CHICAGO — Skylar Diggins finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, and No. 2 Notre Dame won its 20th straight, beating DePaul 84-56 on Sunday.
Jewell Loyd added 19 points. Kayla McBride scored 16, and and Fighting Irish (25-1, 13-0 Big East) cruised to another easy victory. Their only loss was to Baylor in early December, and DePaul never (18-9, 7-6) never had a chance in this one.
Notre Dame took control right from the start and never looked back, winning by 20 or more for the fourth straight game while sending the Blue Demons to their second straight blowout loss. The Fighting Irish still have some big hurdles to clear if they’re going to stay unbeaten in conference play, with Syracuse up next and Connecticut looming in the finale after a trip to Providence. But they sure are looking good at the moment.
The Irish forced 21 turnovers and held DePaul to 33.3-percent shooting.
Diggins, second on Notre Dame’s career scoring list, had her second career triple-double and fell one rebound shy of her personal best.
Loyd hit 8 of 15 shots. McBride was 7 of 13 from the field. Natalie Achonwa added 14 points and eight rebounds, and Notre Dame beat DePaul for the eighth time in nine games to tie the all-time series at 19 apiece.
It was another rough day for DePaul, which has been hit hard by injuries this season and was coming off an 81-55 loss to Louisville.
Brittany Hrynko scored 15 points but shot just 4 of 19, and the Blue Demons lost for the fourth time in six games.
It was clear right from the start that Notre Dame was simply too quick, too athletic, and by the time the half ended, they had a 40-17 lead. It didn’t help DePaul that leading scorer Anna Martin missed her eighth straight game because of a left knee injury.
Even so, the Fighting Irish were simply on another level.
They smothered DePaul on defense, turning nine turnovers by the Blue Demons into 14 points, and had their way on offense. Diggins scored 13 in the half, while McBride and Loyd poured in 12 apiece.
The Irish jumped out to a 14-4 lead with DePaul coughing it up four times and ended the half on a 10-0 run, with Loyd burying a 3 at the buzzer after some neat ball movement.