Updated at: 03/26/2013 10:09 PM
By LUKE MEREDITH
(AP) IOWA CITY, Iowa - Kayla McBride scored a career-high 28 points and top-seeded Notre Dame advanced to the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament with a 74-57 win over Iowa on Tuesday night.
Skylar Diggins had 16 as the Fighting Irish (33-1) extended their school-record winning streak to 28 games and finished 13-0 on the road.
Notre Dame will next face 12th-seeded Kansas in Norfolk, Va., on Sunday.
McBride had 23 points in the first half as the Irish built a 12-point advantage. The lead reached 59-39 on Diggins’ layup with 15:30 left as Notre Dame reached the round of 16 for the 11th time in 17 seasons.
Bethany Doolittle had 16 for Iowa (21-13), which went 0 for 11 from 3-point range and had 21 turnovers.
The favored Irish never let the host Hawkeyes take the lead. Though Iowa managed to threaten Notre Dame’s edge at various points in the first half, the Irish pulled away early in the second half and maintained a comfortable lead throughout.
Jewell Loyd had 14 points and Natalie Achonwa added 11 with 14 rebounds for Notre Dame, who outrebounded the Hawkeyes 45-34.
Iowa fared quite well against ranked opponents this season despite an 8-8 mark in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes had beaten seven of the 10 opponents who were ranked when they faced them.
But there’s a big difference between mere ranked teams and Notre Dame, one of a handful of serious national title contenders.
The Hawkeyes immediately discovered the difference.
The Irish hit five of their first seven shots and jumped ahead 15-6. By then, Iowa’s Samantha Logic _ who led the Hawkeyes with 23 points in their opening-round rout of Miami _ had picked up two fouls.
Logic followed up a strong first-round game with nine points and 11 turnovers.
Still, Iowa got within 24-18 and ignited the home crowd for the first time. It didn’t last, as Diggins hit a contested mid-range jumper and McBride pulled up for a long 3 and a 31-18 edge.
McBride had two more momentum-busting 3s from nearly the same spot to put Notre Dame up 46-34 at halftime.
McBride, fresh off her first double-double of the season, hit eight baskets in the first half and four 3s in five tries. She matched her career high of 26 points early in the second half, and the Irish had their first 20-point lead a few minutes later.
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