SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Devereaux Peters had a season-high 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, Kayla McBride added 19 points and No. 2 Notre Dame beat Syracuse 74-55 on Tuesday night.
It was the 21st straight win for Notre Dame (24-1, 11-0 Big East) and improved its road record to 12-1 against Syracuse (15-10, 4-7), which lost at home by 41 points to No. 3 Connecticut two weeks ago.
Skylar Diggins, the Irish's leading scorer, finished with 11 points, all in the second half. She scored five straight points to get the Irish going after the Orange had pulled within 49-39 on a 3-pointer by Rachel Coffey and two free throws by Shakeya Leary midway through the half.
Brittany Mallory had seven points in the 137th game of her Notre Dame career, a school record. Former star Becca Bruszewski played in 136 games from 2007-11.
Iasia Hemingway had 15 points and Kayla Alexander added 11 for Syracuse.
After a slow start — both teams combined to shoot 5 of 22 in the first 5 minutes — the Irish settled down and pulled away with a 16-4 run despite little help from Diggins. McBride more than made up for that with six points in the spurt, her jumper from the right wing giving Notre Dame a 20-8 lead midway through the period.
The lead ballooned to 30-12 with 4:39 left on consecutive layups by McBride and Peters. The Orange were held scoreless for nearly 5 minutes until Leary's follow with 3:26 left and trailed 38-19 at halftime. Syracuse shot 18.8 percent (6 of 32) in the half and finished 18 of 61 (29.5 percent).
Syracuse entered the game tied for second nationally with top-ranked Baylor in rebounds per game at 47.7, but the Irish dominated the glass 33-18 in the opening half, outscoring the Orange 26-6 in the paint. Since struggling early in the season on the boards, Notre Dame is back on track. In their previous 18 games, the Irish averaged 43.7 rebounds and had an average rebounding margin of plus-14.8 per game. They finished this one with a 47-37 edge.
After Mallory hit a 3-pointer to open the second half, the Orange ran off 11 straight points, two baskets coming on follows by Hemingway and Alexander as Syracuse began to assert itself on the glass. A pullup jumper in the lane by Phylesha Bullard and a three-point play by Alexander moved the Orange within 41-30 with 15:20 left.
Diggins' layup, her first points of the game, stopped the surge and Mallory's layup gave the Irish a 45-30 lead with 13:52 to go.
The Irish put the game out of reach with a 13-4 run keyed by Diggins, who scored five straight points, the last on a rebound of her missed free throw. Consecutive three-point plays by McBride and Peters gave Notre Dame a 62-43 lead with 7:30 left.
Notre Dame finished with a 48-24 edge in points in the paint and 20-2 on the fast break.