SOUTH BEND – Kayla McBride scored 17 points, and Skylar Diggins had 15 points and nine assists as second-ranked Notre Dame cruised to its 10th straight victory, a 79-64 victory over Georgetown on Tuesday.
Notre Dame (15-1, 4-0 Big East), the nation’s leading free-throw team at 81.1 percent, was 35 of 38 from the line, including 22 of 25 in the first half.
Georgetown (10-7, 1-3), which lost its third straight, fell to 3-26 all-time vs Notre Dame.
The Irish also held Sugar Rodgers, the nation’s leading scorer, to a season-low 14 points. Rodgers was 1-of-6 shooting in the first half with just four points and finished 6 of 18 from the floor, including 0 of 7 from three-point range. Jasmine Jackson led the Hoyas with 15 points.
Jewel Loyd added 14 for Notre Dame and Natalie Achonwa had 12 points and 10 rebounds as the Irish overcame a sloppy performance, turning the ball over a season-high 28 times. Diggins had six steals, one shy of her career high.
Notre Dame quickly took control, opening a 15-2 lead in the first five minutes as the Irish forced six turnovers and held the Hoyas to 1-of-7 shooting. The lead could have been even bigger, but the Irish had five turnovers of their own by the time Georgetown scored its second basket seven minutes in.
The Irish repeatedly passed their way inside for baskets. Whitney Holloway threw a pass from the top of the key to Achonwa, who flicked it instantly on the other side of the basket to Ariel Braker for an easy basket. Two possessions later, Braker set up Achonwa with a bounce pass for a basket. The next time down, Diggins drove inside, then kicked it out for a three-pointer by Loyd to make it 31-18.
Diggins and Braker then each made two free throws, extending the lead to 35-11, as the Irish made their first 17 free throws before Diggins finally missed two in a row before the Hoyas attempted their first free throw.
Georgetown coach Keith Brown complained that the Irish were getting too many calls, yelling to the officials: “I know this is South Bend, but they can’t play that perfect.”
A jumper by Andrea White sparked a 13-2 run for the Hoyas. Rodgers scored her first basket during the run to cut the lead to 35-20. A layup by Katie McCormick cut the 39-24. wit
Georgetown center Vanessa Moore was called for a technical foul after elbowing Madison Cable midway through the first half and was ejected late in the half for saying something after she and Achonwa got tangled up under the basket.
After trailing 44-29 at halftime, the Hoyas narrowed the lead to 46-33 on a 3-pointer by White, but Diggins answered with a 3-pointer and the Irish eventually stretched the lead to 23 again. The Hoyas used a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 62-47 on jumper by Rodgers midway through the second half. But the Irish responded with a 9-0 run to put the game away.