TOLEDO, Ohio — Michaela Mabrey scored 11 of her 16 points in the first half, and top-seeded Notre Dame breezed to a 93-42 victory Saturday in its NCAA tournament opener against 16th-seeded Robert Morris.

Jewell Loyd and Natalie Achonwa added 15 points each for the unbeaten Fighting Irish, who are trying for their fourth straight Final Four appearance. Notre Dame (33-0) is a No. 1 seed for the third straight season.

The Irish will take on ninth-seeded Arizona State in the second round Monday.

Robert Morris (21-12) shot 27 percent from the field. Greek star Artemis Spanou, one of the top players in Northeast Conference history, was held to seven points and attempted only four shots from the field.

Notre Dame won its last two first-round games at the NCAA tournament by 31 and 33 points. The margin was wider than that at halftime of this one, with the Irish up 50-15. Mabrey made back-to-back 3-pointers during a 25-4 run that put Notre Dame ahead 32-8.

It looked like a tuneup in every way for the Irish, who did not have any player exceed Mabrey’s total of 23 minutes. She shot 6 of 7 from the field and made four 3-pointers.


Madison Cable scored 13 points for Notre Dame, and Ariel Braker contributed 10.

The Irish outscored Robert Morris 50-8 in the paint.

Spanou became the third player in NEC history to earn player of the year honors in back-to-back seasons, but Notre Dame was ready for her. She played 39 minutes and finished with six rebounds and four assists. But she also turned the ball over eight times.

With less than a minute to play, she came out of the game and went down the line of coaches and teammates, receiving hugs.

Anna Niki Stamolamprou led the Colonials with 12 points.

Any hope Robert Morris had of keeping this game close was pretty much dashed by Notre Dame’s outside shooting. The Irish, who came in shooting 34 percent from 3-point range, went 10 of 18 from beyond that arc.

Cable went 3 of 4 from long distance, part of an efficient overall performance for the heavy favorites. Loyd shot 7 of 11 from the field and had seven rebounds. Lindsay Allen had seven assists in 20 minutes.

Five Notre Dame players reached double figures in scoring, and 10 played at least 10 minutes. Blowouts like this are fairly common for a team as dominant as the Irish, who gave no indication that they’re anything less than deserving of their status as one of the tournament’s most feared teams.

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