Teresa Borton is resigned that the chronic pain in her right foot may never go away. At least the Notre Dame senior center's heart felt lighter yesterday on several fronts. While Borton was battling...
SOUTH BEND, Ind. Teresa Borton is resigned that the chronic pain in her right foot may never go away.
At least the Notre Dame senior center’s heart felt lighter yesterday on several fronts.
While Borton was battling foul trouble against her home-state team, Irish sophomore teammate Crystal Erwin took over in the post, scoring a career-high 24 points as seventh-ranked Notre Dame turned away Washington 72-58 at the Joyce Center.
Borton also drew inspiration from the presence of Washington’s Kayla Burt on the basketball court. Burt, a close friend and former AAU teammate of Borton’s back in Washington, missed a season and a half after suffering cardiac arrest on New Year’s Eve 2002.
“It’s unbelievable the way she’s playing so well,” Borton said of Burt. “She’s had so many things to fight through.”
Burt fought through the Irish defense for a team-high 16 points, six above her average, but she couldn’t offset Erwin and Irish All-American Jacqueline Batteast in the low block.
A crowd of 5,407 looked on as Erwin put up Batteast-like numbers, shooting 9 of 9 from the field to go with a career-high seven rebounds. She had eight of her points in a late 14-2 Irish run that swelled a seven-point lead to a 72-53 cushion. Batteast, a senior forward, added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Borton, a former Parade All-American at Yakima’s West Valley High School, had 10 points, three rebounds and two steals for the Irish (9-1). She has undergone surgery for a condition called Haglund’s Deformity, but still ails.
“I guess I just have bad feet,” she said with a shrug.
Burt was the only player in double figures for Washington (4-4). Cameo Hicks, who torched the Irish for a career-high 24 points in an 85-74 UW win last season in Seattle, finished with six points.
Notre Dame shot a season-high 60.4 percent from the field. The Irish had assists on 25 of their 29 field goals and controlled the boards, 38-28.
“I think the way to win is to score on the block,” said Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw. “That’s something we’ve really worked on. I think you have to build the offense from the inside out.”
For the Huskies, it was the eighth game in eight tries in which they shot 40 percent or less from the field (33.9).
Washington was held to less than 60 points for the third game in a row something that hasn’t happened in 26 seasons but Burt and UW coach June Daugherty saw growth among the ugly numbers.
“We take a lot of confidence out of this game,” Burt said. “We played really poised against a real good team. This tells us we can play with anybody.”
Daugherty said the Huskies could build on the game.
“I think we played Notre Dame even in the second half,” she said. “We’re just going to keep getting better and keep working with these young people.
“… We would rather play Notre Dame here in South Bend than play somebody you can beat by 20 or 30. We’ve got to get ready for the Pac-10.”
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Attendance: 5,407. Officials: Dee Kantner, Angie Lewis, Cameron Inouye.