No. 4 Notre Dame women rout C Michigan 106-72By STEVE LOWE, Associated Press Sunday, Dec 22, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)—Amazing, outstanding, tremendous, fabulous.
Those are a few of the superlatives Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw tossed out Sunday to describe sophomore guard Jewell Loyd, an emerging star for the Irish.
Loyd scored a career-high 30 points on 12-of-15 shooting to go with 11 rebounds for No. 4 Notre Dame, which never trailed in a 106-72 blowout of Central Michigan.
“I thought Jewell was amazing, just simply amazing,” McGraw said. “She played just like she practiced (Saturday), and I was really happy to see that, because her effort was tremendous. Her efficiency was outstanding. Just a fabulous game for her.”
Kayla McBride added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Irish, and reserve Michaela Mabrey tied a career high with four 3-pointers to finish with 17.
Notre Dame (10-0) will likely move up in the polls after No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Tennessee lost earlier in the week. The Irish recorded their 800th win in school history, the 27th Division I program to do so.
Crystal Bradford led Central Michigan with 30 points and 13 rebounds as the Chippewas (4-6) lost to their third top-10 opponent this season.
“Notre Dame is at another level,” said coach Sue Guevara. “They have a lot of weapons.
“They just took it down our throats.”
The Irish scored 32 points off of 25 Chippewa turnovers, getting out in transition throughout the game, with Loyd often leading the way. The 5-foot-10 guard was nearly unstoppable when she got into the paint, as evidenced by an athletic step-back jumper that she was fouled on but still managed to knock down with nine minutes to play.
“You can’t really guard her one-on-one when she gets the ball and a head of steam going down the floor,” McGraw said. “She’s pretty much unstoppable.”
Notre Dame shot a blistering 61.8 percent from the floor, including 57.1 percent from the 3-point arc. The 106 points were a season high for the Irish.
“That was some phenomenal offense going on in that game,” McGraw said.
Central Michigan started out 0 of 7 from 3-point range. The Chippewas were fourth in the country coming in with nearly 10 3-pointers per game, but finished 6 of 24 against the Irish.
Loyd missed only one shot from the field in the first 20 minutes and had 19 points and seven rebounds at halftime. She said she played confidently with her brother in the stands.
“You practice how you play,” Loyd said. “The momentum from yesterday’s practice carried over to the game. You have to stay confident on the floor. You’re going to miss shots, but you just keep shooting.”
Bradford was also impressed by Loyd’s efficiency. Both players scored 30 points, but Bradford needed 13 more shots.
“You see 30 points, but it’s a bad 30, I feel,” Bradford said. “My shot selection wasn’t as efficient as it should have been, definitely.”