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Batteast, Duffy combine for 45 points in win

Kate Gales | Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Another close road game ended in another victory for the No. 3 Irish, improving the team to 2-0 away from the Joyce Center and 7-0 on the season.Notre Dame beat Valparaiso 69-59 Tuesday night as Jacqueline Batteast scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Megan Duffy added 20 points and four assists for the Irish.The team went 18-18 from the free throw line to seal the lead as the Crusaders pulled to within a field goal with two minutes remaining.”We had to make our free throws down the stretch,” coach Muffet McGraw said. “We had our best shooters shooting … Megan especially down the stretch, and Jackie faced really critical [shots].”Charel Allen and Teresa Borton each pulled down nine rebounds and scored six apiece in the team’s second road victory.The Irish were off to a quick start as Batteast scored 11 of the team’s first 13 points. Notre Dame would never relinquish the lead, but the Crusaders remained within striking distance, cutting a 10-point lead to five with 13 minutes remaining. In her second career road game, Allen came through with a crucial offensive rebound with 11 minutes to play. “She had a really big offensive rebound late in the game that we really had to have,” McGraw said. “Then she got fouled and made the free throws.”Free throws were the brightest part of the Irish offense. The team shot just 41.7 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. Notre Dame committed 10 turnovers to the Crusaders’ seven.But the team came up strong when it counted. McGraw called a timeout when Valparaiso was within two points.”We ran a play for Jackie to score [and] she made a nice shot,” McGraw said. “She was able to convert it, that was big, we got [the lead] up to four and they never got any closer.”Duffy connected on four free throws down the stretch to seal the win.Last year, Notre Dame started 0-4 on the road. This year, the team has yet to register a loss.”I think its better leadership,” McGraw said. “Megan and Jackie are playing so well right now, they’re carrying the team. They made all the big plays and we’re still looking for some other people to step up and help us.”