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Wildcats Fall to No. 2 Notre Dame, 76-43
Devon Kane

Jan. 21, 2012

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SOUTH BEND, Ind -The No. 2 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish extended their winning streak to 16 straight games with a convincing 76-43 victory over the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday afternoon at the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind. With the win, Notre Dame improves to 19-1 overall and 7-0 in Big East play, while the Wildcats fall to 12-7 overall and 2-4 in conference action.

Notre Dame led 9-5 at the 16:33 mark when the Irish used a 21-6 run to take a 30-11 advantage with 7:41 left in the first half. The Fighting Irish would use the run to propel them to a 44-16 halftime lead.

In the first half, Notre Dame was 16-of-31 from the field (51.6%), 0-of-2 from three-point range and 12-of-14 from the foul line (85.7%), while the Wildcats shot 30.4 percent from the floor (7-of-23), 11.1 percent from long distance (1-of-9) and 50.0 percent from the charity stripe (1-of-2).

Irish senior Devereaux Peters dominated play in the first half. Peters was 7-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from the foul line for 17 first half points. She also grabbed six rebounds and tallied two steals.

In the second half, Notre Dame built its biggest lead at 58-23 at the 14:18 mark and Villanova would not get within 24 and the Irish would cruise to the win.

Villanova was led by junior guard Rachel Roberts with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and a 2-of-4 effort from three-point range. Roberts also added six rebounds. Junior forward Laura Sweeney added 10 points in just 15 minutes, while junior guard Jesse Carey and redshirt freshman forward Lauren Burford had four assists each.

Junior guard Skylar Diggins led four Notre Dame players in double figures with 20 points. Peters finished with 19 points, while Natalie Novosel and Ariel Braker added 10 points each.

The Wildcats finished the game 19-of-47 from the field (40.4%), 3-of-15 from three-point range (20.0%) and 2-of-6 from the foul line (33.3%), while Notre Dame shot 44.8 percent from the floor (26-of-58) and 82.8 percent from the charity stripe (24-of-29). The Fighting Irish went 0-for-5 from behind the arc. Notre Dame owned a 42-25 advantage on the backboards. Villanova had 20 turnovers, while Notre Dame was charged with nine turnovers.

Villanova returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 24, when the Wildcats play host to the Cincinnati Bearcats. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at The Pavilion.

NOTES: Wildcats head coach Harry Perretta missed the game due to a death in the family. Associate Head Coach Joe Mullaney coached the team in Perretta's absence...Laura Sweeney was limited to 15 minutes due to three first half fouls... Villanova is now 1-2 versus Top 25 teams (75-64 win vs. #25 Michigan State; 72-49 loss to #3 UConn; 76-43 loss to #2 Notre Dame)...With today's win, Notre Dame leads the all-time series against Villanova by a 18-10 count...Devon Kane had a streak of making good on 21 consecutive free throws snapped when she missed a foul shot in the second half...Rachel Roberts has scored in double figures in four of the last five games.