Feb. 28, 2009
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Lindsay Schrader scored 18 points, including the 1,000th of her career, and Ashley Barlow hit two key 3-pointers in the second half to spark a Notre Dame rally and the No. 23/22 Irish beat Providence 65-56 on Saturday.
Notre Dame (20-7, 9-6 BIG EAST) and Providence were tied at 41 when Barlow made consecutive 3-pointers and then scored on a layup after her steal.
Natalie Novosel's basket capped a 10-0 run as the Irish built a 51-41 lead and sealed the win.
Becca Bruszewski added 16 for the Irish who are 17-0 all-time against Providence.
Chelsea Marandola led Providence (10-18, 4-10) with 15.
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame reaches the 20-win mark for the 15th time in 16 seasons and the 19th time in the 22-year Muffet McGraw era (1987-88 to present) ... the Irish also notch their 10th road victory of the year, marking the second consecutive season Notre Dame has posted double-digit road wins; the only other time the Irish registered double-digit road wins in back-to-back seasons was 1989-90 and 1990-91 ... Notre Dame clinches a first-round bye for next week's BIG EAST Conference Championship at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., and could still tie for fourth place in the final conference standings, but due to various tiebreakers, the Irish cannot earn a second-round bye and thus will begin conference tournament play on Saturday, March 7 (time and opponent to be determined, game will be televised on the BIG EAST Regional Sports Network and on-line at www.bigeast.tv with the full listing of regional TV outlets to be announced next week) ... Notre Dame could be seeded anywhere from No. 5-8 for the conference tournament, depending on the outcome of Monday's games (the final day of the regular season in the BIG EAST) ... Notre Dame finishes with a winning record in the month of February for the 21st time in the 22-year McGraw era (exception was a 4-4 mark in 1988-89, McGraw's second season in South Bend) ... the Irish improve to 17-0 all-time against Providence (9-0 at Alumni Hall) and extend their longest active winning streak against a BIG EAST opponent ... Saturday's game was just the third in the 17-game series to be decided by single digits and the first since Feb. 16, 2003 (a 67-61 Irish win at Providence) ... the past five series games at Alumni Hall have been close for large stretches in spite of the final score -- in 2007, ND led 39-36 at the half before pulling away for an 82-65 win; in 2005, the game was tied 46-46 with 12:22 left before the Irish wound up winning 75-57; in 2003, PC got as close as 63-57 with 32 seconds left before Alicia Ratay iced the 67-61 win at the foul line; and in 2002, the Irish led 42-34 with 13:21 remaining before moving clear for a 69-41 win ... Notre Dame's 65 points on Saturday were the fewest it has scored against Providence since Jan. 31, 2001, when the top-ranked Irish posted a 64-44 win over the Friars at the Joyce Center ... Saturday's game was the second this season in which Notre Dame was tied at halftime (the Irish were even at #24/22 LSU, 24-24 in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic on Nov. 16 before earning a 62-53 win) ... Notre Dame rises to 10-1 this season and 194-13 (.937) in its BIG EAST era (1995-96 to present) when holding its opponent to fewer than 60 points ... the Irish collected at least 15 steals for the fifth time this season and first since Jan. 31, when they had a season-high 21 thefts in a 66-50 win over Cincinnati at the Joyce Center ... senior guard Lindsay Schrader became the 25th Notre Dame player to score 1,000 career points, reaching the milestone on a driving layup with 7:03 left in the first half; Schrader went on to pass Kelley Siemon for 24th place on the school's career scoring list, now having scored 1,012 points since coming to Notre Dame in 2005-06 (Siemon had 1,006 points from 1997-2001) ... Schrader's 1,000th career point came four games after junior guard Ashley Barlow reached that mark on Feb. 11 against Louisville, representing the second-shortest span between 1,000-point milestones in school history (Megan Duffy and Courtney LaVere joined the Irish millennium club three games apart in 2005-06) ... freshman guard Natalie Novosel chalked up a season-high five steals, after having had four on three other occasions (most recently in that Feb. 11 game vs. Louisville) ... entering the Jan. 31 game vs. Cincinnati, sophomore forward Becca Bruszewski had scored in double figures eight times this season and 14 times in her career; in the eight games since then, she has posted seven double-figure scoring games (including a pair of career-high 20-point outings) and is averaging 15.8 points and shooting .505 from the field in that span.