Nov. 24, 2007
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Notre Dame knocked Boston College out of its game plan with a pressing defense, forcing the Eagles into 33 turnovers.
The 23rd-ranked Fighting Irish (4-1) got 41 points off the turnovers en route to an 88-58 victory Saturday. The Irish opened a 10-point lead in less than 5 minutes and the Eagles never got any closer.
"Our goal is to force a lot of turnovers," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "But to have 21 steals, that's really the amazing stat. I thought we set the tone early with our defense."
Boston College coach Cathy Inglese said the bigger problem was the poor guard play by her inexperienced backcourt than the Irish defense, saying they tried to dribble out of trouble rather than pass.
"I think for some reason our guards were tentative with the ball," she said. "There were holes there and they would try to get through them, then all of a sudden they would collapse and we'd turn the ball over."
Stefanie Murphy led the Eagles (2-2) with 18 points and Carolyn Swords added 11 points and nine rebounds.
Allen scored six points to help Notre Dame take a 14-4 lead as Boston College struggled against full-court pressure, turning the ball over four times in the first 5 minutes. The Irish went ahead 38-20 when Mallory hit a 3-pointer with 4:13 left in the second half and led 46-30 at the half.
"It was great to see that we could really go deep into our bench tonight and have a lot of success," McGraw said.
The Eagles scored two quick baskets by Murphy and Mickel Picco to start the second half and cut Notre Dame's lead to 46-34. But the Irish defense quickly forced four turnovers, sparking a 9-0 run to regain control.
McGraw said she was pleased the Irish responded without needing a timeout.
"I thought that was an important part of the game because they were making their run. We handled it, then we made our own. That was pretty much the game," she said.
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame posts its largest win in the 16-game series with Boston College, topping an 80-51 victory on Jan. 6, 1996 ... the Irish improve to 11-5 all-time against the Eagles, including an 8-0 record at the Joyce Center ... Notre Dame has yet to trail in any of its four wins this season, three of which have come by 30+ points (and ND had a 32-point lead midway through the second half of its 78-59 win over Western Kentucky on Nov. 13) ... the Irish now are 19-1 (.950) at home against current ACC members in the Muffet McGraw era (1987-present) ... Notre Dame had five double-figure scorers for the second consecutive game ... the Irish forced a season-high 33 turnovers, their best effort since Feb. 25, 2004, when they caused 37 turnovers in a 93-58 home win over #21/19 Miami (Fla.) ... Notre Dame had a season-high 21 steals, the most thefts for the Irish in a game since Dec. 13, 1997, when they had 22 steals in a 73-50 win over South Florida at the Joyce Center (school record is 29, set twice and most recently on Jan. 31, 1992 at Saint Louis) ... Notre Dame has not committed more than 15 turnovers in a game this season and has had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio in four of five games (only blemish was Nov. 13 vs. WKU) ... since Maryland made 12-of-20 three-pointers in Notre Dame's only loss on Nov. 16, the Irish have held their last two opponents (Central Michigan and Boston College) to a combined 2-of-21 (.095) from beyond the arc ... junior guard Lindsay Schrader became the first Irish player this season to lead the team in scoring more than once -- Notre Dame had seen four different players lead it in scoring in its first four games ... senior guard Charel Allen moved into 19th place on the Irish all-time scoring list with 1,114 points, passing Danielle Green (1,106 from 1995-2000), who happened to be in attendance at Saturday's game ... Allen also recorded a career-high eight assists, two more than her previous best that she set twice (most recently at Villanova on Feb. 13, 2007) ... in addition, Allen tied her career high with five steals, a mark she's set three times previously (most recently at Marquette on Jan. 23, 2007) ... freshman guard Brittany Mallory scored a season-high 13 points, becoming the ninth different Notre Dame player to score in double digits this season ... longtime Notre Dame timekeeper Chuck Webber, who has been at the school for more than five decades working football, basketball and volleyball games (including nearly every one of the 381 Irish home women's basketball games since 1977), was presented with an honorary monogram by the Notre Dame Monogram Club at halftime of Saturday's game ... prior to the game, the Irish Athletics Ticket Office announced that fewer than 1,000 tickets remain for the Dec. 2 home game vs. Michigan.