Notre Dame womens basketball topple Georgetown

Published 4:07 pm Monday, February 14, 2005

By By ADAM PAYNE / Niles Daily Star
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Despite a slow start, the Notre Dame women's basketball team picked up its ninth straight victory Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Irish led by just nine at the intermission, but turned up the intensity in the second half to defeat visiting Georgetown, 72-58, in a Big East clash.
Teresa Borton scored the first six points for Notre Dame as the Irish took charge early.
The senior center was hot off the bat, while Georgetown got plenty of good looks at the basket but failed to convert on most of their opportunities.
The Irish charged out to an early 18-8 lead when Georgetown freshman guard Kristin Heidloff, from Chicago, netted a three to keep the Hoyas in the game. Much of the first half consisted of Notre Dame building a small lead and beginning to pull away until somebody from Georgetown would hit a big shot to keep it from getting out of hand.
Notre Dame's lead did keep growing however, and the Irish would lead 26-12 with six and a half minutes to play in the first half. Then at the 6:06 mark Georgetown senior Mary Lisicky, who came off the bench due to injury but would still play 33 minutes for the game, hit a wide open jump shot to empower the Hoyas.
The shot also provoked a furious tirade from Muffet McGraw directed at her players who had let Lisicky get open. Megan Duffy quickly hit a three for the Irish who opened their lead to 17, at 31-14, with five minutes to play.
The Hoyas then charge and went on a 12-4 run to end the half. Their spurt climaxed with a steal with five seconds remaining and a heave from just inside half-court by Heidloff which bounced in off the backboard to make it 35-26 at the break.
Notre Dame statistically dominated the Hoyas in the first half, shooting 57 percent to Georgetown's 40 and out-rebounding them 18-10. The Hoyas also committed a barrage of unforced errors, but their eight first-half turnovers were still less than Notre Dame's nine, which allowed Georgetown to remain in the game.
The Hoyas' senior forward Varda Tamoulianis, a native of Moscow, Russia, scored the first four points of the second half to cut Notre Dame's lead to five at 35-30.
While the Irish played sound defensively, their shots stopped falling, and Georgetown was suddenly within four at 40-36 with 16 minutes to play, having outscored Notre Dame 10-5 to start the second period.
Then, with less than 13 minutes to play, Georgetown got to within two at 43-41. They would never get any closer however, as the Irish were able to pull away due to excellent defense and aggressive interior offense.
The Irish finished with 19 offensive boards, grabbing 13 of them in the final 20 minutes.
Freshman guard Charel Allen contributed mightily to Notre Dame's efforts, as she end up with 14 points, two steals, four assists, and six rebounds. The playmaker-in-waiting provided a much-needed spark every time she came off the bench.
The biggest story on Saturday, however, was Jacqueline Batteast. She scored a game-high 20 points and became the fourth highest scoring player in Notre Dame history, passing Alicia Ratay.
She downplayed the achievement after the game stating that she was more concerned with the team's record, but she did accept that it was a major accomplishment. During the game, however, her smile was impossible to miss or mistake, as the Irish finished off the Hoyas 72-58.
Batteast also finished with two blocks, eight boards, and five assists. Teresa Borton shot 7-for-10 for the game for 14 points and also collected two blocks to go with her new career-high 12 rebounds.
The Lady Irish travel to Boston on Tuesday to face Boston College.