2010 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship
Cleveland State vs. Notre Dame
Purcell Pavilion - Notre Dame, Ind.
Today's game marked the sixth meeting between Cleveland State and Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish improved to 6-0 against the Vikings, including 4-0 at Purcell Pavilion.
The Fighting Irish have averaged 89.7 points per game versus the Vikings, the highest point-average of any Notre Dame all-time series (five game minimum).
Cleveland State fell to 0-2 all-time in NCAA Championship play, making their second appearance in school history (all in past three seasons).
The senior class of Kailey Klein, Stephaine Crosley, Angel Roque, and Jessica Roque ended their careers as the winningest class (tied) in Cleveland State history, going 65-63.
Senior guard Angel Roque notched eight assists in the game (a career high), giving her 25 assists in her last four games. She had at least five in each of the four games (which were her first four games this season with 5+ assists).
Seniors Jessica Roque and Kailey Klein extended their school record for career games played (127 each).
Klein scored 21 consecutive points for Cleveland State in the first half; Stephaine Crosley scored the first and last baskets of the first half for the Vikings and was the only other Cleveland State player to crack the scoring column in the half.
Klein also went 6-for-7 from the free throw line in the game and has now made 51 of her last 53 from the stripe.
Junior Shawnita Garland notched four steals in the contest, giving her 49 steals in her last 12 games (4.08 per game); she also eclipsed the 100-steal plateau (100) for the first time in her career and the third time in school history. Dianne Foster had 117 steals in 1982-83 and Lori Johnson picked up 103 in 1993-94 for the Vikings.
Klein collected her fifth consecutive 20-point game; she has averaged 26.8 points per game over that stretch and 25.5 per game over the last eight games. Her 31 points fell two shy of her career high (33).
Klein also ended her career leading the team in scoring for the fourth straight year. The only other Viking to lead the club in scoring for four consecutive years was Debra Taylor (1987-91).
Klein also broke a tie with Juli Grant (1995-2000) and has now started the most games in Cleveland State history (114).
The Fighting Irish improved to 26-15 all-time in NCAA Championship play (17th appearance and 15th straight) and have now won their opening round game in 13 of the last 15 seasons.
Notre Dame improved to 7-2 all-time in NCAA Championship play at Purcell Pavilion (both losses to Minnesota).
The 86 points put up by the Fighting Irish were the most they have scored in NCAA Championship competition since March 30, 2001, when Notre Dame defeated Connecticut, 90-75 in the NCAA national semifinals (Women's Final Four) at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
The Fighting Irish registered their largest margin of victory in NCAA postseason play since March 19, 2001, when they logged an 88-54 victory over Michigan in the second round of the NCAA Midwest Region at Purcell Pavilion.
Notre Dame scored 52 second-half points against Cleveland State, tying its third-highest one-half output ever in an NCAA Championship contest, and its best since that 2001 national semifinal victory over Connecticut in St. Louis, when the Fighting Irish scored 53 second-half points to highlight a (then) school-record 16-point comeback.
Notre Dame tied its school record for assists in an NCAA postseason game with 25 handouts, a mark first set against Memphis on March 15, 1997, in the first round of the NCAA East Region in Austin, Texas.
The Fighting Irish dropped in 33 field goals, their fourth-highest total in NCAA Championship play and highest since March 19, 2001, in its 88-54 second-round win over Michigan at Purcell Pavilion.
The Fighting Irish also extended their winning streak against Ohio schools to 16, with the last loss coming at home to Dayton on March 8, 1993, in the quarterfinals of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now Horizon League) tournament.
Notre Dame improved to 15-4 in NCAA Championship play as the better seed and 3-1 as a #2 seed (went 2-1 as a #2 seed in 2000).
The Fighting Irish extended their winning streak against non-BIG EAST opponents to 14 games (last loss in last year's NCAA Championship versus Minnesota in the first round).
The Fighting Irish are 15-2 (.882) all-time in NCAA Championship play when holding their opponents to fewer than 60 points.
Sunday's 58 points by Cleveland State were the fewest yielded by Notre Dame in an NCAA tourney game since March 19, 2005, when the Fighting Irish downed UC Santa Barbara, 61-51 in an NCAA Tempe Region first round game at Fresno, Calif.
Notre Dame rose to 105-14 (.882) all-time against the Horizon League, including a 54-5 (.915) record at Purcell Pavilion.
The Fighting Irish improved to 16-0 on the season when scoring at least 80 points, 19-0 when outrebounding their opponent, 25-0 when leading or tied at the half, and 24-0 when making the same number or more free throws.
Dating back to its admission into the BIG EAST Conference in 1995-96, Notre Dame now is 56-14 (.800) in its first game following a double-digit loss (4-0 this year) and 81-31 (.723) overall in the 23-year Muffet McGraw era (1987-present) when coming off a defeat of 10 points or more.
With 13 points on the afternoon, senior guard/tri-captain Ashley Barlow passed Sandy Botham (1,460 points from 1984-88) for ninth place on Notre Dame's all-time scoring list with 1,472 points.
Notre Dame forced Cleveland State into 24 turnovers, giving the Fighting Irish a new school record for turnovers forced (749) for a season. The previous record was 731 in the 1996-97 season.
The Fighting Irish have now forced 10+ turnovers in 39 consecutive games and have grabbed at least five steals in 52 straight. The last Notre Dame opponent with fewer than 10 turnovers was Connecticut (9) on Feb. 22, 2009 (in Hartford, Conn.), and the last time Notre Dame had fewer than five steals was Dec. 30, 2008, at Vanderbilt (2).
With eight assists and three steals (her seventh consecutive multiple-steal game), freshman guard Skylar Diggins became the third player in school history (and first freshman) to post at least 400 points, 100 assists, and 75 steals in a single season. The others were current assistant coach Niele Ivey (434 pts, 247 ast, 94 stl) in 2000-01 and Megan Duffy in 2004-05 (407 pts, 178 ast, 90 stl).
Diggins' eight assists tied for the fifth-most for a Notre Dame player in NCAA Championship action, and most since Tulyah Gaines had eight assists on March 20, 2007, in a 60-51 NCAA Dallas Region second-round loss to top-seeded North Carolina in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Diggins is the first Notre Dame freshman in 16 seasons to record 100 assists in a season, a feat last achieved by Mollie Peirick in 1994-95.
With Barlow's steal, Diggins and Barlow became the first duo in Fighting Irish history to each post 77 or more steals in the same season.
After a 5-for-5 day, Diggins has now made 10 straight from the free throw line and 17 of her last 18.
The 28 Notre Dame wins are the third-most in school history, trailing only the Final Four teams of 2001 (34-2) and 1997 (31-7).
Senior center Erica Williamson has scored 38 points in her last four games (averages 4.6 points per game on the season).
After a 2-for-2 game from Barlow, Barlow and Melissa Lechlitner have combined to go 27-for-29 (.931) from the foul line in Notre Dame's last 12 games; in the last 16 games, the duo has gone 57-for-62 (.919).