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No. 3 Notre Dame women roll past Creighton 76-48

By Eric Olson
AP Sports Writer / December 4, 2011
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OMAHA, Neb.—Natalie Achonwa scored a career-high 20 points to lead three Notre Dame players in double figures in the third-ranked Irish's 76-48 victory over Creighton on Sunday.

Natalie Novosel had 17 points and Devereaux Peters added 10 for Notre Dame (7-1).

The Irish led by 30 points at halftime, allowing Novosel and star guard Skylar Diggins to spend most of the second half resting on the bench.

Ally Jensen made 3 of 4 3-pointers and finished with 12 points to lead Creighton (4-3).

The Bluejays, picked to finish fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference, were unaccustomed to the speed and ferocity with which the 2011 national runner-up plays.

Notre Dame got out to leads of 12-0, 30-3 and 41-11 at halftime. The 11 points were the fewest allowed by the Irish in a half since Southeast Missouri State had six last January.

The Irish forced turnovers on seven of Creighton's first nine possessions, and the Bluejays didn't make a field goal until Sarah Nelson's left-handed bank-in with 11:36 left in the half.

Notre Dame outworked and outmuscled the Bluejays inside and shot 55 percent.

Achonwa was playing in her fifth game this season after having surgery to repair an injury to her right knee suffered in preseason practice.

She had scored a total of 15 points in her first four games back and made just 7 of 19 shots. But she found her touch against the Bluejays, making 8 of 11 shots.

Peters had nine rebounds to go with her 10 points, and the Irish held a 32-28 advantage on the boards.

Creighton shot just 15 percent (3 of 20) in the first half but improved after halftime and finished at 37.2 percent.

Notre Dame is outscoring the opposition by an average of 27 points a game.

It was the second year in a row the teams met. The Irish won 91-54 at home last season.

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