Women's Basketball Falls Short Against No. 9 Notre Dame

By MEL REISNER
AP Sports Writer

TEMPE, Ariz. - Notre Dame had a familiar game plan - get the ball in Jacqueline Batteast's hands.

Batteast scored 20 of her season-high 24 points in the first half, leading the ninth-ranked Fighting Irish past Arizona State 81-52 Saturday.

'My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball, and the shots were dropping for me,' said Batteast, the Irish's leading scorer.

The game was the opener in the AstraZeneca Hoops for the Cure Classic II, a one-day benefit for breast-cancer research. No. 6 Purdue played No. 8 Vanderbilt in the second game.

Batteast, the Big East Conference rookie of the year, matched her career high for field goals with 10-of-15 shooting, and came up three points short of a career-best scoring performance.

'Jacqui sort of took over the game in the first half,' Muffet McGraw said. 'That's the kind of game she's capable of playing. It was a thrill to watch a game like that.'

Teresa Borton had 14 points, Le'Tania Severe 11 and Katy Flecky 10 for the Fighting Irish (4-0), who won for the first time in Arizona. Notre Dame lost to Arizona State in 1983 and to Arizona last season.

Arizona State freshman Jill Noe had 19 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Kristen Kovesdy added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Sun Devils (5-1), who were coming off their best game - a four-point upset of No. 14 Georgia in which Noe scored 20.

They're a team that's always going to find ways to get the ball down and low and score,' Noe said. 'But we needed more ball pressure and to close the lanes.'

Notre Dame made only one of its first 10 shots, but then made five straight to start a 25-2 run that sent the Irish to a 27-5 lead with 7:29 remaining in the first half.

Batteast capped the surge with a driving layup, a layup off an inbounds pass and a 3-pointer in a 62-second span.

'We got a little tentative when they went at us and we weren't matching them, and they proceeded to kick our butts for about five or six minutes,' Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said.

The Sun Devils had just four field goals and committed nine turnovers in the first half, falling behind 46-17.

Noe scored 16 points in the second half.

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