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Notre Dame forward Natalie Achonwa battles for rebounding position with Utah State guards Elise Nelson, left, and Devyn Christensen.
Women’s Top 25

Irish take one-sided game

– Natalie Achonwa and Markisha Wright dominated inside, and Skylar Diggins got everyone involved.

It was that kind of day for No. 5 Notre Dame.

Achonwa tied a career high with 23 points and also had 12 rebounds to help the Irish rout Utah State 109-70 on Saturday.

Wright added 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Diggins finished with 12 points with 10 assists. It was the first time in seven years that three Irish women recorded double-doubles.

Achonwa credited Diggins’ ability to break the Utah State press for many of her easy baskets.

“I think we have a point guard that wants to push the tempo, and we play in a program that looks to push the tempo,” Achonwa said. “I think us posts need to make sure we keep up. That makes it a lot easier to beat the press.”

Notre Dame (6-1) controlled the paint, with Achonwa and her teammates getting easy layups in the low post off feeds from the perimeter, both on the break and in half-court sets.

In an attempt to stop those easy baskets, Utah State (2-7) tried collapsing on the low post, but often was whistled for fouls. Aggies guard Jenna Johnson fouled out just three minutes into the second half.

“Obviously there was a skill difference and a size difference and a physical difference today, and as the game wore on it became more and more evident,” Utah State coach Jerry Finkbeiner said. “Achonwa was in the right place at the right time, and their guards got her easy shots.”

Achonwa was 10 for 13 from the field and made each of her three foul shots. Notre Dame shot 69.4 percent (25 for 36) while building a 66-49 halftime lead, and finished at 52 percent for the game.

No. 8 LOUISVILLE 96, VALPARAISO 40: In Louisville, Ky., Shawnta’ Dyer had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Antonita Slaughter scored a season-high 13 points to lead the Cardinals.

No. 9 MARYLAND 90, GEORGE MASON 40: In College Park, Md., Alyssa Thomas had a triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Terrapins (6-2).

No. 17 UCLA 62, No. 12 TEXAS 42: In Houston, Alyssia Brewer had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and the Bruins held the Longhorns to 24 percent shooting en route to the victory.

Jasmine Dixon added 10 points for UCLA (5-1).

No. 19 DAYTON 60, MICHIGAN STATE 53: In Dayton, Cassie Sant scored 19 points, grabbed five boards and had four assists as the Flyers handed the Spartans their first loss. Andrea Hoover (10 rebounds) and Ally Malott scored 12 points apiece for Dayton.

Dayton (10-0) missed 13 of its first 18 shots as Michigan State (8-1) opened up a 22-10 lead with 8:17 left in the first half. But Sant hit a three-pointer, sparking a 22-7 run over an 11-minute span that gave the Flyers a 32-29 lead 3 minutes into the second half. Sant, who had 11 points during the spurt, capped the run with a jumper.

No. 23 MIAMI 67, DAVIDSON 35: In Coral Gables, Fla., Morgan Stroman posted 17 points and nabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Hurricanes (7-1).

No. 25 NEBRASKA 78, No. 24 FLORIDA STATE 77: In Lincoln, Neb., Jordan Hooper had a career-best 36 points and 12 rebounds as the Cornhuskers (7-3) handed the Seminoles (7-1) their first loss.