SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame
All-American Skylar Diggins took the opening tap from Natalie Achonwa, sprinted down the court, and fired a bullet pass to a streaking Kayla McBride for a fastbreak layup.
Diggins got the Irish off to a roaring start, but it’s what the Irish did with Diggins on the bench later in the first half that helped power No. 5 Notre Dame to a 74-47 victory Saturday afternoon against No. 11 Purdue
in a college women’s basketball showdown.
A sellout of crowd of 9,149 saw Notre Dame (10-1) win its seventh consecutive game against Purdue. The Boilermakers (11-2) lead the series 14-12. Notre Dame plays on Monday at 1 p.m. EST at Purcell Pavilion against St. Francis. Purdue is back in action on Wednesday when it opens Big Ten
play at Illinois
(8 p.m. EST).
Irish post Natalie Achonwa recorded her Big East
-leading seventh double-double of the season — 15 points and 17 rebounds. Achonwa’s rebound total was a career high, topping her previous best of 14, which she set in Notre Dame’s last game, an 83-74 victory against No. 22 Texas A&M on Dec. 21.
Kayla McBride led the Irish with 18 points, and also had seven rebounds.Diggins ended up with 15 points and four steals.
Courtney Moses led Purdue with 13 points. Taylor Manuel scored 12.
Sparked by Diggins, Notre Dame blasted to a 21-4 lead over the Boilermakers with 13:19 left in the first half. The Irish put on a torrid shooting display, hitting eight of their first 13 shots, while the Boilermakers could manage only 2-of-12 shooting.
But Diggins picked up her second foul and left the game with 9:28 left in the first half. Purdue pounced on Diggins’ absence and the Boilermakers used a 16-4 run to close to 25-20 with 6:36 left in the first half.
Notre Dame finally snapped out of a 1-for-15 shooting slump when Madison Cable swished a 3, and then the Irish erupted for what turned out to be a 17-6 run to close out the first half with a 16-point lead, 42-26.
Notre Dame hit Purdue with a 9-2 run to open the second half, and the Irish maintained the upperhand. The Irish led by as many as 30, 69-39, with 7:05 left in the game.
Staff writer Curt Rallo: