COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Jewell Loyd scored a career-high 31 points, Kayla McBride had 20 and second-ranked and unbeaten Notre Dame blew a 22-point lead before coming back to beat No. 8 Maryland 87-83 on Monday night.
The Irish (19-0, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) appeared on their way to another easy victory after building a 41-19 lead late in the first half. But Maryland (16-3, 4-2) stormed back behind senior star Alyssa Thomas to go up 64-63 with 10 minutes left.
Notre Dame answered with a 10-2 run and the Terrapins never got even after that.
McBride hit a long jumper as the shot clock was about to expire to make it 87-83 with 12.2 seconds to go, the last in a series of clutch shots by the Irish in their closest game of the season.
Loyd, a 5-foot-10 sophomore guard, missed Notre Dame’s last game with a sprained knee. She returned to score 20 points in the first half and finished 12 for 20 from the floor and 7 for 8 at the foul line.
NO. 19 PURDUE 80, ILLINOIS 68
In Champaign, Ill., Courtney Moses led a balanced scoring attack with 22 points as Purdue beat Illinois for the sixth consecutive time.
KK Houser added 17 points and six assists for Purdue (15-5, 5-3 Big Ten). April Wilson had 15 and eight rebounds and Liza Clemons scored 13.
Purdue will play host to No.
12 Penn State, which sits atop the conference, Thursday. The Boilermakers beat the Lady Lions 84-74 on Jan. 12.
Jacqui Grant scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Illinois (9-11, 2-5). Ivory Crawford added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Illinois pulled within 56-54 midway through the second half after two consecutive baskets by Grant.
Then Purdue went on a 12-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Moses with 6:26 left, and the Boilermakers led by double digits from the 5-minute mark on.