Jewell leads No. 4 Notre Dame women past Michigan
This was the type of game Jewell Loyd was looking for after an extended break for No. 4 Notre Dame.
Loyd scored 20 points, Natalie Achonwa had 18 points and nine rebounds and the Fighting Irish cruised to an 86-64 victory over Michigan on Saturday night.
''I wanted to come out here and be aggressive,'' Loyd said. ''I haven't been shooting the ball well at all recently, so it was good for me to come out here and get a good feel.''
Loyd was 10 for 14 from the field and also had four rebounds and three assists in a team-high 34 minutes. Michaela Mabrey added 14 points in the Irish's first game since a 90-48 victory over UCLA on Dec. 7.
Notre Dame (9-0) put this one away early, carrying a 47-23 lead into the break. The Irish shot 59 percent from the floor and forced 19 turnovers, including 13 in the decisive first half.
''We really got the transition game going,'' coach Muffet McGraw said. ''I was happy with the offense and the defense, really. I thought we played really well.''
Reserve guard Shannon Smith scored 23 points for Michigan (7-4), which had won six of seven. Cyesha Goree had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Siera Thompson finished with 10 points.
''For us, one of the takeaways is we played well in the second half,'' Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. ''So I was very encouraged by that. We talked a lot about it at halftime, fighting back and all those things we did a lot better job in the second half. I think we were surprised in the first half, but we responded and I was happy about that.''
Notre Dame grabbed control by scoring 23 of the final 32 points in the first half. The Irish made 22 of their first 32 shots, compared to an 8-for-25 start for the Wolverines before the break.
Smith, who has been nursing a back injury, was 7 for 12 from the field and 8 for 9 at the free-throw line.
''We let Smith get loose a little bit more than I wanted to and tried to trap her off the ball screen but were ineffective,'' McGraw said. ''I thought she scored more 1-on-1s. But I think we did a lot of good things.''
Notre Dame had 48 points in the paint on 24-of-34 shooting.