ACCWBB in First Round: Irish Put Away NC A&T

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP and - Brianna Turner scored 16 points, Madison Cable added 14 points and seven rebounds and top-seeded Notre Dame dominated inside to beat No. 16-seed North Carolina A&T 95-61 Saturday night as the Fighting Irish began their pursuit of a sixth-straight Final Four appearance.

Kathryn Westbeld added 12 points as the No. 2 Fighting Irish (32-1) shot 59 percent to win their 29th straight at home, the third longest streak in school history. Notre Dame outscored the Aggies (19-12) 52-18 in the paint.

The Irish jumped quickly to a 7-0 lead and pulled away throughout most of the game, leading by 28 at halftime and 41 at the end of three quarters.

Kala Green, who missed her first 10 shots, led the Aggies with 12 points on 5 of 18 shooting, Dana Brown scored 11 and Aprill McCrae had 10 points and seven rebounds. The Irish held North Carolina A&T to 33 percent shooting, repeatedly forcing the Aggies to settle for outside shots.

Marina Mabrey added 13 points and Mychal Johnson had 12 points as the Notre Dame's reserves outscored the Aggies bench 45-23. Starter Lindsay Allen had 10 assists in 21 minutes.

After Notre Dame took a 25-13 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Aggies managed to maintain a deficit of 12 to 14 points until the Irish finished the second quarter on a 19-3 run to go ahead 52-24 at halftime. Hannah Huffman got the run going with a layup, followed by a jumper from Cable and another layup by Turner. The Aggies were 1 of 7 shooting during the streak and 1 of 4 from the free throw line with three turnovers, while the Irish were 6 of 8 shooting, including two 3-pointers, and made 4 of 5 free throws and just one turnover.

The Irish forced four turnovers in two minutes as they used a 10-0 run to extend the lead to 80-38 late in the third quarter.


North Carolina A&T: The Aggies fell to 0-3 in NCAA Tournament play. ... North Carolina A&T, which finished second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in scoring defense at 57.6 points a game, hadn't given up more than 89 points in a game this season. ... The loss wasn't the most lopsided ever for the Aggies in the tournament. In 1994, A&T was beaten by 74 points by Tennessee, 111-37, which remains the largest margin of victory in tournament history.

Notre Dame: improved to 19-4 in opening-round games. Its last loss was 79-71 to Minnesota at home in the first round in 2009. ... Notre Dame improved to 13-0 against first-time opponents in the NCAA Tournament over the past 15 years. The last first-time opponent to beat the Irish in the tournament was Texas Tech 82-67 in the second round in Lubbock, Texas, in 1996. ... Notre Dame is 23-0 when scoring 80 or more points in the tournament.


North Carolina A&T: Season's over.

Notre Dame plays either No. 8 seed Georgia or No. 9 seed Indiana on Monday.