Nov. 9, 2007
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -Notre Dame's Lindsay Schrader wasted no time getting started after missing all of last season with a knee injury.
Schrader scored the game's first two baskets and finished with 20 points in 17 minutes of play Friday night in leading 24th-ranked Notre Dame to a 98-50 victory over Miami of Ohio in the opening round of the Preseason WNIT.
"She was fired up, ready to go," coach Muffet McGraw said. "We just were clicking."
Schrader said she was just excited to be back on the floor.
"If I was open I just shot it. That was just it," Schrader said.
Schrader, who tore her anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee during the first week of practice last year, hit her first six baskets for 12 points and the Irish jumped to a 22-4 lead in the season opener for both teams. She finished 10-of-12 and had three assists and a steal.
The RedHawks opened the game 1-of-16 shooting, including three air balls in the first 5 minutes.
"We were a little tentative and when some of our early shots didn't go in I think we started to question ourselves," Miami coach Maria Fantanarosa said.
The Irish extended the lead to 36-8 when Schrader, who was 10-of-12 shooting in 17 minutes of play, stole the ball along the sideline and threw a pass to Ashley Barlow, who scored on a fast-break layup. Barlow, who finished with 19 points, said the Irish wanted to get the big lead early.
"We didn't want them to think they could play with us," she said.
Amanda Jackson scored five points as Miami used a 10-0 run to close to 38-18. But the Irish extended the lead to 38-23 at halftime, with Brittany Mallory making a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Irish went ahead 71-33 on a basket inside by Schrader, capping a 14-0 run, and continued to pull away throughout the second half.
Melissa D'Amico added 11 points for Notre Dame and Melissa Lechlitner had 10, as all 11 Irish players who got in the game scored. The Irish shot 40 percent. Devereaux Peters had five blocked shots and eight rebounds in her first college game for the Irish. Jenna Schone led the RedHawks with 16 points and Courtney Reed had 11 for Miami, which shot 28 percent.
"I was happy with a lot of things that happened tonight," McGraw said. "I was happy with the way we shared the ball. Defensively we did good things with the man and the zone. Overall just pleased with the whole team's performance."
The Irish will face Western Kentucky in a Preseason WNIT quarterfinal game Tuesday at 7 p.m. (ET) at the Joyce Center. The Lady Toppers defeated East Tennessee State, 90-73 in their opening round game Friday night in Bowling Green, Ky.
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame runs its record in season openers to 23-8 (.742) all-time, including 18-3 (.857) in the Muffet McGraw era, and picks up its 13th consecutive season-opening win, which coincides exactly with the program's membership in the BIG EAST Conference ... McGraw earned her 450th win at Notre Dame on Friday night (450-179, .715), while the Irish collected the 300th home victory in program history (300-79, .809 - all played at the Joyce Center) ... the Irish move to 8-1 (.889) in Preseason WNIT games, including a 6-0 record at home ... Notre Dame now have won 17 of its last 19 regular-season tournament games since the start of the 1996-97 season (its first NCAA Final Four campaign) ... the Irish improve to 2-4 all-time against Miami (Ohio), earning their first win over the RedHawks since a 64-59 victory on Dec. 10, 1982, also at the Joyce Center ... the 98 points scored, 50 points allowed and 48-point margin of victory all were series bests for either team ... the 48-point spread also was the largest for Notre Dame since March 17, 2001, when the Irish defeated Alcorn State at home, 98-49 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (an event they eventually won to secure the program's first national championship) ... Notre Dame's 98 points represented its highest offensive output since Nov. 26, 2002, when the Irish opened the season with a 107-65 win over Cleveland State at the Joyce Center ... Notre Dame also posted the most points by one team in a Preseason WNIT game since 2000, when Virginia opened with a 100-61 victory over Mount St. Mary's; Missouri State holds the tournament record with 120-65 win over Davidson in 1998 ... Notre Dame's 41 field goals made were a Preseason WNIT record (previous: 39 by Texas A&M vs. Lamar in 1995 and Connecticut vs. North Carolina in 2001) and only three short of the school and arena single-game records (44 vs. Marquette on Dec. 21, 1990); still it was the most for the Irish since that 2002 win over Cleveland State when they made 42 shots from the floor ... Notre Dame dished out 27 assists, only one off the Preseason WNIT record set by both Connecticut (vs. Fairfield) and Vanderbilt (vs. Eastern Kentucky), with both games coming exactly six years ago on Nov. 9, 2001 ... the Irish had all 11 players in uniform score against Miami (Ohio), the first time they have gotten everyone into the scorebook since Dec. 28, 2006 in a 94-55 conquest of Prairie View A&M ... Notre Dame held Miami (Ohio) to a .279 field goal percentage, its best defensive showing since Dec. 17, 2005, when the Irish held Arkansas State to a .255 shooting percentage in a 77-54 win at the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas (a tournament the Irish would win the next day with a win over eventual '06 NCAA Elite Eight participant Utah) ... Notre Dame has won 14 consecutive games against current Mid-American Conference schools and is 31-14 (.689) all-time against the MAC, including a 20-4 (.833) home record; also now 16-5 (.762) in the McGraw era and 11-1 (.917) at home ... during the past 13 seasons, the Irish are 101-3 (.971) when scoring at least 80 points and 169-10 (.944) when holding opponents to less than 60 points ... Notre Dame is 125-12 (.912) when leading at the half since the start of the 2000-01 season ... the Irish have won 65 of their last 70 non-conference home games (.929) and are 150-17 (.898) at the Joyce Center since moving to the BIG EAST in 1995-96 ... junior guard Lindsay Schrader posted her first career "point-a-minute" game and the first by a Notre Dame player (minimum 10 minutes) since Nov. 10, 2006, when current senior center Melissa D'Amico had 16 points in 15 minutes of a season-opening 88-66 win over Central Michigan at the Joyce Center ... Schrader also chalked up her fourth career 20-point game and first since her last meaningful contest, a career-high 29-point performance against Boston College in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament (March 19, 2006) ... sophomore guard Ashley Barlow finished two points off her career high, set twice last season (most recently at DePaul on Feb. 26, 2007) ... sophomore guard Melissa Lechlitner notched her sixth career game with five or more assists and her ninth career double-digit scoring game ... for the second consecutive year, an Irish freshman logged five blocks in her college debut; last year it was center Erica Williamson against Central Michigan, while forward Devereaux Peters did the honors this season against Miami (coming two short of the Preseason WNIT record for individual blocks, set by New Mexico's Jordan Adams vs. Pacific on Nov. 9, 2001) ... senior guard Charel Allen moved into 20th place on the Notre Dame career scoring list with 1,061 points, passing Carrie Bates (1,060 points from 1981-85); next up for Allen is Danielle Green (1,106) ... Williamson earned her first career start, while Barlow made her fourth career start ... Notre Dame probably isn't helping the local cholesterol count in South Bend -- for the third consecutive game (including both exhibitions), the Irish topped the 88-point mark, earning coupons for a free McDonald's Big Mac for all 6,034 fans in attendance (the 95th crowd of 5,000+ fans in the past 97 home games for Notre Dame).