SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Jewell Loyd scored 16 points, Brianna Turner had 15 points and nine rebounds and Notre Dame made its first 11 shots of the second half Thursday night in an 87-59 victory over Pittsburgh, clinching at least a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season league title.
Lindsay Allen added 13 points and eight assists, Markisha Wright had a season-high 14 points and Taya Reimer added 10 as Notre Dame shot 63 percent while holding the Panthers to 36 percent shooting.
Notre Dame (27-2, 14-1) can win the ACC title outright for a second straight season with a win Saturday at North Carolina State. The Panthers (18-10, 8-7) dropped to 0-11 all-time in South Bend.
Brianna Kiesel led Pitt with 27 points, three points shy of her career high, on 8-of-15 shooting. She was 10 of 11 from the free-throw line.
Notre Dame, which brought usual starters Turner, Reimer and Michaela Mabrey off the bench so three seniors could start their final regular-season home game, had a 36-10 advantage in bench scoring. The Irish dominated inside, outrebounding Pittsburgh 41-21 and outscoring the Panthers in the paint 44-26.
Notre Dame, which had struggled with emotions early in games on senior night in recent years, had little trouble Thursday, scoring on its first seven possessions with 5-of-6 shooting to open a 14-4 lead. Wright scored eight points during the run and Loyd added six.
Kiesel kept the Panthers in it for a while, scoring on a layup and a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 20-17.
The Irish regained control by making five of six shots during an 11-0 run while the Panthers missed five shots and had a turnover. The Irish eventually stretched the lead to 38-21 with just under four minutes left in the first half on a basket inside by Turner.
The Irish, who led 40-27 at halftime, used a 13-0 run early in the second half to open a 61-32 lead on a basket inside by Turner. Cable hit a 3-pointer moments later to extend the lead to 68-38. The Irish finally missed their first basket of the second half on a shot inside by Loyd with 9:53 left. Loyd got the rebound, but then missed another shot.
Pittsburgh: Monica Wignot, playing basketball for the first time since high school after four years of volleyball, has 72 blocked shots this season. She needs two more to pass Gail Aughburns (1980-83) for third-place on Pitt’s all-time list. … Wignot’s mother, Dr. Terese Wignot, played for Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw in her first season as Lehigh coach in 1982-83.
Notre Dame: Seniors Whitney Holloway, Wright and Cable started for the Irish. It was Holloway’s first career start, the third of the season for Wright and sixth for Cable, who has a season of eligibility left. … Notre Dame is 134-9 over the past four seasons and the senior class has a shot of breaking the mark of 138-15 put up by last year’s senior class. … Notre Dame leads the series against Pitt 23-3. … Lloyd became the third Notre Dame player to score more than 600 points in two seasons. Her 605 points rank as 10th-most in school history. She finished with 687 points last season, third-most in program history.
Pittsburgh: hosts Clemson on Sunday.
Notre Dame: plays at North Carolina State on Sunday.