MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Skylar Diggins scored 17 of her 25 points in the first half, and No. 5 Notre Dame pulled away late in a 72-63 victory over Central Michigan on Thursday night.
Ariel Braker added 10 points and eight rebounds to help the Fighting Irish (5-0).
Jessica Green scored 19 points for Central Michigan (2-3).
In the program’s first home game against a top-five team, the Chippewas played like they belonged. The teams exchanged leads nine times in the first half before Notre Dame took a 40-39 lead at the break.
The Chippewas led by as many as four in the first half.
Green scored 12 points in the first 20 minutes, and sophomore star Crystal Bradford grabbed seven of the team’s 21 first-half rebounds to help keep the Chippewas within reach of the Fighting Irish.
The nearly sold-out crowd at McGuirk Arena gave the players a standing ovation as they headed into the locker room at the end of the first half, and the stands remained full until the closing seconds of the game.
Notre Dame opened the second half on a 7-0 run but Central Michigan pulled within one with under 12 minutes to play. The Fighting Irish didn’t truly pull away until Diggins hit a free throw for a 70-60 lead with 45 seconds to play.
MIAMI 69, No. 6 PENN STATE 65: In Coral Gables, Fla., Morgan Stroman scored 15 points to lead the unranked Hurricanes (5-1) to an upset over the Nittany Lions. Suriya McGuire’s layup with 14 seconds remaining broke a 65-all tie. Alex Bentley had a chance to tie it but her jumper with 5 seconds left bounced off the rim. Miami’s Michelle Woods grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
Woods made both free throws with 2 seconds remaining to secure the win for Miami.
Maggie Lucas led the Lions (5-1) with a game-high 20 points.
IPFW 78, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 65: Junior Amanda Hyde tied a school record with 43 points in the Mastodons’ road win.
Hyde made 16 of 26 from the field and 8 of 9 from the free-throw line. Hyde scored 21 points in the first half and 22 in the second.
The 43 points are also the highest single-game total in NCAA Division I this season and are tied for the second-most in a game in Summit League history, behind the 44 by Oral Roberts’ Kevi Luper against LaSalle in 2009-10.
IPFW (3-3) never trailed in the game.