ND Women’s Basketball
Loyd, Cable lead Irish in blowout over Wake Forest
Samantha Zuba | Monday, February 2, 2015
A crowd braved the blizzard Sunday afternoon to watch No. 4 Notre Dame take on Wake Forest, and the Irish rewarded their fans with a 92-63 win at Purcell Pavilion.
The Demon Deacons (10-13, 1-8 ACC) hung with the Irish for much of the first half, but then Notre Dame (21-2, 8-1) broke out with a 14-0 run. The Irish padded their lead with 42 points off 30 Wake Forest turnovers.
“I thought a lot of it was from us,” Irish coach Muffet McGraw said of the Demon Deacons’ miscues. “I thought we, with our press and the pressure we put on them, I thought we came up with a lot of big steals, so I think we had something to do with that.”
Senior guard Madison Cable applied some of the pressure with a career-high six steals as the Irish racked up 17, one short of their season high. Cable also scored 12 points, including a four-point play.
“I thought Madison Cable played as well as she’s played all year long,” McGraw said. “That was a phenomenal game defensively; five steals at halftime. She just did a great job in the passing lanes. She was good in the press; she was really good in the half court, took a couple of charges that really saved us.”
With just under nine minutes left in the first half, Notre Dame led by only one point, 23-22. Wake Forest didn’t score for over four minutes after that, though, as the Irish pushed their lead to 37-22 with a run capped by a jumper from freshman forward Brianna Turner.
“We got a little confidence in there, knowing we could score against them,” Demon Deacons coach Jen Hoover said. “We ran some good stuff; we executed at different times; we had kids make some big plays, I thought, but we can’t give them those runs.”
By the time the teams headed to the locker room, Notre Dame had pushed its advantage to 47-30. Sophomore guard Lindsay Allen and junior guard Jewell Loyd led the way into halftime with 14 and 11 points respectively.
“I just tried to provide a little bit of energy for us in the beginning,” Allen said of her quick start. “We were a little slow to start off.”
Loyd led the Irish with 20 points, and Allen finished with 18 points and four steals.
“[Allen] was great offensively, but defensively, I thought she really did a nice job,” McGraw said. “She had a huge play I thought when [Wake Forest senior forward Dearica] Hamby was about to get a wide-open layup, and she came out of nowhere to block it, steal it and take it down to the other end.”
Hamby entered the game averaging 20.1 points per game, third in the ACC. Loyd leads the ACC with an average of 21.4 points per game.
“Hamby is really a tough matchup for us,” McGraw said. “She is a phenomenal player, really, really talented, and she played well.”
Hamby (23 points) and sophomore forward Milan Quinn (14) topped the Demon Deacons overall in scoring.
The Irish bench played an important role as it outscored the Demon Deacons bench, 34-7. Eleven Irish players saw action, and McGraw noted especially the bench contributions of senior forward Markisha Wright and freshman guard Mychal Johnson, in addition to Cable. Wright scored eight points and snagged five rebounds.
“[Wright] was our plan B for guarding Hamby,” McGraw said. “We felt like she could guard her away from the basket, she’d be physical with her inside, and we’d be able to bring the double team. And I thought she played well. She’s always ready. She’s somebody we can really always count on to be ready at any point.”
The Irish and Demon Deacons wore pink jerseys for Notre Dame’s seventh annual Pink Zone game. Over the past six seasons, the Irish have raised $750,000 for the National Kay Yow Cancer Fund and the South Bend community.
Notre Dame continues its ACC slate Thursday against Virginia at 7 p.m. at Purcell Pavilion.