May 25, 2002
FAENZA, Italy -
Guard Kelsey Wicks scored 11 of her game-high 22 points in the first 3:09 of the third quarter, helping pace Notre Dame to an easy 94-57 win over Faenza-Ravenna Select Friday evening at the Dino Bubani Sports Arena in Faenza, Italy. It was the second victory in as many days for the Irish on their four-game, 12-day tour of Europe.
Wicks also collected a game-best 13 rebounds, finishing with a double-double -- had this been a regular-season game, her points and rebounds would be career highs and her double-double would be the first of her career. In addition, she hit eight of 17 shots from the field, including three of four three-point field goals. In her first two games on the tour, Wicks is averaging 19 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Guard Le'Tania Severe added another sparkling performance for Notre Dame, tallying 18 points and seven assists with only one turnover. In her first two European games, Severe is averaging 17.5 points and 5.5 assists per game and owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.2 to 1 (11 assists, five turnovers). In Friday's game, she also made all eight of her free throws and five of nine field goals, putting her shooting ratio on the tour to 52.6 percent (10-19).
Guard Alicia Ratay added 15 points, 12 in the second half, and forward Jacqueline Batteast registered 12 points and nine rebounds for the Irish. Center Teresa Borton contributed another solid all-around effort with six points, 12 rebounds and six steals. As a team, Notre Dame chalked up its highest point total in any game (exhibition or in-season) since a 98-49 drubbing of Alcorn State in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
"We showed great balance and our transition game was outstanding," Irish head coach Muffet McGraw said. "Both Kelsey and Le'Tania played very well for us, which was good to see considering we spent five hours riding on a bus earlier in the day.
"We're starting to gel right now as a unit," she continued. "It seems no matter what combination we're putting on the floor, they're playing strong team basketball. That was one of the goals we set for this trip and it looks like it's starting to come together."
Friday's opponent, Faenza-Ravenna Select, was an all-star team comprised of players from the Faenza (First Division) and Ravenna (Second Division) clubs in those two cities, which are located less than 30 miles outside Bologna, Italy. The majority of the players in the game came from the Faenza squad, seemingly providing a tougher test for the Irish against a battle-tested, top division team.
That challenge never really materialized, as Notre Dame raced out to a 13-3 lead midway through the first quarter behind five early points from Wicks and four from Batteast. The hosts crawled back to within six with 3:39 to go in the opening period, but the Irish outscored the Italians by a 15-5 count over the final three minutes and took a 28-14 lead after one quarter. Batteast had 10 points in the frame.
Faenza-Ravenna suffered a critical setback early in the second period, when forward Vanda Muster, one of her team's taller players at 6-1, attempted to post up in the lane and saw her right knee give way. She crumpled to the floor in agony with what was later determined to be a torn ACL. The hosts were never the same, although they held the line for much of remaining moments in the first half, going to the dressing room on the short end of a 43-24 score.
Wicks then put the game on ice for Notre Dame in the opening moments of the second half, working her magic with a trio of three-pointers, wrapped around a triple from guard Jeneka Joyce, which helped the Irish build up a 57-30 lead. The visitors added a 17-4 surge in the first 5:15 of the fourth stanza and took their largest lead of the night at 89-51 on a Wicks' jumper with 2:33 to go.
The second half proved to be an offensive bonanza for the Irish, who shot 51.3 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes, including six-of-15 (40 percent) from the deeper three-point line. Notre Dame also continued to shine at the free throw line, hitting 15-of-18 charities (83.3 percent) and putting their two-game average at a solid 77.5 percent (31-40).
Saturday is a travel day for the Irish, as they make the three-hour journey northeast to Venice, where they will spend the next two days. Notre Dame returns to action Sunday at 6:30 p.m. local time (11:30 a.m. in South Bend) when it faces Reyer Venezia at the Pala Taliercio Sports Centre in Mestre, Italy, just outside Venice. Reyer Venezia is another all-star club, made up of players from First Division teams Schio and Venezia, as well as Second Division unit Vincenza.
NOTRE DAME 94, FAENZA-RAVENNA SELECT 57
May 24, 2002 -- 8:30 p.m.
Dino Bubani Sports Arena (Faenza, Italy)
NOTRE DAME (94) -- Severe 5-9 8-8 18; Joyce 4-9 0-0 9; Batteast 5-11 2-5 12; Wicks 8-17 3-3 22; Flecky 3-5 0-0 6; Krause 0-3 0-0 0; Swanson 3-6 0-0 6; Borton 2-8 2-2 6; Ratay 6-11 0-0 15; TOTALS 36-79 15-18 94.
FAENZA-RAVENNA SELECT (57) (scoring totals only) -- Vanda Muster 2; Ania Bergami 7; Simona Monici 5; Silvia Mazzoni 21; Federica Zudetich 4; Marika Moriconi 2; Daria Bertoni 2; Emma Pini 11; Elisa Arcangeli 3.
NOTRE DAME REBOUNDS -- Wicks 13, Borton 12, Batteast 9, Flecky 4, Joyce 3, Krause 3, Ratay 3, Swanson 1.
NOTRE DAME ASSISTS -- Severe 7, Joyce 4, Batteast 2, Swanson 2, Wicks 2, Borton 1, Flecky 1, Krause 1, Ratay 1.
NOTRE DAME BLOCKED SHOTS -- Batteast 1, Flecky 1.
NOTRE DAME STEALS -- Borton 6, Batteast 4, Wicks 3, Ratay 2, Flecky 1, Joyce 1, Severe 1.
NOTRE DAME TURNOVERS -- Wicks 8, Swanson 5, Borton 3, Batteast 1, Flecky 1, Joyce 1, Krause 1, Ratay 1, Severe 1.
-- ND --