EVANSTON, Ill. (AP)Sonia Citron finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, Olivia Miles added 21 points before getting ejected and No. 9 Notre Dame pounded Northwestern 92-58 on Wednesday night.
Lauren Ebo chipped in with 19 points and seven rebounds. Dara Mabrey broke a tie with her sister for career 3-pointers in an otherwise rough outing and the Irish (3-0) rolled to an easy win. They led by 17 at halftime after things took a heated turn late in the second quarter.
Notre Dame’s Natalija Marshall and Northwestern’s Paige Mott got tied up and had some words. The Wildcats’ Caileigh Walsh, Courtney Shaw and Jasmine McWilliams were ejected for leaving the bench. Miles also got involved and picked up a technical.
”I thought we lost our composure ,and we have to do a better job of not allowing circumstances to take us out of our character and our composure,” coach Niele Ivey said. ”That’s who we are, what we represent at Notre Dame, just making sure we do things the right way, play the right way.”
She called it a ”teaching moment” and ”a lesson for both teams.”
Northwestern coach Joe McKeown said he wasn’t sure exactly what happened and needed to look at the video.
”Our players were all trying to do the right thing,” he said. ”I don’t know if Notre Dame’s players came off the bench. I don’t have 12 camera angles yet. Like I said, I’ll let the league deal with it and just go from there.”
Miles was called for another technical late in the third after exchanging words with Northwestern’s Hailey Weaver, resulting in her getting thrown out of the game.
The temper flareups aside, there wasn’t much drama in this one.
Citron, the ACC Rookie of the Year last season, was 8 of 10 from the field and made four 3-pointers.
Mabrey scored seven points and made two from beyond the arc. That gave her 276 3-pointers in her career and 121 since transferring from Virginia Tech prior to the 2020-21 season. Marina Mabrey, who plays for the WNBA’s Dallas Wings, made 274 for Notre Dame from 2015-19 and is the program’s all-time leader.
Melannie Daley led Northwestern (1-2) with eight points.
The game between the programs located 110 miles apart was the first since 1988 and fourth in all.
Notre Dame scored the first nine points and led 21-14 through the first quarter thanks to a dominant start by Ebo. The 6-foot-4 center scored 11 in the period, though she also picked up two fouls.
Mabrey missed her first five shots and first four 3-pointers before nailing one from the left side in transition early in the second quarter to break the tie with her sister.
Notre Dame led 42-26 with just under 2 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter after Miles fed Sonia Citron for a fast-break layup, then stole a pass and scored on a layup.
”We show spurts and moments of when we look really, really good,” Citron said. ”But we also do have those moments when we don’t look so good. I think that we know if we just play together and play with composure and discipline, we can be super good.”
Notre Dame: The Irish missed their share of open shots in the early going. Once they found their rhythm, they ran away with this one.
Northwestern: The Wildcats were outclassed by one of the nation’s best teams. Even so, they’ll have to do a better job shooting, whether they’re taking jumpers and layups or free throws. Northwestern shot about 36% from the field and was 4 of 17 on 3-pointers. At the foul line, the Wildcats were 10 of 22.
Notre Dame: Hosts Ball State on Sunday.
Northwestern: Hosts Southern Illinois on Saturday.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll