SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Cincinnati is the lowest scoring team in the Big East, so it can't afford for the only player averaging double-digit points to have a bad game.
No. 2 Notre Dame held Dayeesha Hollins to a season-low six points on 2-of-9 shooting, including 0 for 4 in the first half, as Kayla McBride outscored the Bearcats on her own in the first half to lead second-ranked Notre Dame to a 64-42 victory on Saturday.
Cincinnati coach Jamelle Elliott said the combination of Notre Dame's defense and Hollins having a bad shooting game was too much for the Bearcats to overcome.
"She's our best player. Everybody knows it. Everybody knows we have trouble scoring and we expect every team that we play to try to take her out of her game offensively and make somebody else score," Elliott said. "She had her season low with six, but I thought she was still being aggressive."
Hollins said the Bearcats knew the Irish would use pressure defense to slow them down, but they couldn't do anything about it. She said she couldn't find a way to make shots.
"I couldn't hit it," she said.
Elliott said Hollins missed shots she usually makes.
"I thought she got to the rim a couple of times and missed some easy bunnies," she said.
McBride broke out of a shooting slump by making her first seven shots and scoring 17 of her 19 points in the first half, when the Bearcats were held to 15 shots. McBride hit a mid-range jumper a minute in and then started scoring in bunches.
"I think a lot of it has to do with my shot selection," McBride said. "I was just open and I was just hitting shots today."
McBride had made just 4 of 18 shots against Tennessee on Monday and missed all five shots the previous game against Providence. She said she watched a lot of film during the week and thought she needed to do a better job of choosing her shots, saying she tried to do too much against the Volunteers after missing some shots.
"Because you want to get that back. But sometimes it makes it worse," she said. "I think today was a lot better and a lot more calm."