No. 3 Notre Dame 69, Penn 38
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)
It's obvious Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw is looking for bigger fish to fry.
''We had a lack of energy tonight,'' McGraw said after the No. 3 Fighting Irish beat Penn 69-38 on Friday night to improve to 6-1. ''I gave them too much time off this week and that was a big mistake on my part. We had a lack of scoring and were not making our shots.''
Devereaux Peters scored 16 points and Natalie Novosel added 14 to lead the Irish. Kayla McBride chipped in with 10 points and nine rebounds for Notre Dame, which jumped out to a 14-3 lead and pressured the Quakers into 23 turnovers, including 15 on steals.
''Kayla has tremendous upside potential,'' McGraw said. ''She just needs game experience.''
Playing poorly was still good enough to overwhelm an Ivy League opponent with no scholarship players.
Kara Bonenberger had nine points and seven rebounds to lead Penn (4-2). Leading scorer Alyssa Baron, who came in averaging better than 20 points, was held to seven.
Penn coach Mike McLaughlin said Notre Dame's quickness was difficult for his team to handle.
''First, you can't really recreate that in practice very well and then we didn't really have much time to practice since we played on Wednesday and got on the plane to come here on Thursday,'' he said. ''Alyssa is required to do so much for us but when you rely so much on one player, you will get some days where she goes 3 for 15 from the field.''
Notre Dame outrebounded Penn 49-34.
''Rebounding was a point of emphasis for us,'' McGraw said. ''I was disappointed. With the bad habits, one or two practices isn't going to change that, but I thought at least it would make an impression. I thought there were times when it really looked like we were trying to box out and I think we got a little better at the beginning of the second half.''
Peters scored eight points and Novosel had the other six during Notre Dame's opening 14-3 run, while the Quakers made only one of their first ten shots. The Irish broke off a 14-0 run later in the first half for a 32-7 lead with 6:32 to go before halftime.
''I think Natalie came out well,'' McGraw said. ''She was really ready to play and just took over offensively and then she found Dev a couple of times and I thought Dev had a really good game, too, with no fouls. Those two pretty much carried us.''
Notre Dame opened the second half on a 16-8 run to put the game out of reach.