No. 14 Notre Dame 86, Rutgers 58
STORRS, Conn. (AP) _ Beth Morgan scored 20 of her 23 points in the first half as No. 14 Notre Dame used a long-range game to beat Rutgers 86-58 Sunday in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.
Morgan was 5-for-9 from the field before halftime, only missing one of her four 3-point attempts before the break. She finished with half of her team’s season-high eight 3-pointers. Seven was the previous high.
Jeannine Augustin added 19 points and Katryna Gaither 15 to help third-seeded Notre Dame (26-5) advance to a semifinal against No. 2 seed Georgetown, which beat West Virginia on Sunday.
Top-ranked and top-seeded Connecticut faces fourth-seeded Miami in Monday’s other semifinal.
Usha Gilmore scored 21 points to lead sixth-seeded Rutgers (11-17), which played without top rebounder and second-leading scorer Susan Blauser, who sprained her left ankle in Saturday’s overtime win over Syracuse.
Despite the absence of Blauser, who averages 10 points and six rebounds, Rutgers was able to keep it close in the first 10 minutes, never trailing by more than seven.
But the Scarlet Knights had trouble stopping Morgan from long range. Twice when the Scarlet Knights did manage to get in Morgan’s way in the first half, they ended up fouling her.
Morgan gave the Fighting Irish leads of 22-14, 37-23 and 42-29 with her first three 3-pointers. She was fouled on her last attempt before the break, and hit all three free throws for a 46-32 halftime lead.
Rutgers never got closer, as other Notre Dame players began finding the rim from long range shortly after halftime. Morgan and three teammates combined to score four of the Irish’s first seven baskets from 3-point range.