Notre Dame storms past Perryville 71-32

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Notre Dame took to its home floor for the first time of the new year Wednesday night and put in a dominating performance, routing the visiting Pirates 71-32.

The Bulldogs (5-6) were strong on defense throughout, holding Perryville (5-6) to four first-half field goals. Pirate star April Lorenz scored five points in the first quarter to keep Perryville in the game early, but the Pirates had no answer for Notre Dame's offensive runs.

After Krista Miesner hit one of two free throws to cut the Bulldogs' lead to 11-6, Notre Dame made its first of many scoring spurts. Central Missouri State University recruit Ashley Millham sparked a 12-0 Notre Dame run to end the first quarter, scoring eight straight points at one point.

The Bulldogs took a 23-6 lead into the second quarter.

"We like to jump on people, and make them work to get back," Notre Dame coach Jerry Grim said.

Notre Dame's run spilled over into the second as the Bulldogs scored the first eight points of the quarter. Perryville didn't score until an Amber Leible basket with 3:45 left in the period. The Bulldogs continued to hound the Pirates on defense and built a 25-point lead going into halftime.

Millham, who scored 16 points in the first half, said a key to the early success was good ball movement.

"Our passing is much better right now," she said. "That's very big for our team. We move the ball."

Notre Dame picked up where it left off in the first half, putting together a 13-0 run to start the second half. Forward Sommer McCauley scored nine straight points for the Bulldogs during the run and 11 points in the quarter.

"There's no one that can stop her when she puts her mind to it," Grim said.

Perryville managed only four points in the third quarter as Notre Dame push its lead to 61-17.

Millham said the team was working on different defenses in preparation for districts.

"We're working on our press more," she said.

Lorenz scored 12 of her game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter when Perryville nearly doubled its three-quarter output with 15 points.

Perryville coach Vicki Lohmann credited Notre Dame for playing a strong game and hopes her team can shake off the performance in time for tonight's conference opener against Crystal City.

"Hopefully we can come out and play a better game," she said.

While the win pushes Notre Dame to within a game of .500, Grim said the improved play of his team is really what he's looking at right now.

"We don't care what our record is," he said.

McCauley led the way for Notre Dame with 19 points. Millham finished with 16 and Ali Tyson added 10.

jjoffray@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 171

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