Dec. 07, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - UCLA didn't find it much easier going against fourth-ranked Notre Dame's backups than its starters.
Madison Cable hit four straight 3-pointers in the second half, making 5-of-6 for the game, and finished with a career-high 21 points and the Irish reserves outscored UCLA's bench 46-0 en route to a 90-48 victory on Saturday.
The Irish (8-0) dominated in almost every category, outrebounding the Bruins (3-5) 48-35, outscoring them 46-24 in the paint and had a 12-2 advantage in fastbreak points.
McGraw said she expects Notre Dame's backups to have good production.
"We have high expectations for them. We really think they can score. When we're playing them late in the game, it's like a starter for some teams. We definitely have great depth we're taking advantage of."
Cable said her confidence grew with each shot.
"It felt good, I'll just say that. My teammates made good passes and found me when I was open," she said. "It was just working."
Cable missed tying the Purcell Pavilion record for 3-pointers in a game when she missed her final shot with 25 seconds left.
Kayla McBride, who added 12 points and six assists, said she was excited to see Cable play so well.
"It doesn't really surprise me, because when you see her in practice she doesn't miss. But just for Maddie to get that confidence, because we're going to need her in big games, it was great for her to go out there and hit those shots," she said.
Jewell Loyd added 15 points for the Irish and Natalie Achonwa had 12 points and nine rebounds. McGraw said she was pleased the Irish showed no signs of a letdown following a 77-67 victory over 10th-ranked Penn State on Wednesday. She said the Irish veteran players know how important that is.
"They understand the grind of the season. How you have to get ready for every game. Because every team that comes in here, it's the Super Bowl for them. They want to knock us off."
UCLA coach Cori Close said she believes the Irish might be better without Skylar Diggins, who led the Irish to the NCAA championship game twice because they are no longer looking for her to make the big play.
"It's `What am I going to do and how do I contribute to that next play?' You've got five of those decision-makers in the mix on a consistent basis, you have the potential to grow into a stronger team. That's what I've been impressed with," she said.
UCLA stayed close for the first five minutes, opening an 8-6 lead when Nyingifa hit a baseline jumper. But a 3-pointer by Loyd that bounced off the rim three times before falling in sparked a 14-2 run that included three fastbreak layups.
The Irish shot 67 percent from the floor in the second half and shot 56 percent for the game. The Irish were 10-of-17 from 3-point range.
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame's 8-0 start is the third-best in program history, and best since a 15-0 debut in 2009-10 ... the Fighting Irish have won 31 consecutive regular season games, as well as 16 consecutive home games ... Notre Dame records the 798th win in program history (1977-78 to present), inching closer to becoming the 27th NCAA Division I program to register 800 all-time victories (currently 798-316, .716) ... Notre Dame improves to 389-90 (.812) all-time at Purcell Pavilion, including a 66-5 (.930) record since 2009-10 when the arena was renovated and renamed ... the Fighting Irish are 113-9 (.926) in their last 122 non-conference home games ... Notre Dame raises its record to 286-19 (.948) when leading at halftime since 2000-01, including a 123-2 (.984) mark since 2009-10 ... the Fighting Irish are now 6-9 all-time against UCLA (4-3 at Purcell Pavilion) and have won four of the past five series games against the Bruins ... this was the sixth time in the past seven meetings at least one team has scored at least 80 points ... Saturday's margin of victory was the largest for either team in the series, topping UCLA's 84-53 win on Jan. 30, 1983 in Los Angeles, as well as Notre Dame's 99-82 victory at Purcell Pavilion on Nov. 14, 1998 ... it marked the fewest points UCLA has scored in the 15-game series, replacing the previous total set in the series' first game, a 50-45 win for the Bruins on Dec. 5, 1981, at Purcell Pavilion ... Notre Dame is 26-15 (.634) all-time against California schools, including an 11-3 (.786) record at home and a 24-7 (.774) mark in the 27-year tenure of head coach Muffet McGraw ... the Fighting Irish are 25-20 (.556) all-time against the current Pac-12 Conference membership, including an 11-3 (.786) home record ... Notre Dame has won 22 of its last 29 games against current Pac-12 teams ... the Fighting Irish scored 80 points in a game for the sixth time this year (fifth 90-point game) ... Notre Dame is now 191-6 (.970) since 1995-96 when it scores at least 80 points, including a 68-2 (.971) record since 2009-10 ... the Fighting Irish held the opposition to fewer than 60 points in a game for the fourth time this season ... Notre Dame is 282-15 (.950) since 1995-96 when holding an opponent below 60 points ... the Fighting Irish made 10 three-pointers, their highest total from beyond the arc since Jan. 30, 2010, when they knocked down 10 treys in a 74-73 win at Syracuse ... Notre Dame had at least 21 assists for the seventh time in eight games this year, while its 31 assists were its highest mark since Dec. 31, 2012, when it logged 38 assists in a 128-55 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) at Purcell Pavilion ... the Fighting Irish shot 66.7 percent from the field in the second half, their best field goal percentage in one half since March 31, 2013, when they connected at a 67.7 clip (21-31) in the second half of a 93-63 win over Kansas in the NCAA Championship Norfolk Regional semifinal in Norfolk, Va. ... that game also marked the last time Notre Dame had eight blocked shots in a game prior to Saturday's eight rejections ... for the second game in a row, the Fighting Irish shot a season best from the free throw line, shooting 88.9 percent (8-of-9) from the stripe ... Notre Dame's bench rang up a season-high 46 points (most since the reserves scored 63 vs. Saint Francis-Pa. on Dec. 31, 2012, at Purcell Pavilion) and has contributed at least 30 points in six of eight games this season ... junior guard Madison Cable scored a career-high 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting, including 5-of-6 three-pointers, with her lone miss coming on a three-point attempt with 25 seconds to play ... Cable's five three-pointers were the most by a Notre Dame player in a game since Jan. 23, 2012, when Skylar Diggins had five treys in a 72-44 win over Tennessee at Purcell Pavilion ... Cable's five triples also were one shy of the arena record set seven times (most recently by Kellie Watson vs. Michigan State on Nov. 29, 2008) ... Cable had four three-pointers in the second half, the most for a Fighting Irish player in one half since March 26, 2013, when current senior guard/tri-captain Kayla McBride sank four three-pointers in the first half of a 74-57 win at Iowa in the second round of the NCAA Championship ... Cable is the first Notre Dame player to come off the bench and score at least 20 points in a game since Dec. 31, 2012, when current junior forward Markisha Wright had 20 points in the 128-55 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) at Purcell Pavilion ... McBride moved up to 17th place on Notre Dame's all-time scoring list with 1,325 points, passing former teammate Devereaux Peters (1,319 points from 2007-12) ... sophomore guard Michaela Mabrey tied her career high with seven assists (set previously on Dec. 31, 2012, in the home win over Saint Francis-Pa.) and set a new career best with four steals (previous was two thefts on six occasions, most recently on Wednesday night at No. 10/11 Penn State) ... junior guard Whitney Holloway picked the perfect time for her first points of the season, knocking down a three-pointer with 1:28 remaining to put Notre Dame over the 88-point mark and once again earn Big Macs for the season-high 8,581 fans in attendance ... it was Holloway's first career "Big Mac Basket", making her the ninth current Fighting Irish player to send the faithful home with full bellies ... Saturday's game took place on the 45th anniversary of dedication game for Purcell Pavilion (then known as the Joyce Center), when the Fighting Irish men's basketball team dropped an 88-75 decision to UCLA (led by Lew Alcindor, now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and coached by the legendary John Wooden).