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Bulldogs come to life in second half
Notre Dame's girls basketball team's offense came to life in the second half in a 55-42 victory over Central Tuesday night at the Show Me Center.
The Tigers and Bulldogs combined for only 30 points in the first half with Notre Dame leading 16-14. Both offenses worked deliberately, taking long periods of time off the clock each trip down.
Central took the ball inside to 6-foot junior Jessica Johnston, who scored nine points in the first half.
"Jessica Johnston, I thought, stepped up," Central coach Amy Blattel said. "We got the ball inside so they at least had to guard us."
Notre Dame (12-8) was led in the first half by Amber Karne's eight points, while leading scorer Sommer McCauley was limited to only four.
Central (3-16) was not able to keep McCauley down in the second half, though. McCauley scored 10 points in the third quarter as the two teams matched the first-half scoring total with 30 points in the period. The senior scored on a pair of 3-point plays after driving to the basket.
"We just stopped doing our job not allowing penetration," Blattel said. "I thought that was the big key."
Central stuck around in the third quarter, trailing 33-27 heading into the fourth. The Tigers cut the lead to 35-31 on Erica Schabbing's jumper, but Central would not get any closer.
McCauley finished with 20 points, 16 in the second half. Karnes finished with 11 points.
Notre Dame coach Jerry Grim said he was pleased with the way his players stepped up around McCauley, particularly Amanda Dirnberger, Alana Weissmueller and Laura Weissmueller.
"Dirnberger hit some shots, Alana penetrated and put up some good shots and Laura got some good shots," he said. "All of the girls did what they needed to do."
Johnston and Schabbing led Central with 12 points apiece. Central's leading scorer, Megan McDonald, finished with 10 points.
"I thought late we forced a couple of shots we shouldn't have," Blattel said. "That got us out of our offense."
Notre Dame, after playing four games in five days, does not play again until Monday.
"It's good to get a win," McCauley said. "We played hard all game after a weekend of hard playing."