|NCAA Women's Basketball|
No. 2 Notre Dame defeats Pittsburgh 120-44
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Skylar Diggins loves to pass the ball, so this was a particularly fun night for her.
Diggins directed a record-breaking performance Tuesday, finishing with 11 points, nine assists and no turnovers in No. 2 Notre Dame's 120-44 victory against overmatched Pittsburgh.
"I always like to find my teammates," Diggins said, "and when the bigs run the floor you have to reward them. We have guards that can shoot the ball, too. It is just a matter of getting the ball to them."
Devereaux Peters had 20 points and reserve Natalie Achonwa finished with 19 for the Irish (18-1, 6-0 Big East), who had 33 assists on 48 baskets in their 15th consecutive win. Kaila Turner (14), Natalie Novosel (13), Kayla McBride (11), Brittany Mallory (11), and Markisha Wright (11) also scored in double figures.
The 76-point difference was the largest ever for Notre Dame against a Big East opponent. The Irish passed 100 points for the second time this season and beat a conference opponent by more than 50 points for the second time. They defeated Mercer 128-42 on December 30 and also posted a 95-42 victory over Marquette.
It was an impressive offensive showing but Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw was particularly pleased with Diggins.
"Skylar had nine assists and no turnovers," McGraw said. "I was hoping she had 10 assists so she could get another double-double. She has incredible court vision. She can see the entire court even when she is going full speed and is being guarded."
Ashlee Anderson scored 14 for Pitt (8-11, 0-6), which committed 26 turnovers and shot 35.4 percent from the field. The Panthers were without center Leeza Burdgess, who was on the bench due to a violation of team rules.
"We have the youngest team in the nation," Panthers coach Agnus Berenato. "I would rather have my kids lose like this when Notre Dame plays basketball the way the game is supposed to be played with the passing and cutting, than to lose to a team that plays above the rim. I tried to get my players not to be star struck, but it is just a matter of confidence."
Peters made two free throws to spark an 18-2 run that gave Notre Dame a 30-9 lead with 8:27 to go in the first half. Pitt went 10:34 without a field goal as part of that streak.
Notre Dame led 54-19 at halftime. Peters led all scorers with 16 points while Diggins had eight assists.
The second half was more of the same. Notre Dame broke the 100-point barrier with 7:24 remaining on a 15-footer by Turner.
Updated January 17, 2012