Bearcats Fall To No. 17 Notre Dame, 66-50|
Jan. 31, 2009
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)--Notre Dame had a lot of fun getting serious about defense.
After losing three of their past four games, the 17th-ranked Fighting Irish used a season-high 21 steals to bolster Lindsay Schrader's season-high 19 points and career-high 15 rebounds and beat Cincinnati 66-50 on Saturday.
"I thought we had a new attitude today," coach Muffet McGraw said. "I think we came out in a different frame of mind and we were the aggressor and we just continued to try to get up 10 and 15 and whatever we could do. I was really proud of that."
Schrader said the change in attitude was the Irish were having fun.
"For the last couple weeks we just haven't been having fun. This game, it's supposed to be fun," she said. "A mentality we had was just go out and have fun. There were a couple of smiles and a couple of laughs. That relaxes us a little bit. That helped us a lot."
The Irish (16-4, 5-3 Big East) used a 13-2 run late in the first half and a 7-0 run to start the second half, forcing five straight turnovers, to move ahead 43-26 on a 3-pointer by Becca Bruszewski. The Irish opened a 52-33 lead on a free throw by Kellie Watson with 12:01 left.
The Bearcats (13-7, 3-4), led by Kahla Roudebush with 13 points, closed to 59-50 when Angel Morgan, who scored 10, cut drove the baseline and scored on a layup. They had a chance to cut the lead to six points, but Morgan missed a 3.
Then Watson, who earlier ended an 0-for-14 streak over five games from 3-point range, made back-to-back 3s.
"Two daggers back-to-back that ended it," Cincinnati coach J. Kelley Hall said.
The Irish, who had been slumping got a lot of contributions from almost everyone. Schrader, who had scored in double figures just once in the past four games, shot 9-of-18 from the floor and had a double-double at halftime.
"I think all of my rebounds were off my own missed shots," she said.
Bruszewski, who had three points in each of her last two games, scored 15 points, the most she's had since November. Melissa Lechlitner had a season-high eight assists and Ashley Barlow had a career-high eight steals, two shy of the school record.
Hall said Notre Dame's defense and 48-34 rebounding advantage were too much for the Bearcats to overcome.
"That was a huge difference in the game," he said. "We still had a chance late."
Cincinnati lost its third straight, also falling to No. 1 Connecticut and No. 6 Louisville.