South Bend, Ind. - The Central Michigan women's basketball squad was unable to contain No. 4 Notre Dame inside Purcell Pavilion Sunday afternoon, giving up the most points scored by an opponent in a regulation game in program history in a 106-72 loss.
Junior guard Crystal Bradford did all she could to battle with the undefeated Fighting Irish (10-0), recording her fifth double-double of the season with 30 points, 13 rebounds and a game-high five steals. Senior Taylor Johnson posted her best game of the season, finishing 7-for-11 from the field, including 3-for-6 from behind the arc, to score a season-high 18 points.
Bradford and Johnson combined to finish the day 19-for-39, but the rest of the Chippewas' (4-6) squad went just 10-for-44 from the field. As a team the Chippewas shot just 39.7 percent (29-for-73).
The Irish led from start to finish as CMU was able to get to as close as one just once, 7-6, following a fastbreak layup by junior Jessica Green on an assist from Bradford with 16:44 to play. The Irish promptly went on a 13-2 run over the next 2:58 of the game however to take a 20-8 lead.
A layup by Bradford with 10:24 to play in the first half cut the Chippewas' deficit to single digits one last time, 22-18, but All-American Kayla McBride quickly thwarted any comeback by CMU with a three-point play on the other end to extend the lead to 25-14.
The Irish finished the first half shooting 54.1 percent (20-for-37) to take a 51-28 lead into the locker room. The Chippewas struggled to keep the ball in their own hands in the first half, committing 17 turnovers that led to 19 points by the Irish.
Bradford came out of the break hot for the Maroon and Gold, scoring seven points in the first two minutes of the second half, but CMU was unable to gain any momentum as the Irish's shooting touch only improved as the game went on.
Notre Dame built its lead to as large as 36 with 8:41 to play in the contest and finished the second half shooting 71 percent (22-for-31) to score the second most points ever by a CMU opponent.
The most points ever given up by CMU is 107, but the Chippewas prevailed in that contest versus Eastern Michigan in double overtime on Feb. 2, 2010, 113-107.
Jewel Loyd led the Irish with 30 points and 11 rebounds, finishing the day 12-for-15 from the floor. McBride had 18 points and sophomore Michaela Mabrey hit 4-of-5 shots from deep to score 17.
CMU is back in action Saturday, Dec. 28 when it takes on nationally ranked Purdue in West Lafayette.