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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP and und.com) - Lindsay Allen saves her best for big games.
The 5-foot-8 junior point guard had a season-high 22 points and seven assists and made a steal on an inbounds pass late in the third quarter that helped spark a decisive 15-2 run as top-seed Notre Dame finally broke away from ninth-seed Indiana to win 87-70 on Monday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
After Arike Ogunbowale scored on a layup to stop a 12-1 run by Indiana, Allen stole the inbounds pass by Lyndsay Leikem and quickly scored as the Irish regained control. Allen, who had a career-high 28 points in the third round of the tournament against Stanford last year, said the key was the Irish locking in defensively.
"We got some stops, we got some steals and then just got going in transition, which is the best part of our team," she said.
Indiana coach Teri Moren said the Hoosiers knew even though Allen didn't score in the opening-round game against North Carolina A&T that she could shoot.
"She caught fire there and really burned us on a couple occasions," she said.
After Allen's steal and basket, Madison Cable hit a pair of free throws after being fouled hard by Karlee McBride, the younger sister of former Notre Dame standout Kayla McBride, to give the Irish a 62-54 lead and moments later hit another jumper. Cable added a pair of 3-pointers midway through the fourth quarter that stretched the lead to 20.
McGraw said McBride's foul on Cable, which led to Irish fans booing McBride when she touched the ball, inspired the Irish.
"The crowd got into it and she got a little chip on her shoulder from that point on. She really wanted the ball," he said.
Brianna Turner struggled early for the Irish, making just one of her first five shots and fumbling away the ball once under the basket, but was 6 of 11 in the second half and finished with 18 points as Notre Dame outscored Indiana 52-26 in the paint. Madison Cable added 16 points for Notre Dame and Marina Mabrey had 15.
Tyra Buss, Indiana's leading scorer at 19.1 points a game, needed a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left to match her season-low with 10 points on 3 of 16 shooting.
"They did a pretty good job of denying and not letting me get the ball and go in transition a lot," Buss said. "They always had one player back to deny me the ball and whenever we were in the half court, they weren't letting me get it back."
Gassion and McBride led the Hoosiers with 17 points each. McBride matched her career-high with four 3-pointers, all in the first half.
Indiana center Jenn Anderson played only three minutes in the first half after picking up three fouls and fouled out with 7:15 left when she was called for a foul then got a technical. Indiana's second-leading scorer, Amanda Cahill, also got in foul trouble, finishing with 10 points in 22 minutes of play.
Moren said the foul problems hurt, especially because the Hoosiers lack depth.
"I would've liked to see us get to the foul line more. I'll leave it at that," Moren said.
McBride said she wasn't bothered being booed by the fans who used to cheer for her sister.
"It's just part of the atmosphere. It's the NCAAs, everyone's fighting for a national championship. I just took it as part of the game and part of the atmosphere," she said.
Indiana: The Hoosiers dropped to 0-4 all-time against teams ranked No. 2 in The Associated Press poll. They are 0-3 against No. 1 teams. ... The highest-ranked team Indiana has ever beaten was No. 4 Ohio State, 67-62, in 2010 in Bloomington. ... Indiana's 21 victories tied for the most in the program's history. ... The Hoosiers fell to 2-5 all-time in the tournament. ... There were several pockets of Indiana fans in the arena, but most in the crowd wore lime-green shirts supporting the Irish.
Notre Dame: Notre Dame has won 22 straight games against in-state teams since losing 54-51 to the Hoosiers on Dec. 3, 2006. ... The Irish are in the Sweet 16 for the 14th time in the past 20 seasons and the seventh straight time overall. ... Notre Dame improved to 7-4 all-time against Indiana. The17-point victory was the largest ever for the Irish against the Hoosiers, surpassing a 13-point win in 2005. The other 10 games in the series were all decided by 10 points or less.
Indiana: Season's over.
Notre Dame: plays the winner of South Dakota State-Stanford game in Lexington, Kentucky.