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    No. 12 Notre Dame Holds Off Charlotte, 68-61

    FIGHTING IRISH Notre Dame's Natalie Novosel (21) drives to the basket as Charlotte's Shannon McCallum defends in the first half. (AP Photo/Rick Havner)
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Notre Dame's Natalie Novosel (21) drives to the basket as Charlotte's Shannon McCallum defends in the first half. (AP Photo/Rick Havner)
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Dec. 28, 2008

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    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Lindsay Schrader scored 19 points and No. 12 Notre Dame pulled away in the second half to beat Charlotte 68-61 on Sunday afternoon.

    Melissa Lechlitner added 13 points, and Natalie Novosel and Becca Bruszewski had 12 each for the Fighting Irish (10-1), who led by as many as nine points midway through the second half in winning their third straight.

    Aysha Jones scored 15 points, Daneille Burgin 13 and Erin Floyd 11 for the 49ers (8-4), who committed 24 turnovers in losing their second straight game.

    Down two points with less that 14 minutes left in the second half, Notre Dame went on a 13-2 run. Bruszewski's short jumper with 13:28 left tied the score at 39, and Schrader's layup with 9:36 remaining put the Fighting Irish ahead 50-41.

    Charlotte managed to pull within five points five times in the final minutes, but Ashley Barlow hit a pair of free throws with 4 seconds left to seal the win.

    -- ND --

    POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame is off to a 10-1 start or better for the fourth time in school history and the second consecutive season (also 2000-01 when the Irish started 23-0, 2004-05 when they opened 13-1, and last year when they began 12-1) ... Sunday's game was the first-ever meeting between Notre Dame and Charlotte ... the Irish improve to 39-5 (.886) against first-time opponents since joining the BIG EAST Conference (1995-96 to present), including wins in 19 of 20 games this decade and 14 in a row ... Notre Dame moves to 11-2 (.846) all-time against teams from the state of North Carolina, including a 3-1 record on the road; the Irish were playing their first game in the Tar Heel State since Nov. 22, 1997 (an 80-62 loss at 19th-ranked Duke) ... Notre Dame rises to 65-18 (.783) all-time against the current Atlantic 10 Conference alignment, including a 29-10 (.744) record on the road and a current 12-game overall winning streak against the A-10 ... the Irish lift their record in the first game after Christmas to 21-11 (.656), with a 9-5 (.643) record on the road and 15-7 (.682) mark in the Muffet McGraw era (1987-88 to present) ... Notre Dame now has led at halftime in its last 10 games, going 9-1 in that stretch ... for the eighth time in 11 games this season, the Irish held their opponent to 63 points or fewer (lone exception was 78-72 win over #24 Michigan State on Nov. 29 at the Joyce Center) ... Notre Dame had at least four players score in double figures for the sixth time this season (6-0 record) with four other games in which the Irish had three double-digit scorers (4-0 record); however, no Notre Dame player has scored more than 19 points in a game this season ... senior guard Lindsay Schrader scored a season-high 19 points and added a season-high-tying three steals, while narrowly missing her third double-double of the season (although she did knock down her first three-pointer on her first attempt of the year) ... freshman guard Natalie Novosel posted her second consecutive double-figure scoring game with 12 points, while adding a season-high four steals ... junior guard Melissa Lechlitner notched her fifth double-digit scoring game in the past six outings (and sixth of the season), while sophomore forward Becca Bruszewski collected her third double-figure game in the past four contests (and fifth of the season) ... Notre Dame's victory came less than 24 hours after the team's weather-delayed flight arrived in Charlotte (5:30 p.m. ET Saturday) and with the Irish having had just one full-team practice (later Saturday evening) and a one-hour gameday shootaround prior to the game; some Irish players were not able to return directly to South Bend after the Christmas holiday due to an ice storm in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan, while junior center and Charlotte native Erica Williamson greeted the team upon its arrival and joined her family in hosting the Irish for a team dinner at her home Saturday night.

     

     

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