SOUTH BEND – When the shots weren’t falling in the first half, Jewell Loyd and No. 2 Notre Dame picked it up on the defensive end.
Up by just four points at halftime on Clemson, the Irish used a 17-4 run out of the break to take control in their ACC debut, a 71-51 win over the Tigers on Sunday.
Clemson hit just one of its first eight shots in the second half, and Loyd had a three-point play and a 3-pointer during the decisive Irish run.
I was just trying to get it done on defense, said Loyd, who scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half. We just weren’t making shots. Maybe we were just trying to force it, but we’ll make those shots with our eyes closed tomorrow.
After shooting just 28 percent in the first half, Notre Dame shot it at a 63 percent clip in the second half.
Natalie Achonwa had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Kayla McBride added 16 points for the Irish (13-0, 1-0 ACC) to extend their regular-season winning streak to 36 games, and home winning streak to 19.
Kelly Gramlich led Clemson with 13 points.
No. 3 DUKE 64, GEORGIA TECH 47: In Atlanta, Elizabeth Williams had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead Duke.
No. 4 STANFORD 89, OREGON STATE 67: In Stanford, Calif., Chiney Ogwumike scored 17 of her 31 points in the first 8 1/2 minutes, and Stanford overwhelmed Oregon State.
No. 5 TENNESSEE 85, No. 19 GEORGIA 70: In Athens, Ga., Ariel Massengale scored a career-high 28 points and Isabelle Harrison added 18 and 10 rebounds to lead Tennessee.
FLORIDA 83, No. 6 KENTUCKY 73: In Lexington, Ky., Jaterra Bonds scored 23 points to lead Florida to an upset for the Gators’ eighth straight victory.
No. 8 MARYLAND 79, No. 10 NORTH CAROLINA 70: In Chapel Hill, N.C., Alyssa Thomas had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Maryland beat North Carolina in the Terrapins’ final ACC opener.
No. 9 BAYLOR 75, KANSAS 55: In Waco, Texas, Odyssey Sims scored 30 points while matching the Baylor record for career 3-pointers.
No. 13 SOUTH CAROLINA 76, VANDERBILT 66: In Columbia, S.C., Alaina Coates scored a career-high 24 points, had 10 rebounds and three blocks for South Carolina.
No. 14 IOWA STATE 82, No. 25 OKLAHOMA 75, OT: In Norman, Okla., Jadda Buckley scored 29 points to lead Iowa State.
No. 15 PENN STATE 87, IOWA 71: In Iowa City, Iowa, Maggie Lucas hit five 3-pointers on her way to 27 points to lead Penn State.
No. 16 LSU 63, TULANE 35: In New Orleans, reigning Southeastern Conference scoring champion Theresa Plaisance, playing in her hometown, scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to power Louisiana State.
NC STATE 67, No. 20 SYRACUSE 61: In Raleigh, N.C., Miah Spencer’s layup with just over a minute to play put North Carolina State ahead and the Wolfpack sealed the win from the free-throw line.
No. 23 CALIFORNIA 101, OREGON 98, OT: In Berkeley, Calif., Reshanda Gray scored 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as California overcame a late rally.
No. 24 ARIZONA ST 78, WASHINGTON 60: In Seattle, Katie Hempen came off the bench to score a dozen to lead Arizona State.