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Lechlitner leads Notre Dame to second round

Mar 18, 2007 - 8:14 PM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Melissa Lechlitner gave Notre Dame something to celebrate this weekend.

Lechlitner hit a jumper and a pair of free throws in the final 1:37 to lead ninth-seeded Notre Dame to a 62-59 victory over eighth-seeded California in the first round of the Dallas Region in the Women's NCAA Tournament.

The Notre Dame men's team was seeded sixth, but lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Winthrop last Friday.

The Notre Dame women raced to a 14-4 lead in the first 5:21 as Charel Allen scored seven points.

The Fighting Irish (20-11) increased the lead to 36-25 on a jumper by Tulyah Gaines 58 seconds into the second half.

California (23-9) went on a 21-9 run over the next nine minutes, claiming its first lead of the game, 46-45, on a 3-pointer by Krista Fowler with 9:51 left. Ashley Walker scored eight points of her 20 points in the spurt.

Lechlitner hit a jumper in a decisive 7-0 run and added a pair of free throws with one second left.

Notre Dame will likely face top-seeded North Carolina in the second round.