Muffet's Squad drops first Big East game at West Virginia

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Meg Bulger scored 17 points and Yinka Sanni added 15 as No. 16 West Virginia held off No. 14 Notre Dame 56-50 Sunday.

The Mountaineers led 31-11 at the half, holding the Irish to a school-record low in first-half scoring.

It was West Virginia's second win over Notre Dame in 17 games. The Irish (13-3, 1-1 BIG EAST) lost to a ranked foe for the third time in as many games this season, accounting for all of its losses.

Charel Allen was the lone Notre Dame player in double figures with 11 points. Brittany Mallory added nine, all on 3-pointers, in the Irish's lowest scoring output of the year.

WVU (12-3, 2-1) also snapped Notre Dame's six-game road winning streak, its longest since its national championship season in 2001.

West Virginia led by 12 with four minutes left when Notre Dame made its run. Mallory made two 3-pointers and Allen added another, and the Irish made two free throws to trail 46-45 with 1:22 remaining.

But in the final 80 seconds, Bulger started a scoring spree with two free throws. The Irish never got any closer than two points.

West Virginia's defense helped force 18 turnovers, 11 in the first eight minutes, for an early 17-4 lead.

The Irish missed 23 of the first 29 shots, often attempting off-balance and fade away shots as the clock ran down. That changed in the second half, when they began to drive to the basket.

Notre Dame finished 13 of 53 from the field (24.5 percent), its worst shooting performance of the season. The Irish had shot better than 50 percent in six of its 15 games.

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