Jan. 24, 2010

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -No. 16 West Virginia could contain fourth-ranked Notre Dame and Lindsay Schrader only for a half.

After being held without a shot in the first half, Schrader went 6 for 8 from the floor in the second half and scored eight of her 16 points during a decisive run as the Fighting Irish rallied for a 74-66 victory on Sunday.

"In the second half, Schrader just took over," West Virginia coach Mike Carey said. "She got physical with us. Every time we got physical we got a foul called. She took over. I think she was the key."

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said the Irish usually turn to Schrader when they need a key basket.

"Everybody on our team knows when we're not scoring we're going to try to find Lindsay," McGraw said. "Not to the exclusion of anybody else, but that's going to be a look we want because she has so many mismatches. They had guards trying to guard her down there and we needed to take advantage of that."

The Irish trailed 44-31 after Madina Ali scored the opening basket of the second half, and trailed 49-39 when Vanessa House hit a 3 for the Mountaineers (18-2, 5-1 Big East). But the Irish responded with a 16-3 run led by Schrader, who repeatedly scored baskets inside. Natalie Novosel capped it with a baseline runner that gave the Irish a 55-52 lead.

"We were rattled a little bit," said Liz Repella, who led the Mountaineers with 24 points.

The Irish put the game away with a 10-1 burst late to take a 74-63 lead.

Skylar Diggins added 15 points for the Irish, Melissa Lechlitner had 12 and Ashley Barlow had 10 points and a career-high seven assists. Korinne Campbell had 12 points and nine rebounds for West Virginia.

After being outscored 16-10 in the paint in the first half and outrebounded 18-17, the Irish had a 20-16 rebounding advantage in the second half and outscored the Mountaineers 20-14 in the paint.

"In the second half we got more disciplined and worked on our defense and rebounding," Schrader said.

The Irish (17-1, 4-1) also turned the ball over only three times in the second half after having 14 turnovers in the first half.

Carey said his team played less aggressive in the second half because three of his starters, including Repella, were in foul trouble.

"We started standing around on both ends because we were afraid of fouling. That's not an excuse. We can't play that way. I told them, 'Whether you are in foul trouble or not, we've got to do what we do.' We quit doing what we do in the second half there."

The Fighting Irish improved to 5-1 against ranked opponents while the Mountaineers fell to 1-2 against ranked teams. The loss also ended a 16-game winning streak for West Virginia, the second longest in school history.