Irish Blow Out Demons

CHICAGO- Coming off an 18-point loss to #10 Louisville on Saturday, things only got worse for the DePaul women's basketball team against #12 Notre Dame Tuesday night at McGrath Arena.

The Irish's Erica Williamson scored 20 points and led four players in double figures as Notre Dame routed the Demons 86-62.

The Demons (12-4, 0-2), in the middle of a four game swing against ranked teams, held their last lead at 10-9 on a jumper by Felicia Chester with 15:31 left in the first half. Consecutive three-pointers by Ashley Barlow gave Notre Dame a 36-23 lead with 4:56 left in the half.

DePaul's leading scorers, Deirdre Naughton (21.0 ppg) and Natasha Williams (19.0 ppg) were held to a combined 1-12 shooting from the field. Williams scored five points while Naughton was held scoreless.

"We tried to get out on the three point shooters and we tried to double Williams, " Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "I thought we did a good job on Naughton and Williams."

Felicia Chester led DePaul with 20 points and freshman Keisha Hampton added 19 points and eight rebounds. DePaul's bench was outscored 26-9.

Williamson, who attempted no shots in Notre Dame's prior game against Seton Hall, added nine rebounds. "We were able to get a few lay ups and I think that opened everything up and gave me a lot of confidence," she said.

Notre Dame (13-1, 2-0) held a solid rebounding edge at 50-29. With 11:29 remaining in the game the Irish had 16 offensive boards to 15 total rebounds for DePaul.

"We were a little more determined tonight to come out and rebound the ball," McGraw said. "We just got so much production from everybody."

The Irish had its biggest lead at 78-51 with 6:08 left when DePaul went on an 11-1 run to cut the lead to 79-62 with 1:21 left to play.

"Notre Dame is a very good basketball team and has the potential to be a great team," said DePaul head coach Doug Bruno. "This is by far the best Notre Dame team we have played since we have been in the Big East."

Natalie Novosel added 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Irish.

Notre Dame's 13-1 start is the second best start in school history. The 2000-01 squad started out 23-0 en route to the national championship.

The Demons travel to #19 Pittsburgh this Saturday and then play #1 Connecticut on Tuesday before returning home to play Providence on Saturday, January 17.

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