Peters leads Notre Dame women past Providence
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Devereaux Peters and No. 4 Notre Dame were frustrated heading into Tuesday night's game against Providence. Their exasperation only grew when they got off to a slow start.
Eventually, they shook it off in a big way.
Peters had 19 points and 11 rebounds, leading the Irish to a 66-47 victory over the Friars.
Notre Dame (25-2, 12-1 Big East) was coming off a 65-63 loss to West Virginia on Sunday that ended a 21-game winning streak. Peters had 17 rebounds and blocked six shots against the Mountaineers, but also went 1 for 8 from the field and finished with four points.
"That's never going to happen again in my career here," she said Tuesday. "That is just unacceptable. I don't care what the circumstances are. (Against West Virginia) I wasn't squaring up, I wasn't being aggressive, I wasn't being physical. I just have to keep pushing and look for the ball more."
Skylar Diggins finished with 19 points and seven assists for the Irish (25-2, 12-1 Big East), who shot 48 percent from the field and outrebounded the Friars 41-25. Peters' eighth double-double of the season helped Notre Dame outscore Providence 40-26 in the paint.
Providence (13-13, 5-8) played much of the first half without leading scorer and rebounder Teya Wright, who sprained an ankle early in the game and was held to five points and three rebounds in 23 minutes of play.
"Hopefully she will be ready for the Georgetown game," said Providence coach Phil Seymore, whose team faces the Hoyas on Saturday. "We have won some games without her when we have gone with smaller lineups. I did not know if she was 100 percent and ready to go. Defensively she wasn't doing some of the things that I wanted her to do so I might have taken her out for that reason."
Rachel Barnes scored 16 for Providence, and Symone Roberts added 12.
Wright, who averages 13 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, went down early but Providence was able to find holes in the Irish defense and was down only 9-8 at the 15:47 mark. Wright returned two minutes later and played with a slight limp off and on for 11 minutes the rest of the half.
Notre Dame put together a 16-2 run to take a 33-20 lead with 4:38 remaining.
"We had a little frustration," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "I was frustrated right off the bat since Sunday and I think that is probably why we came out the way we did. I was just so ready to get off to a good start and really wanted to challenge them and I think that was the bad way to go. I think I riled them up a little bit too much. We were quicker to be frustrated with the loss on our mind and the little mistakes got magnified."
The Irish shot 56 percent in the first half and led 37-27 at the break. Diggins had 15 points at intermission.
Providence opened the second half with five quick points but Notre Dame went on a 12-3 run to take a 55-38 lead with 10:53 to go. The Irish's largest lead was 22, at 65-43 lead with 2:42 to go.
Notre Dame went 15 for 23 from the foul line, compared to 2 for 5 for the Friars.
"That means we were shooting a lot of jump shots," Seymore said. "We were not getting the ball inside enough to get to the line and that was the big difference in the game. They went to the line 23 times and we went five times. You can't win basketball games like that."