No. 12 Notre Dame 99, New Hampshire 48

Devereaux Peters had a career-high 23 points and eight rebounds

in only 14 minutes, and No. 12 Notre Dame opened the season by

cruising past New Hampshire 99-48 in a record-setting rout

Friday.

On a day when Notre Dame honored former star Ruth Riley,

retiring her 00 jersey, the Fighting Irish set school records by

making 36 steals and forcing 48 turnovers.

Skylar Diggins, a sophomore guard from South Bend, paced the

Irish on both ends of the floor as Notre Dame went to a tenacious

full-court press early against the overmatched Wildcats.

Notre Dame was up by 16 less than 8 minutes in and held New

Hampshire scoreless for 9:44 during a 28-0 run. Leading 47-9 with

3:41 left in the first half, the Irish called off the full-court

pressure, but not after they had forced 26 Wildcats turnovers.

”I thought we got off to a great start,” said Muffet McGraw,

who began her 28th season as Notre Dame coach. ”I thought that our

defense was where we wanted it to be in the first half. I thought

the press was good, the pressure was good. I was really pleased

with everything in the first half.”

Notre Dame was ahead 53-12 at halftime. Peters outscored New

Hampshire by herself in the first half, posting 15 points and five

rebounds – all on the offensive end – in 12 minutes.

”I was just excited,” she said. ”It’s been four long years of

sitting on the bench, so it’s nice to finally get out there and

actually contribute.”

The 6-foot-3 Peters has struggled with tendinitis in her knees

throughout her career.

”It’s gotten to the point where it’s bearable, so I should be

good the rest of the season,” she said.

Not surprisingly, McGraw had high praise for her standout

senior.

”Devereaux was just outstanding,” the coach said. ”It was

just so great to have her back. She did a great job on the boards

as well as scoring.”

New Hampshire couldn’t handle Peters’ combination of quickness,

touch, strength and sound fundamentals down low. She caused

problems for Wildcats post players every minute she was on the

floor.

”She was just so active on the boards,” McGraw said. ”A

couple times she came out of nowhere. We weren’t sure if she was

even in the play, and then she had the rebound in her hands.”

During halftime, Notre Dame celebrated the 10th anniversary of

its 2001 national championship.