South Bend, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kayla McBride scored a career-high 31
points and second-ranked Notre Dame beat No. 7 Duke, 81-70, to capture the AAC
regular-season title in its inaugural year in the league.
The Fighting Irish (27-0, 14-0 AAC) stormed out of the gate on Sunday, scoring the game's first 13 points which led to a 20-2 lead.
The Blue Devils (24-4, 11-3) closed the gap to seven when Kendall McCravery- Cooper's jumper cut the deficit to 66-59 with 7:37 remaining.
Notre Dame answered with an 11-0 surge that featured seven points from McBride. Her trey made it 77-59 with 2:31 left.
Jewell Loyd struggled shooting the ball, going 7-for-19 from the field. However, she finished with 21 points for the Fighting Irish, who have won a school-record 50 consecutive regular-season games and extended their winning streak at home to 25 games.
Notre Dame won its third straight regular-season conference title, with the previous two coming in the Big East.
Natalie Achonwa had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the Fighting Irish improved to 8-1 all-time against Duke.
Elizabeth Williams paced the Blue Devils with 20 points and Alexis Jones scored 15 before exiting in the second half with a knee injury. She is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday.
Duke suffered its first loss in 11 road games this season.