Jan. 20, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Senior Skylar Diggins scored 18 points to lead No. 2/3 Notre Dame to a 74-50 victory over St. John's on Sunday at the sold out Purcell Pavilion. Senior guard Nadirah McKenith led the St. John's women's basketball team with 15 points, while adding seven assists.
St. John's forced Notre Dame into 16 turnovers.
Notre Dame (16-1, 5-0 BIG EAST), took a 13-point lead 10 minutes into the game as Jewell Lloyd put in a layup in transition give the Irish a 19-6 lead. McKenith answered with a 3-ball, bringing the deficit back to 10.
With 5:39 left in the first period, Notre Dame had extended its lead to 16, but junior guard Keylantra Langley answered with another 3-pointer for the Red Storm. A jumper by McKenith with 5:12 left in the half cut the Irish's lead to 11, 29-18.
The Irish fought back to a 37-20 lead with 1:39 left, but on the last St. John's possession of the period, McKenith set up a play for senior guard Shenneika Smith to shoot the long ball with seconds left on the board. Smith made the 3-pointer from the left side of the arc, cutting the Irish' lead to 12, but there was still enough time for Notre Dame to score as Diggins took it inside for a layup as the buzzer sounded.
St. John's went into the locker room at halftime down by 14, 39-25.
The Red Storm scored first in the second half, as Thompson rolled in for a layup assisted by Smith. The layup cut the Irish's lead to 12, 39-27 with 18:41 left on the clock.
The Irish answered with a 6-0 run that put them ahead by 18, 45-27 as Kayla McBride hit two shots from the foul line. On the other end, McKenith, fouled by Diggins, hit two at the foul line for the Red Storm, cutting the Notre Dame lead to 16 with 14:46 remaining.
Notre Dame went on another run, scoring another six points before McKenith would break the spurt with a layup.
By the nine-minute mark, Notre Dame led by 27, after two more free throws for Notre Dame, this time for Diggins.
In the final eight minutes, Notre Dame four of six 3-pointers. Handford had two layups, and McKenith had a jumper but could not spark any additional offense. With 2:48 remaining, Notre Dame had taken a 74-45 lead, but a layup by Jennifer Blanding and a well-set up 3-pointer by Ashley Perez off the baseline brought the Irish back within 24, 74-50, for the final score of the game.
Next up, St. John's will host RV/No. 23 Syracuse in a morning tip at Carnesecca Arena. The Red Storm and Orange will play at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23. The date is set as the third-annual Field Trip Day, where area elementary schools will get a chance to experience women's college basketball at its highest level. The battle for New York's BIG EAST team will be aired live on ESPN3.