Bruszewski paces ND to 90-66 win over DePaulFeb 14, 2010 - 11:36 PM By TOM COYNE AP Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND, Ind.(AP) -- Becca Bruszewski wouldn't let fourth-ranked Notre Dame miss a beat when Lindsay Schrader went down with a sprained left ankle.
Bruszewski scored 19 of her career-high 25 points as the Irish dominated the second half, beating DePaul 90-66 on Sunday. The Blue Demons shot 47 percent to keep the game close through much of the first half, but shot just 31 percent in the second half and finished with 25 turnovers.
"Their pressure got to us," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. "That's the challenge you have when you're coaching a big lineup is you don't have enough guard play to handle the pressure."
The Irish usually depend on Schrader, a 6-foot guard, to get their inside game going. But with Schrader watching from the sidelines in the second half after injuring her ankle when she stepped on a teammate's foot, the 6-1 Bruszewski took over. She was 7-of-9 shooting against DePaul's zone in the second half.
"She's just so crafty. She was able to get behind the zone, hide behind them a little bit," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "She pretty much scored from everywhere today. She had the drive, she had the short-corner jumper, she was really playing well."
Bruszewski said she knew she needed to step up when Schrader went down.
"Because me and Lindsay are the same position, the same plays so I was concentrating on staying inside, getting easy buckets, putbacks, boxing out, stuff like that," Bruszewski said.
Skylar Diggins added 18 points and helped force DePaul's Sam Quigley into 10 turnovers.
"She really just bothered her," McGraw said. "I thought she made her really uncomfortable that was good."
With the game tied late in the first half, Diggins scored eight points during a 12-2 run, including a jumper at the buzzer to give the Irish (23-1, 10-1 Big East) a 42-32 halftime lead.
"It was a huge shift," McGraw said. "We were just a little out of sync, I though, missing some shots. Defensively, we really had trouble guarding them in the post. ... But Skylar was able to get going."
Bruno said that hurt the Blue Demons.
"Whenever a run like that happens it's usually a collection of little things," Bruno said. "We had a collection of little things go south for us, little things like taking a quick shot against their pressure that turned into a layup."
DePaul (16-10, 5-7) cut its deficit to 43-36 early in the second half on a jumper by Quigley. But Bruszewski scored inside to spark a 9-2 spurt as Notre Dame went ahead 56-39 and the Irish continued to pull away.
Keisha Hampton led DePaul with a career-high 28 points and eight rebounds. Felicia Chester added 15 points and Quigley had 12.
Both teams wore pink as part of the Pink Zone initiative, a program aimed at raising awareness of breast cancer. Both teams wore pink T-shirts during pregame warm-ups and during the game both teams had uniforms with pink highlights and wore pink shoes. Notre Dame raised more than $70,000 for cancer research.
McGraw said she's not sure how long Schrader will be out.
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