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Notre Dame douses Flames in first round

Kayla McBride scored 15 points, one of three 43, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at home in Purcell Pavilion.

Also scoring in double figures for the top-seeded Fighting Irish (31-3) were Natalie Novosel and Devereaux Peters with 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the victory.

The 16th-seeded Flames (24-9) were paced by Devon Brown with a game-high 16 points, followed by Danika Dale with 12, while Avery Warley cleared a game- high 10 rebounds in the setback.

Notre Dame ripped off an 11-0 run in less than three minutes to start the meeting, eventually building a 44-19 advantage at the break thanks to 19 made field goals, compared to just eight baskets by the visitors.

In the second half the defense went to work for the Irish as they limited Liberty to a mere five field goals, on the way to a comfortable 31-point win.

In addition to shooting just 31.0 percent from the field on the afternoon, the Flames also turned the ball over a whopping 23 times, resulting in 27 points for the hosts.

With the victory today Notre Dame, which is now set to face eighth-seeded California in the second round of the Raleigh Regional, is a near-perfect 16-1 at home on the season.