SOUTH BEND, Ind. (January 13, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team fell, 71-46, to #2/3 Notre Dame in front of a sold out crowd at Purcell Pavilion Sunday afternoon.
Rutgers drops its third-straight contest to fall to 9-7 overall and 0-3 in the BIG EAST. Notre Dame, the national runner-ups the last two seasons, improves to 14-1 overall and remains a top the league standings at 3-0. The Fighting Irish have won nine straight.
The Rutgers post players got into early foul trouble resulting in seniors Chelsey Lee (Miami, Fla.) and Monique Oliver (Las Vegas, Nev.) spending a majority of the first half on the bench.
In traffic underneath the Notre Dame basket, Precious Person (Jonesboro, Ga.) emerged with the steal and the fast break on the other end as Rutgers trailed 18-10 with 11:10 left in the opening stanza. From there, however, Notre Dame went on a 10-3 run holding the Scarlet Knights without a field goal for a six-minute stretch. All three RU points during the run came from the line.
With Lee and Oliver combining for seven first half minutes, the Fighting Irish were able to take a 37-17 lead into the half.
Second half action started with a 7-0 run by Notre Dame and finished with the Fighting Irish outscoring the Scarlet Knights, 34-29 for the game’s final margin. The Irish led by as many as 30, ahead 63-33 with 6:30 remaining. Senior Erica Wheeler (Miami, Fla), who finished with a game-high 17 points, used back-to-back three’s to close the deficit to 65-42 with 3:42 left.
All five Notre Dame starters registered double figures led by Skylar Diggins with 15 points. Jewell Loyd added 14 points, Natalie Achonwa and Kayla Mc Bride 11 points, and Ariel Braker notched 10 points in the win for the Irish.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team returns to the court on Wed. Jan. 16 hosting Providence at 7:30 p.m. at the RAC.
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With two fouls each early in the first half, Chelsey Lee played only five first half minutes, while Oliver was limited to only two minutes on the court. Additionally Kahleah Copper picked three first half fouls limiting her to five minutes. All three started the second half.
MOVING UP THE CHARTS:
Erica Wheeler’s four three-pointers on Jan. 13 at #2/3 Notre Dame moved her name up to seventh on the made three-pointers list as she cleared former Scarlet Knight Epiphanny Prince (2006-09). Wheeler has 133 career three-point field goals and needs six more three-pointers to pass April Sykes (2008-12) for sixth all-time.
ON THE BOARDS:
Chelsey Lee collected a game-high seven rebounds to surpass the 600-rebound mark. She currently has 601 rebounds in her career.
MOST POINTS ALLOWED:
The 37 first half points by the Irish were the most allowed by a RU opponent this season. The previous high was 31 at Boston College when RU trailed the Eagles, 31-27 at the half.
The 20-point Fighting Irish halftime lead also ties the largest deficit at the intermission by RU. The Scarlet Knights also trailed by 20, 33-13, at the half at Tennessee on Dec. 30.
The 71 points totaled by Notre Dame ties for the most points by an RU opponent in a game this season. Princeton also tallied 71 in their 71-55 win over the Scarlet Knights on Nov. 29.
AGAINST THE TOP 25:
RU fell to 1-4 on the season against ranked opponents.
A LOOK AT THE FINAL SCORE:
The Fighting Irish have scored 71 points against the Scarlet Knights in the last three straight meetings. In addition to Sunday’s 71-46 victory, Notre Dame defeated Rutgers 71-49 in 2011 and 71-44 in the 2012.