rebounds were the most for the Irish center since last year's Syracuse game ... Williamson also tied her career high with five blocked shots, having first done so in her college debut on Nov. 10, 2006, vs. Central Michigan; Williamson is the first Irish player with five blocks in a game since Nov. 9, 2007, when Devereaux Peters had five rejections in her debut game, a 98-50 win over Miami (Ohio) in the opening round of the Preseason WNIT at the Joyce Center ... Williamson recorded her 100th career blocked shot (now with 102) and breaks out of a tie with former teammate Melissa D'Amico (97 from 2004-08) for ninth place on the Notre Dame all-time blocks list ... on her 22nd birthday, Schrader scored one point for every candle on her cake (plus one to grow on), pulling her within six points of becoming the 25th 1,000-point scorer in school history ... Barlow moved into sole possession of 22nd place on the Irish career scoring list with 1,047 points, breaking free of a tie with Mollie Peirick (1,034 from 1994-98); next up for Barlow is Carrie Bates, who tallied 1,060 points from 1981-85 ... Barlow tied her career high with six assists, a mark she has reached five other times (most recently on Jan. 10 vs. Georgetown) ... Bruszewski now has scored in double figures 14 times this season, including six of the past seven games ... for the first time since Dec. 20 vs. Loyola-Chicago (and the fourth time this year, including the Gannon exhibition), Notre Dame reached the 88-point mark, resulting in a coupon for a free Big Mac for the 5,640 fans in attendance; Lechlitner hit the "Big Mac Basket" with 44 seconds left to put the Irish over the top, the first time in the two-year history of the promotion that the junior point guard has delivered the burger ball.