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Fighting Irish Top Cincinnati 64-42 at Home, Prepare to Take on Villanova

Feb 5, 2013, 10:06 AM EDT

Photo by Joseph Weiser / Notre Dame Media Relations Photo by Joseph Weiser / Notre Dame Media Relations

Kayla McBride led Notre Dame (20-1, 8-0 BIG EAST)Β to a big win in front of a home crowd Saturday night at the Purcell Pavilion, scoring 19 in the BIG EAST victory over the Bearcats (8-13, 0-8 BIG EAST) that made them the first team in women’s college basketball to reach 20 wins in the 2012-2013 season.

McBride shot 75% from the floor, and scored 17 of her 19 points in the first half–a performance reminiscent of teammate Skylar Diggins‘ effort in the Irish’s 77-67 win over the #12 Tennessee Lady Vols (17-5, 8-1 SEC).

Kaila Turner added 11 points, accounting for more than half of the team’s bench points in Saturday’s game, and Markisha Wright had a game-high nine rebounds from the bench.

The Irish remain ranked second in the country behind the Baylor Lady Bears (20-1, 10-0 Big 12). While there were a number of top 25 upsets over the weekend, the frighteningly dominant top four teams held rank–Baylor, Notre Dame, Connecticut (20-1, 7-1 BIG EAST), Stanford (20-2, 9-1 Pac-12).

The women’s team looks to extend its 15-game win streak at Villanova’s Pavilion Tuesday night. Coach Muffet McGraw will have a shot at earning her 700th career win, and the Irish have a chance for a decisive BIG EAST win against the Wildcats (16-5, 5-3).

In a week of conference matchups, Baylor will take on Kansas (15-4, 5-4 Big 12) Wednesday night, Connecticut will take on Marquette (11-10, 3-5 BIG EAST) Tuesday night, and Stanford takes on Arizona (11-10, 3-7 Pac-12) Friday night.

Just eight games and a huge rematch against Connecticut remain for the Irish before the madness begins.

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Welcome to In The Paint, the official blog providing in-depth and exclusive access to the Notre Dame basketball programs. With features, videos, photos, commentaries and news from inside the Purcell Pavilion, we are committed to bringing you coverage of the Fighting Irish unlike any you can find elsewhere.

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