for this game

San Diego St. 79, Notre Dame 84

Nov 27, 2009 - 1:37 AM ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands (AP) -- Skyler Diggins and Brittany Mallory did all they could to help Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw earn her 500th win at Notre Dame.

Diggins scored 21 points and Mallory added 15 to lead the fifth-ranked Irish to an 84-79 victory over No. 23 San Diego State on Thursday in the Paradise Jam.

"I thought Skylar Diggins made a couple of big 3's that got us on a run," said McGraw, who has 588 victories overall. "Brittany Mallory was the player of the game. She came off the bench and hit a key shot late and made the free throws. She was fantastic. I was really pleased with her, her overall poise. She gave us a huge lift off of the bench."

The Irish (4-0) jumped out to a 21-point lead in the first half and led 44-29 at the break. The Aztecs whittled it down to 81-79 with 29 seconds left before Mallory made three of four free throws to seal the win.

"I thought we got off to a great start," McGraw said. ""I thought our defense in the first half was excellent. The second half I was extremely disappointed in our 3-point defense. The defense in general was bad."

Jene Morris scored 32 points to lead San Diego State (3-1), which was ranked this week for the first time in 14 years. Quenese Davis added 25 points and nine assists.

"I'm obviously disappointed in our start," San Diego State coach Beth Burns said. "After they calmed down and saw that they just have five and we just have five, they played an even game. We're a little bit older, so I was a little disappointed in that."

Lindsay Schrader scored 16 points for Notre Dame.

"They spread the floor so well and their experience really shows, Burns said of the Irish. "They capitalize on every mistakes. They hit us, they smacked us hard early in the game."

Notre Dame plays South Carolina on Friday while San Diego State plays No. 20 Oklahoma.