Women’s Basketball: Schrader celebrates in style
Bill Brink | Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Whether it was a birthday wish coming true or the result of a surging Notre Dame offense, everything went right for Lindsay Schrader.
The senior guard had 23 points and eight rebounds on her 22nd birthday Tuesday during No. 23 Notre Dame’s 90-79 win over Syracuse.
“It was a good birthday present, that’s for sure,” said Schrader, who made 10-of-13 field goals.
Sophomore forward Becca Bruszewski had 20 points and five Irish players scored in double figures. Junior guards Ashley Barlow and Melissa Lechlitner had 13 and 12 points respectively and junior center Erica Williamson had 18 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks, tying her career high. She said she still has work to do, however, in the blocks department.
“I definitely haven’t mastered it, because I fouled them a couple times,” Williamson said. “[It’s] staying in front of the ball, not stepping up too much but letting them come to you and jumping up in the right moment.”
Sophomore guard Erica Morrow scored 18 points and senior guard Chandrea Jones had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Orange, who dropped to 15-12, 4-10 in the Big East.
“We had no problem getting the ball to the post,” Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman said. “We got the shots that we wanted. They do a good job of playing the matchup zone.”
Notre Dame capitalized on the 25 fouls called on Syracuse and made 28 of its 35 free throws. Hillsman said fouls early in the first half made it difficult to play the rest of the half.
“That’s going to affect every kind of play,” he said. “That means you can’t touch anyone for 17 minutes.”
Schrader fouled out with 1:11 remaining, but her performance earned her a standing ovation from the crowd and a hug from McGraw as she left the court.
Notre Dame expanded its lead with six unanswered points to make the score 78-63 with 4:54 left. Barlow stole the ball and drove the length of the floor for a layup to give Notre Dame an 84-67 lead with 2:44 left.
Referees whistled the Orange for six fouls in a 1:21 span, and Notre Dame converted all eight free throws it attempted. The Irish led 53-43 with 15:58 remaining, at which point Syracuse had seven fouls in the half.
After grabbing a rebound midway through the half, freshman forward Erica Solomon collapsed, favoring her left leg. She limped through a couple possessions before Williamson replaced her.
Notre Dame continued with the foul shooting and didn’t make a field goal for 4:56 in the second half, but a technical foul following a personal foul gave Notre Dame four straight free throws, and the Irish made them all.
Williamson made a hook shot and tipped in a miss and Lechlitner hit two more free throws to give Notre Dame a 65-48 lead with 10:10 left.
Just as Notre Dame went to the line often early in the second half, Syracuse got some help in the foul department later on. Notre Dame committed seven fouls in just over three minutes, including Schrader’s third and fourth and two three-point plays. Syracuse made all five free throws during the stretch and pulled within 70-61 with 6:57 left.
In the first half, Schrader had 11 points in the first seven minutes and her two free throws gave Notre Dame a 22-7 lead with 13:30 remaining. Notre Dame started the game on a 16-3 run and led 24-12 with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Three Syracuse fouls in a minute and a half helped Notre Dame start shooting foul shots early. The Irish got to the one-and-one mark with 8:33 remaining in the half.
Two quick baskets by Morrow brought Syracuse within 10, but Bruszewski converted a 3-point play to make the score 36-23 with 5:13 remaining.
With some help from Jones, Syracuse worked its way back. A four-point play from Tasha Harris tied the score at 36, capping a 13-0 Orange run. The half ended with Notre Dame ahead 38-36. Schrader finished the half with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
uWilliamson now has more than 100 blocked shots, with 102, good for 9th on the all-time list at Notre Dame.
uSchrader is now six points away from 1,000 for her career.