Nov. 10, 2013
#6/7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0 / 0-0 ACC) vs. #20/18 Michigan State Spartans (0-0 / 0-0 Big Ten)
DATE: Nov. 11, 2013
TIME: 7:00 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. - Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
SERIES: MSU leads 8-6
1ST MTG: MSU 76-45 (2/26/81)
LAST MTG: ND 68-67 (11/19/09)
TV: WatchND (live) (Ryan Camden, p-b-p / Courtney LaVere, color)
RADIO: Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) (live) (Bob Nagle, p-b-p)
LIVE STATS: UND.com
TICKETS: (574) 631-7356; UND.com/buytickets
Top-20 Test On Tap Monday As No. 6/7 Fighting Irish Host No. 20/18 Michigan State
The first challenge of the 2013-14 season for No. 6/7 Notre Dame comes Monday night when the Fighting Irish play host to No. 20/18 Michigan State at 7 p.m. (ET) at Purcell Pavilion. The game will be streamed live and free of charge on the official Notre Dame athletics multimedia platform, WatchND.
As they have done for nearly the past two decades, the Fighting Irish opened with a victory, leading wire-to-wire in a 99-50 win over visiting UNC Wilmington on Saturday. Notre Dame shot .629 from the field and outrebounded the Seahawks, 54-24 to capture the win.
Sophomore guard Jewell Loyd tallied her second career double-double (19 points/11 rebounds) for the Fighting Irish, while classmate Michaela Mabrey added a career-high 19 points and senior guard/tri-captain Kayla McBride chipped in 17 points.
Other Notre Dame Notables
The Notre Dame-Michigan State Series
Notre Dame and Michigan State will square off for the 15th time on Monday night, with the Spartans holding an 8-6 edge on the Fighting Irish, including a 4-3 record at Purcell Pavilion.
MSU won six of the first eight games in the series from 1981-95, but since then, Notre Dame has had the upper hand, winning four of the past six, including both ends of a home-and-home series in 2008 and 2009.
The Last Time Notre Dame and Michigan State Met
Ashley Barlow scored 18 points and hit a tiebreaking free throw with 10 seconds left, lifting fifth-ranked Notre Dame to a 68-67 victory over No. 21 Michigan State on Nov. 19, 2009, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich.
The Spartans had a chance to win after Barlow's late foul shot, but Aisha Jefferson missed a jumper from the lane with four seconds to go.
Allyssa DeHaan led MSU with 20 points.
Michigan State trailed 45-35 when DeHaan, a 6-foot-9 senior, limped off the court with an apparent ankle injury early in the second half. The Spartans, sparked by their defense and forcing turnovers, went on a 15-2 tear immediately afterward to grab a 50-47 lead with 11:52 remaining.
DeHaan returned and increased Michigan State's lead to 56-51 with a basket with about 10 minutes to go.
But the Fighting Irish regained the lead with an 8-0 run capped by Erica Williamson's layup with 8:41 left.
Michigan State tied the score at 67 on a free throw by Porsche Poole with 55 seconds left.
A foul by Michigan State after a missed free throw by the Fighting Irish put Notre Dame in the double bonus. Barlow missed her first free throw with 10 seconds left, but sank her second opportunity to put the Fighting Irish in front.
Lindsay Schrader had 12 points and 14 rebounds for Notre Dame, while Lykendra Johnson had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Michigan State.
The Last Time Notre Dame and Michigan State Met At Purcell Pavilion
Notre Dame couldn't do much against Michigan State's Aisha Jefferson defensively, so freshman forward Kellie Watson got the No. 14/10 Fighting Irish going offensively.
Watson made five consecutive three-pointers in the first half and finished with six from long range, igniting a sluggish Notre Dame offense in a 78-72 victory on Nov. 29, 2008, at the Joyce Center. The freshman attempted six three-pointers in her team's first four games of the season.
Watson, who had 18 points, helped the Fighting Irish overcome a 34-point effort by Jefferson, who scored 22 in the first half. That surpassed her previous career best of 20 points set three years earlier against Iowa. She also had 11 boards as the 24th-ranked Spartans outrebounded the Fighting Irish, 48-32.
The last two of Watson's consecutive three-pointers were part of a 13-6 run that gave Notre Dame a 39-34 halftime lead. The Fighting Irish then opened the second half with a 7-0 run, highlighted by a three-point play by junior guard/co-captain Ashley Barlow, who finished with 14 points and six assists. They went ahead 46-34 on a 15-foot jumper by senior guard/co-captain Lindsay Schrader, who scored 10 of her 15 points in the second half.
The Fighting Irish stretched the lead to 55-40 when Barlow hit three of four free throws after MSU head coach Suzy Merchant and forward Kalisha Keane were called for technical fouls seven seconds apart with 13 minutes left. The Spartans played better after the technicals and closed to 75-72 on a layup by Keane with 27 seconds left but couldn't get any closer.
The Irish held Michigan State's 6-foot-9 center Allyssa DeHaan to 2-of-10 shooting. The only other player in double figures for the Spartans was Keane with 10.
Other Notre Dame-Michigan State Series Tidbits
Notre Dame vs. The Big Ten Conference
Notre Dame is 46-49 (.484) all-time against the Big Ten Conference, with a 25-18 (.581) record at home. The Fighting Irish also are 39-34 (.534) against the Big Ten in the Muffet McGraw era (1987-88 to present).
Of note, Notre Dame has won 18 of its last 24 games vs. Big Ten schools, including a current string of seven in a row since Minnesota ended the 2008-09 Fighting Irish season with a 79-71 win in the first round of the NCAA Championship at Purcell Pavilion.
Last year, Notre Dame went 3-0 against Big Ten opponents, defeating No. 19/21 Ohio State (57-51 in the Carrier Classic aboard the USS Yorktown at Mount Pleasant, S.C.) and No. 11 Purdue (74-47 at home) in the regular season before going on the road to defeat Iowa (74-57) in the second round of the NCAA Championship.
Since the start of the 2008-09 season, Notre Dame has played 50 times when it has had a short one-day break (or less) between games.
When faced with such a tight turnaround, the Fighting Irish have risen to the occasion in recent seasons, going 41-9 (.820) on the back half of these two-game (or more) blitzes during the past six years.
Last season, Notre Dame went 13-0 in the second game of these tight turnarounds, a record highlighted by trio of wins on ESPN2's "Big Monday" (over Tennessee, Louisville and Connecticut), BIG EAST tournament victories (over Louisville and Connecticut), and NCAA tournament wins (over Iowa and Duke).
North Of The Border
Monday's game is the first of three this season for Notre Dame against a team from the state of Michigan, with matchups still to come at Michigan (Dec. 14) and at home against Central Michigan (Dec. 22).
Notre Dame is 55-20 (.733) all-time against Michigan schools, with a 35-8 (.814) mark against the Great Lakes State in the Muffet McGraw era (1987-88 to present).
The Fighting Irish also have won 12 of their last 13 games against Michigan schools, with their only loss in that span being a 63-59 overtime setback at Michigan on Dec. 10, 2008.
November To Remember
Notre Dame's success during the past 19 seasons was aided by its ability to get off to a good start. To wit -- the Fighting Irish are 77-14 (.846) in November games since 1995-96 (when they joined the BIG EAST Conference).
Notre Dame also has won 14 of its last 15 games in the month of November, with the lone exception being a 94-81 loss at top-ranked Baylor on Nov. 20, 2011, in the Preseason WNIT championship game.
Diggins To Be Inducted Into ND Ring Of Honor
Skylar Diggins, a four-time All-America guard who led the Fighting Irish to three consecutive NCAA Women's Final Fours from 2011-13, will be the latest person inducted into Notre Dame's Ring of Honor when the South Bend native is celebrated during a pregame ceremony Saturday before the Fighting Irish take on Valparaiso at 2 p.m. (ET) at Purcell Pavilion.
A banner honoring Diggins' number 4 will be raised to the rafters at Purcell Pavilion, where it will hang permanently. Diggins will be the second Fighting Irish women's basketball player added to Notre Dame's Ring of Honor following Ruth Riley's induction in 2010, and the fifth player overall, joining men's basketball players Austin Carr, Adrian Dantley and Luke Harangody in the prestigious circle (former Notre Dame men's basketball coach Digger Phelps will follow Diggins into the Ring of Honor on Jan. 19).
In April, Diggins completed a remarkable college career that saw her rewrite the Fighting Irish record books, leaving campus as the holder (or co-holder) of no fewer than 32 game, season or career records at Notre Dame. She also ranks among the top five on an astounding 105 of the program's game, season or career charts, including school records for career points (2,357), steals (381), games started (144) and double-figure scoring games (121), just to name a few.
What's more, Diggins is the only player (of either gender) in Notre Dame basketball history to register 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 300 steals in her career.
Diggins also is the only player in program history to be a four-time All-America selection, earning consensus first-team honors during her final two years to join Riley as the only Fighting Irish cagers to pull off that feat. In addition, she broke new ground as a three-time NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player (2010-Dayton, 2011-Raleigh, 2012-Norfolk), a two-time BIG EAST Player of the Year and two-time recipient of the Nancy Lieberman Award (making her just the third two-time honoree in the award's history), along with being the 2013 recipient of the Dawn Staley Award.
Once her college career ended, Diggins was chosen with the No. 3 overall pick in the first round of the 2013 WNBA Draft by the Tulsa Shock, and became the first Notre Dame player to earn WNBA All-Rookie Team honors after averaging 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game as a rookie in 2013, helping Tulsa to its highest win total (11) since the franchise relocated from Detroit in 2010.
Next Game: Valparaiso
Notre Dame wraps up its season-opening three-game homestand at 2 p.m. (ET) Saturday, playing host to Valparaiso at Purcell Pavilion. The game will be streamed live and free of charge on the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv).
Prior to the game, Notre Dame will induct four-time All-America point guard and 2013 graduate Skylar Diggins into its Ring of Honor. The South Bend native will be the second Fighting Irish women's basketball player to join the Ring, and first since Ruth Riley in 2010.
Valparaiso has one starter and seven letterwinners returning from last year's club that went 11-20. The Crusaders will visit Notre Dame at the end of a three-game season-opening road trip that began Sunday at Saint Louis and continues Tuesday at Illinois.
-- Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director