Washington Falls To No. 7 Notre Dame, 72-58
Dec. 11, 2004
By Tom Coyne
South Bend, Ind. (AP) - Notre Dame's one-two inside punch of Crystal Erwin and Jacqueline Batteast was just too much for Washington.
Erwin was 9-of-9 from the field for a career-high 24 points and Jacqueline Batteast had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead seventh-ranked Notre Dame to a 72-58 victory Saturday over the Huskies.
'The way to win is to score on the block,' Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. 'You need to build the offense from the inside out.'
The Irish did that, outscoring the Huskies 42-22 in the paint and outrebounding Washington 38-28.
'The difference in the game was points in the paint,' Washington coach June Daugherty said. 'They kept pounding it in there.'
The Irish (9-1) opened the game by hitting their first five shots and were in control throughout, shooting 60 percent while holding the Huskies (4-4) to 34 percent.
The Huskies simply couldn't stop Erwin, as she became the first player to shoot 9-for-9 at the Joyce Center in 18 years. She scored on fast-break layups, in traffic in the lane and even had one remarkably easy basket. After she fell in the offensive end, the play went to the other basket. Megan Duffy had a steal and passed it back down the court to the wide-open Erwin for the layup.
Erwin said the Huskies were physical.
'I enjoyed it,' she said. 'I was just trying to work hard.'
Kayla Burt was the only Washington player in double figures with 16 points. Daugherty said Burt is continuing to get closer to the level of play she was at before she went into cardiac arrest on New Year's Eve 2002.
'Every day she is getting better,' Daugherty said. 'She's not quite back to where she was, but I keep seeing her get dangerously close to being that player again.'
The Irish led 36-25 at halftime, but had trouble putting the Huskies away. The Huskies closed to 39-34 when Cameo Hicks scored on a layup three minutes into the second half. The Irish led only 58-51 when Hicks scored with 7:56 left.
But Erwin scored inside two straight times, blowing past Maggie O'Hara along the baseline for a layup on the second basket to ignite a 14-2 run that put the game away.
'We were talking about getting it inside and we did a good job of that,' McGraw said.
Duffy had a career-high 10 assists for the Irish, breaking the mark of nine assists she had against Washington a year ago. Breona Gray added 11 points for the Irish.