Nov. 16, 2008
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Ashley Barlow scored 10 of her 19 points during a run to start the second half and No. 16 Notre Dame beat No. 24 LSU 62-53 on Sunday in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic.
Notre Dame (1-0) trailed only once, after LSU's Latear Eason hit a floater to make it 20-18 with 4:46 left in the first half.
With the game tied at 24 at halftime, the Fighting Irish opened the second half with a 14-4 spurt, giving them their first double-digit lead of the game.
LSU (0-1) got as close as 43-40 with 9:39 left, but Notre Dame answered with a 10-0 for its largest lead.
Andrea Kelly scored 10 points off the bench to lead LSU.
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame squares its all-time series with LSU at 2-2, while all four games have been decided by 10 points or less ... the Irish earn their first-ever win over LSU in Baton Rouge, and avenge their 1999 NCAA Tournament second-round loss to the Lady Tigers (74-64) at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center ... Notre Dame registers its first-ever win over a Southeastern Conference (SEC) opponent on its home floor, and its first victory inside an SEC arena since March 24, 1997, when the Irish downed George Washington, 62-52, in the NCAA East Regional final at South Carolina's former home, the Frank McGuire Center, in Columbia, S.C. ... Notre Dame collects its first victory over an SEC opponent since Nov. 14, 2003, when the Irish opened that season with a 77-64 win over No. 22/25 Auburn at the WBCA Classic in Boulder, Colo. ... that Auburn victory also marked the last time Notre Dame opened with a ranked opponent -- the Irish have won the past three times they have tipped off the season against a Top 25 foe, having also downed No. 6 UCLA, 99-82, at the Joyce Center to begin the 1998-99 campaign ... overall, Notre Dame is 24-8 (.750) in season openers and now has won 14 consecutive season lidlifters, going a combined 19-3 (.864) in the Muffet McGraw era (1987-88 to present) ... the Irish continue to sparkle in regular-season tournament play, improving to 22-5 (.815) in their last 27 regular-season tourney games, starting with the 1996-97 season ... Notre Dame also stamped its place in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center record books, becoming just the fourth non-conference school to defeat LSU at home in the past 13-plus seasons (1995-96 to present) -- the others were Purdue and Michigan (in double overtimie) in 2001-02 and Connecticut twice (2006-07 and 2007-08) ... what's more, the Irish handed the Lady Tigers their first loss in a home opener since Nov. 23, 1981, when McNeese State shaded LSU, 75-74, in the final season prior to the arrival of the Lady Tigers' late legendary coach, Sue Gunter ... Notre Dame picks up its first win in the state of Louisiana since the first round of the 1999 NCAA Tournament, when it downed Saint Mary's (Calif), 61-57 ... the Irish continue their uncanny success when locking down the opposition, rising to 185-12 (.939) during the past 13-plus seasons when holding the opponent to fewer than 60 points ... the 53 points allowed by Notre Dame were the fewest they have given up to a ranked opponent since Feb. 15, 2005, when they earned a 54-47 win at No. 25/22 Boston College ...one of Notre Dame's preseason mantras has been strengthening its three-point defense and the Irish were on top of their game at LSU, as the Lady Tigers went 0-for-4 from beyond the arc (the first time a Notre Dame opponent has failed to connect on a triple since Dec. 2, 2007, when IUPUI was 0-for-10 from distance) ... in her first game since tearing the ACL in her left knee on Feb. 10, 2008, sophomore forward Devereaux Peters matched her career high with six field goals and matched the third-highest minute total of her career (34 at Maryland on Nov. 16, 2007; 31 in overtime win at Bowling Green on Dec. 5, 2007; 28 vs. Villanova on Jan. 16, 2008) ... sophomore forward Becca Bruszewski made her first career start on Sunday ... junior guard Melissa Lechlitner made her second career start and first as the primary point guard (she filled Ashley Barlow's starting spot at the 2-guard on Feb. 24, 2008 at DePaul, while Tulyah Gaines continued to run the point) ... all four Irish freshmen saw action in Sunday's game, with forward Erica Solomon turning in the best effort with six points and two rebounds in 11 minutes; guard Natalie Novosel had two points and two rebounds in 17 minutes, while forward Kellie Watson and guard Fraderica Miller made their college debuts in the final minute ... Notre Dame's travel party enjoyed a pleasant welcome home upon disembarking from its charter flight back from Baton Rouge, as a hardy group of a half-dozen supporters were waiting on the blustery, snow-swept tarmac to greet the victorious Irish.