Jan. 4, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. (AP) - Eighth-ranked Notre Dame looks for its sixth straight win as the Fighting
Irish begin their Big East season against West Virginia on Wednesday.
The Irish (9-2) improved to 6-0 at home with a 75-60 victory over Marquette
Senior guard Niele Ivey had 19 points and 12 assists while junior center
Ruth Riley scored 18 and grabbed nine rebounds.
With the game tied at 36 early in the second half, Notre Dame went on a 20-6
run over a 10-minute stretch to take control.
The Irish shot 55.2 percent from the field in the second half after a 33.3
percent effort in the first.
Notre Dame held Marquette to 25.8 percent shooting in the second half and
32.8 for the game.
"I was really pleased with our defense, we're definitely making some
strides there," said Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw.
Both Riley and freshman guard Alicia Ratay are averaging 15.5 points. Riley
is also grabbing a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game.
During their current winning streak, the Irish are beating opponents by an
average of 18.2 points while scoring 77.8.
Notre Dame has topped 80 points four times this season and just missed the
century mark with a 99-86 win over North Carolina on Dec. 4.
West Virginia (5-6, 0-1 Big East) dropped a 69-57 decision to Liberty on
Junior forward Brandi Batch led the Mountaineers with 17 points and senior
guard Christin Annie had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Batch leads West Virginia with 13.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while
Annie is scoring 12.5.
Wednesday's game will be the first of three straight on the road for West
Virginia against Big East opponents. The Mountaineers face Pittsburgh on Jan. 8
and top-ranked Connecticut four days later.
West Virginia lost both games against Notre Dame last season and is 30-42 in
conference play since joining the Big East in 1995.
Notre Dame has not had a losing campaign in the Big East since joining the
conference in the 1994-95 season.
At 59-13, the Irish have the best winning percentage (.819) in their short