SOUTH BEND – Kayla McBride scored 18 points, Natalie Achonwa had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Skylar Diggins shook off early foul trouble to finish with 16 points Saturday to help No. 5 Notre Dame rout Purdue 74-47.
Courtney Moses led the Boilermakers (11-2) with 13 points and Taylor Manuel added 12.
Diggins also had her 300th career steal 5:37 into the second half when she poked the ball away from Courtney Moses and drove in for a layup, which pushed Notre Dame’s lead to 23. The senior guard is the third player in Notre Dame history with at least 300 career steals.
Purdue was one of the country’s best three-point shooting teams coming into the game, but went 0 for 11 from behind the arc. The Boilermakers were also outrebounded 56-28 as the Irish led by as much as 30 points in the second half.
Notre Dame (10-1) won its fifth game in a row and second straight over a ranked opponent after beating No. 22 Texas A&M in the title game of the World Vision Classic on Dec. 21. The Irish have one more non-conference game against Saint Francis before facing No. 2 Connecticut in their Big East opener on Jan. 5.
Purdue opened the game by hitting just 2 of 12 from the field as the Irish used runs of 8-0 and 11-0 to open up an early 17-point lead. But the Boilermakers crept back into it with a 7-0 run, then Diggins went to the bench with two fouls with 9:28 left in the first half, and the Irish offense stagnated.
Drey Mingo’s fast-break layup off a behind-the-back pass from Moses cut Notre Dame’s lead to 25-20 with 6:38 left before the half, but Purdue’s streaky shooting went off again. The Boilers didn’t score a field goal the final 4:43 of the half, and the Irish built their lead back up to 16 points at the break, all with Diggins watched from the bench. She still scored eight points despite missing more than half of the first half.
The Irish outrebounded Purdue 29-15 in the first half, with 14 of those boards coming on the offensive glass.
An early 9-0 run in the second half pushed the Notre Dame lead to 23 and the Irish kept it there over the final twenty minutes.
Nine of Achonwa’s 17 rebounds were offensive, as the Irish grabbed a total of 25 offensive boards. As the lead ballooned toward 30, Notre Dame’s starters rested on the bench for much of the second half.
Fans waved signs honoring coach Muffet McGraw, who earned her 600th victory at Notre Dame with the victory over Texas A&M.