STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – After building a double-digit lead in the first half, Notre Dame didn’t let Penn State get close in the final 20 minutes.
Natalie Achonwa had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the fourth-ranked Irish in a 77-67 victory over the No. 10 Lions in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game.
Jewell Loyd scored 17 points, Kayla McBride had 13 and Taya Reimer 12 for Notre Dame (7-0), which led by 14 points at halftime and didn’t let Penn State get closer than nine in the second half.
I thought Natalie Achonwa had a great second half and I thought Jewell and K-Mac’s (McBride’s) defense on Maggie Lucas was the key to the game, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said.
Ariel Edwards scored 18 points for the Lions (5-2).
It was the first time McGraw coached against Penn State’s Coquese Washington, who played point guard for Notre Dame in the early 1990s and then was a Irish assistant coach.
I didn’t like it at all. It was a hard game that way, McGraw said of facing one of her former players.
No. 8 MARYLAND 67, OHIO ST. 55: In College Park, Md., Alyssa Thomas had 25 points and 12 rebounds for Maryland (8-1) in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Ameryst Alston scored 18, and Cait Craft and Matina Ellerbe had 11 apiece for the Buckeyes (6-4).
No. 11 COLORADO 63, WYOMING 59: In Jasmine Sborov made two free throws with 5 seconds left to clinch the win for Colorado (7-0).
No. 18 NORTH CAROLINA 75, No. 15 NEBRASKA 62: In Chapel Hill, N.C., Xylina McDaniel hit 11 of 15 shots and scored a game-high 25 points for North Carolina (7-2). Nebraska (6-2) has now suffered back-to-back losses.
No. 17 OKLAHOMA 97, W. ILLINOIS 80: In Norman, Okla., Aaryn Ellenberg scored 25 points and four teammates scored in double figures for Oklahoma (6-2).
Ashley Luke scored 27 points and grabbed six rebounds and six steals for Western Illinois (4-5).
No. 20 IOWA ST. 83, N. IOWA 55: In Ames, Iowa, Hallie Christofferson scored 22 points, Nikki Moody added 16 and Seanna Johnson had 14 for Iowa State (8-0).
The Panthers (2-7), held to 36 percent shooting, were led by Madison Weekly with 16 points.