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Notre Dame conquers Cal in second round

Mar 21, 2012 - 3:27 AM Notre Dame, IN (Sports Network) - Natalie Novosel delivered a game-high 28 points as Notre Dame topped California, 73-62, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Purcell Pavilion.

Novosel, who added nine rebounds and four steals, shot just 5-of-18 from the floor in the meeting, but made up for it with 18-of-20 at the free-throw line for the top-seeded Fighting Irish (32-3) who are now set to meet fifth-seeded St. Bonaventure in the Sweet 16.

Also coming up big for Notre Dame was Skylar Diggins with 21 points and Devereaux Peters 11 points, 14 rebounds, seven blocked shots and five assists in the triumph.

The eighth-seeded Golden Bears (25-10) were led by Layshia Clarendon with 17 points and Reshanda Gray 15 and eight boards off the bench. Gennifer Brandon came up a point shy of a double-double as she pulled down a team-best 12 boards in the loss.

Cal managed to move out to a three-point lead early in the first half and the defense for the visitors played well as they limited the Irish to just 34.5 percent shooting from the field and 0-of-6 behind the three-point line and that left the game knotted at 31-31 after 20 minutes of action.

In the second half Notre Dame elevated to 48.1 percent accuracy from the field and also knocked down 15-of-21 at the charity stripe in order to capture the double-digit victory.

In addition to forcing 19 turnovers, which they traded in for 24 points, the Irish enjoyed a 26-7 scoring advantage at the free-throw line.