Loyd leads No. 4 Notre Dame to 92-63 win over Wake Forest
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) The Notre Dame press impressed coach Muffet McGraw.
The fourth-ranked Irish turned up the pressure and forced Wake Forest into 30 turnovers, leading to 42 points by the Irish in a 92-63 win Sunday.
After the Demon Deacons drew within 10 points, the Irish held them to three baskets in the final 11 minutes.
''I thought we did a really good job during that stretch,'' McGraw said. ''The press was effective, we caused some turnovers there and we made them rush a little bit and they threw it away at the other end. So I thought the press made a difference.''
After cutting the lead to 63-53, the Demon Deacons turned the ball over on their next five possessions. They had 10 turnovers in the last 11 minutes.
''We've just got to take care of the ball better,'' Wake Forest coach Jen Hoover. ''We got too careless with the basketball. You can't give a team 42 points off of turnovers. Those are freebies. We can't beat ourselves in those situations.''
The Fighting Irish (21-2, 8-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) took control with a 14-0 run in the first half and ended a threat by the Demon Deacons (10-13, 1-8) in the second half with a 13-0 burst.
''We just can't give them those runs and those runs are typically sparked by turnovers,'' Hoover said.
Jewell Loyd led the Irish with 20 points, Lindsay Allen added 18 points, eight assists and four steals and Madison Cable had 12 points and a career-high six steals and provided a spark for the Irish, including a four-point play.
''I thought Madison Cable has played as well as she's played all year long,'' McGraw said. ''That was a phenomenal game defensively.''
Dearica Hamby, third in the ACC in scoring, led Wake Forest with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Milan Quinn finished with a career-high 14 points.
Hamby kept the Demon Deacons in the game early, scoring 11 of Wake Forest's first 22 points in the opening 12 minutes. Wake Forest led briefly, going ahead 9-6 lead early on a 17-foot jumper by Kelila Atkinson. The Irish twice opened six-point leads, but Hamby kept hitting shots to keep the Demon Deacons close.
She followed a three-point play with a layup to cut the lead to 19-18 and scored inside again moments later to cut the lead to 23-22. But after Allen made a pair of free throws to give the Irish a 25-22 lead, Hamby was taken out for a moment. The Irish responded with a pair of fastbreak baskets by Brianna Turner and Allen and the run continued when Hamby returned to the game with another fastbreak layup by Allen as Notre Dame used a 14-0 run to open a 37-22 lead.
Wake Forest was hoping to get out of South Bend despite heavy snow that caused one official to miss the game. A backup official was used. The crowd was announced as 8,741 but actual attendance was less than half that. McGraw said she was pleased to see so many fans.
''We know our fans are very hardy and going to come out support us regardless, but on a day when the Super Bowl is on and a lot of things are going on in addition to the weather, we're so thankful they were here,'' she said.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons fell to 0-8 when outscored in the paint by opponents and 1-9 when outrebounded. ... Hamby had her 13th double-double this season. ... Wake Forest dropped to 0-3 all-time against Notre Dame. ... Wake Forest was coming off its first league win of the season, beating Clemson 64-62 when Amber Campbell stole the inbounds pass and scored with 0.3 seconds left.
Notre Dame: The 30 turnovers were the most forced by Notre Dame since creating 35 in a triple-overtime game against Connecticut two years ago. ... Cable's six steals were the most by an Irish player in three years. ... It was Notre Dame's seventh annual ''Pink Zone'' game, which raises money for breast cancer research and awareness. Previous games have raised nearly $750,000.
Wake Forest: Hosts Duke on Thursday.
Notre Dame: Hosts Virginia on Thursday.