CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw didn't think her unbeaten team had been tested until facing Oregon State on Sunday.
Kayla McBride scored 20 points, Natalie Achonwa added 16 points and eight rebounds, and the second-ranked Irish remained perfect with a 70-58 victory over the Beavers.
"It's a huge win for us," McGraw said. "It's great to be behind and have a close game at the end and see how we respond."
Notre Dame (11-0) scored the final five points of the first half to pull to 33-31 at halftime for its first deficit at the break this season. The Irish then got the first six points of the second half to take the lead for good.
McBride said the road game before a hostile crowd of more than 4,000 felt like an NCAA tournament matchup.
"I know we have a target on our back and everybody is going to bring us their best game," she said.
Oregon State certainly did that.
"They played so hard, and I respect that a lot," McBride added.
Jamie Weisner scored 18 points to lead the Beavers (8-4), and Ruth Hamblin added 12 points, eight rebounds and a school record-tying nine blocks.
"We had a lot of turnovers down the stretch. We totally could have won that game," Weisner said.
Beavers coach Scott Rueck felt his team got some needed confidence despite the loss.
"This team competed for 40 minutes, just laser focus," Rueck said. "We know we can play with anybody."
Oregon State didn't trail until Ali Gibson's 3-pointer with 13:06 left in the first half.
Hamblin's put-back had stretched the Beavers' lead to 33-26 with 55 seconds left in the opening half. The Irish then used its 11-0 spurt to take the lead for good.