SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Kayla McBride got No. 2 Notre Dame going early by making her first four shots and stopped seventh-ranked Duke’s rally late with back-to-back baskets.
McBride finished with a career-high 31 points to pace Notre Dame to an 81-70 victory Sunday, giving the Fighting Irish women the Atlantic Coast Conference title in their inaugural season in the league.
“We definitely enjoyed that,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said of beating the defending conference champion Blue Devils.
McBride is a huge reason why the Irish (27-0 overall, 14-0 ACC) are unbeaten.
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“Kayla McBride was outstanding again today,” McGraw said. “She’s had a phenomenal year, but 31 points, she was just amazing. She was unstoppable.”
Notre Dame, which never trailed in beating Duke 88-67 earlier this month, giving the Blue Devils their first ACC loss at home since 2008, opened a 20-2 lead early in the rematch.
The Irish started the game by making 8 of 13 shots while holding Duke (24-4, 11-3) to 1-of-10 shooting with eight turnovers.
Elizabeth Williams led Duke with 20 points. The Blue Devils were behind by seven points in the second half when standout Alexis Jones suffered a knee injury — the initial diagnosis was a sprain — and didn’t return.
Other Top 5 women
At No. 3 Louisville 73, No. 25 Rutgers 58
Asia Taylor had 25 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Cardinals (27-2, 15-1 American Athletic) past the Scarlet Knights (20-6, 11-4).
Tyler Scaife led Rutgers with 17 points.
At No. 4 S. Carolina 69, Florida 55
Tiffany Mitchell scored 20 points, Alaina Coates added 16 points and 12 rebounds and the Gamecocks (25-2, 13-1 Southeastern) defeated the Gators (17-10, 7-7) to extend their winning streak to nine. South Carolina has clinched at least a tie for the SEC regular-season title.
• In a Big Ten men’s game, No. 20 Michigan beat No. 13 Michigan State 79-70 to take the conference lead by a half-game.
Michigan is 11-3 in Big Ten games; the Spartans are 11-4.