SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)Dara Mabrey scored 19 points, Olivia Miles had 13 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, and No. 9 Notre Dame beat Ball State 95-60 on Sunday.
The Fighting Irish (4-0), who had six different players score in double figures, won their 29th straight game against in-state foes, dating back to the 2006-07 season.
”They’re a special group,” Irish coach Niele Ivey said, ”and it’s exciting to see what the future is going to hold for us.”
Madelyn Bischoff led the Cardinals (2-2) with 15 points, including nine of Ball State’s first 11.
Ball State led 11-6 halfway through the first quarter but the Irish closed out the period with a 21-7 run. Notre Dame was up 54-27 at the half and maintained at least a 25-point lead the rest of the way.
”(Bischoff) is a scorer, and it doesn’t matter who she’s on the floor with, that’s the way she thinks,” Ball State coach Brady Sallee said. ”She came out and kind of took the first shot at them and said, `we’re here to play.’ To their credit, they elevated their game.”
HE SAID IT
Sallee left impressed with what he saw from Miles as the team’s floor general. She leads the Irish in points (16), assists (7.8) and steals (3.6).
”They start with Olivia, and it just goes from there,” Sallee said. ”In my 30 years, I’ve not played again, too many lead guards that play at that speed with the ball and under control and see the floor the way she does.”
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Mabrey connected on five of her 10 shots beyond the arc for 15 of her 19 points, all of which she scored in the first half.
”I was just feeling it. It was really exciting,” Mabrey said. ”I’m happy that my teammates can find me, especially (Miles). I was happy that I could go out there and right from the start, just give people confidence to feed off of and great energy. That carried throughout the rest of the game.”
Ball State: The Cardinals took down two straight in-state opponents in Indiana University East and Butler but failed to pick up the sweep in South Bend. Ball State returns three of its top four scorers from a year ago and is expected to compete for the Mid-American Conference title this season.
Notre Dame: The Irish start 4-0 for the second year in a row. They’re scoring 91.3 points per game but turned the ball over 23 times for the second time this season. It’s an area Ivey would like to see Notre Dame improve in as they prepare for a tough December slate that features home contests against No. 19 Maryland and No. 5 UConn.
”We can do a better job of taking care of the ball,” Ivey said. ”It’s something I’m going to continue looking at, and then hopefully we can fix it.”
Ball State: At Utah State on Wednesday.
Notre Dame: Travels to the Bahamas to play American University on Thursday in its first of two games in the Goombay Classic.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25