Notre Dame 75, St. John's 67Mar 7, 2010 - 8:55 PM HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Notre Dame had already lost to St. John's during the regular season.
Forward Devereaux Peters said they weren't going to let it happen again.
Peters scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half and Skyler Diggins scored 21, two shy of her career high, as No. 6 Notre Dame defeated the No. 16 Red Storm 75-67 in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.
Notre Dame (27-4) advanced to the tournament semifinals to play either top-ranked UConn or Syracuse on Monday.
The Irish, seeded fifth in the tournament because all four of its losses were to Big East teams, fell to the Red Storm 76-71 in New York in February.
"It definitely burned," Peters said of the earlier loss. "We definitely came in with a chip on our shoulder and wanted to come out hard and definitely prove that we can play better than we did when we were there."
They played that game without guard Lindsay Schrader, who sustained an ankle injury prior to tip-off, and failed to score for a 7-minute stretch in the second half.
Notre Dame had trouble with scoring droughts again Sunday, but they were nothing the Irish couldn't overcome. St. John's (23-6), down seven midway through the first half, went on an 11-0 run over 4 minutes and outscored the Irish 21-8 to finish the half leading 36-32.
The Irish also had what coach Muffet McGraw called 13 "really uncharacteristically bad turnovers," in the first half, including dribbling into traps and travel calls that resulted from rushed play.
"We just talked about moving the ball a little bit and trying to get it to the middle of the floor," McGraw said. "That was an area we really wanted to get the ball to. We didn't have a lot of success with that in the first half, and I thought we did a little better in the second half."
Peters, who reached double figures in scoring for her third consecutive game and fifth of the season, was the primary beneficiary of Notre Dame's offensive adjustments.
She scored 10 of her points in a four-minute stretch midway through the second half, including a basket with 13:36 remaining that gave Notre Dame a 47-45 lead - its first since the 9-minute mark of the first half.
St. John's, which starts two freshmen and a sophomore, showed its postseason inexperience down the stretch.
The Red Storm held a 63-59 advantage with 6 minutes to play before Notre Dame went on a 12-0 run.
"We wanted to just take over," Diggins said. "We really came together and were like, 'We don't want to go home. We want to win.' And we were very anxious to come out here and play this team. We didn't get off to a good start, so we wanted to make sure we finished well."
St. John's committed 20 fouls, with 17 coming in the second half and eight in the last 6 minutes.
"I think today was the first time in some time that we showed our inexperience and youth at the end," said St. John's coach Kim Barnes Arico. "The kids got extremely frustrated by it and we tried to continue to stay positive, but I think it really affected us."
Shenneika Smith scored 23 points for St. John's, making her first five shots and nine of her first 10, and Da'Shena Stevens scored 14 despite missing three minutes early in the game with a right ankle injury.
Notre Dame shot 54 percent despite making just one of its six 3-point attempts. The Irish also shot over 56 percent in a second-round victory over Louisville on Saturday.
Barnes Arico said the quarterfinal loss didn't diminish the Red Storm's best record in 26 seasons.
"If we come in here and beat them today, what does that say about us?" Barnes Arico said. "We already beat them once, and I think we gave them a heck of a game. The ball didn't bounce our way down the end, but I feel as though the game could have gone either way."
- BIG EAST TOURNAMENT
AT HARTFORD, CT
NCAA WOMENS BB NOTRE DAME (6) 75
ST JOHNS (16) 67 FINAL
Mar 7 2:04 PM
- BIG EAST TOURNAMENT
AT HARTFORD, CT
NCAA WOMENS BB NOTRE DAME (6) 32
ST JOHNS (16) 36 HALFTIME
Mar 7 12:56 PM
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