Loyd leads No. 2 Irish past Demon Deacons

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm •  Published: February 20, 2014

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — For the first eight minutes, Wake Forest held its own against one of nation's top teams.

Then things began to go wrong for the Demon Deacons, as No. 2 Notre Dame capitalized on their mistakes to pull away for an 86-61 ACC victory Thursday.

Dearica Hamby had 26 points and Jill Brunori added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Wake Forest (14-12, 5-8), which saw its two-game winning streak snapped.

"We had a great, great game plan, and for the most part, we executed it," Demon Deacons coach Jen Hoover said. "But we tried to make a few home runs passes, and this was a game where you couldn't do that."

Jewell Loyd had 29 points and 10 rebounds and two other players finished in double figures as the Fighting Irish (26-0, 13-0) remain two games ahead of No. 7 Duke (24-3, 11-2) heading into Sunday's matchup in Notre Dame, Ind.

Kayla McBride added 19 points and Taya Reimer 10 for Notre Dame, which overcame its own poor shooting thanks to the Fighting Irish's inside play and defense.

Notre Dame shot just 39.4 percent (28 of 71) — its second-worst game of the season, and the first time under 40 percent since beating then-No. 10 Penn State on Dec. 4 — and made only 3 of 16 3-pointers.

However, the Fighting Irish forced Wake Forest into 22 turnovers, held the Demon Deacons to 35.7 percent shooting (20 of 56) and outrebounded them 49-39.

"We just couldn't get any rhythm going offensively," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "(But) we did a nice job on the boards ... and we did force them into a few turnovers."

The turnovers led to a 30-12 advantage for the Fighting Irish in points, and 20 offensive rebounds gave them an 18-11 scoring advantage in second-chance points.

"(Notre Dame is) such a good team offensively, you can't give them a lot of turnovers," Hoover said. "The transition baskets show you that — they got 30 points off our turnovers."

Notre Dame also made 27 of 31 from the free throw line, 15 of 17 coming in the second half as the Fighting Irish built on their 51-39 halftime lead.

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