Feb. 24, 1998
Notre Dame Concludes Regular Season with 71-64 Victory over Rutgers
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame used a stifling second-half defense to
erase a five-point first-half deficit and freshman Ruth Riley scored 23 points
and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Irish to a 71-64 victory over Rutgers,
snapping the Scarlet Knights' 10-game win streak.
Notre Dame shot a sizzling 51.2 percent from the field and limited Rutgers to
just 37.0 percent accuracy in the second half as the Irish outscored the Scarlet
Knights 21-9 in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
With the victory, the Irish improve to 18-8 on the season and 12-6 in the BIG
EAST, while Rutgers drops to 18-8 and 14-4 in league play.
The win was the 11th straight for the Irish at home and the 12th of the season.
The 12 victories are the most for the Irish in 21 seasons playing at the Joyce
Notre Dame trailed for only the eighth time at the half this season, 33-28.
Heading into the contest, the Irish were 0-7 in those contest. Rutgers built
its halftime advantage by forcing 14 first-half turnovers with its defensive
intensity. Shawnetta Stewart, who finished with 17 points, had 12 in the first
The Irish committed 24 turnovers in the first half and shot 48.0 percent from
Notre Dame's defensive intensity was the key to the second half as they took
advantage of 15 Scarlet Knight turnovers in the final 20 minutes of the contest.
Riley 's 23 points and 12 rebounds marked her ninth double-double of the season.
Sheila McMillen and Niele Ivey were also in double figures scoring 16 and 15
Notre Dame also helped itself in the second half by hitting 21-of-27 free throw
Rutgers was whistled for 22 fouls in the game and were 0-3 from the line in the
Natasha Pointer led the Scarlet Knights with 21 points in the contest.