WAVERLY, N.Y. - The first half was not exactly what the Wolverines or the Notre Dame Crusaders had in mind.

Two unbeaten teams were playing for the lead in the IAC and after one half, the game was 16-16 with more turnovers committed in the first half (33), then total points scored (32).

At halftime Waverly coach Brian Miller told his players what needed to happen in the second half.

"He said, 'let's go, stop turning it over,'" Sabrina Bowman said.

"We had to play like we know we can, and should, play," Emily Walker added.

And, in the third quarter that's just what the Wolverines did. After 16 first-half points, the Wolverines scored 14 points in the third quarter, 12 of those coming from Bowman, as they went on to a 44-33 victory.

"I knew I had to get it going," Bowman said. "And, once we got it going, I thought the team had it under control."

For Waverly's players the lack of tight games early in the year contributed to the slow start.

"We were not playing up to our ability," Jenna Bowman said.

"We hadn't really been tested yet," Sabrina Bowman added.

Waverly coach Brian Miller could tell his team was a little tentative early on.

"For both teams, neither team had been tested much the first three games of the year," Miller said. "Both teams were kind of feeling each other out in the first half."

With the game tied at the half, Sabrina Bowman took over in the third quarter.

With 6:04 left in the third Bowman hit a three to make it 19-18.

Sheridan Heine answered with a jumper for Notre Dame to cut the deficit to one, but Bowman answered with another three and Notre Dame would never get closer than three the rest of the game.

After Emily Carson hit a free throw for Notre Dame to make it 22-19, Reylyn Schwartzhoff grabbed a rebound and scored on a the putback to make it 24-19.

Heine got a steal and a layup for the Crusaders to make it 24-21, but Bowman went to the line for eight free throws over the next three minutes, hitting six of them, to boost the lead to 30-21.

"She had a couple of threes, but the key was she got to the free throw line," Miller said. "Those points really start to add up and I think she hit six of them in that quarter."

Notre Dame coach Bob Kelly knew that Bowman was the difference in that second half.

"She played very tough," he said. "She made her free throws, but I think that was a team thing for them, they didn't miss many of them."

Down nine the Crusaders started to battle back as Olivia May, of Ridgebury, and Mara Skordynski scored to cut the deficit to five after three quarters.

"I didn't really get nervous," Sabrina Bowman said.

"We just knew we had to pick it back up."

Bowman hit a three early in the fourth to make it 33-25 and the Wolverines knew that with the lead they would be tough to beat.

"We knew from playing Notre Dame in the past that when we are up it makes us play harder," Bowman said.

After Heine hit two free throws, Bowman hit another three to make it 36-27.

A Skordynski free throw cut the deficit to eight, but Jenna Bowman added two baskets and Victoria Cron had two free throws to help close out the game, before Emiley Myers capped the scoring with two free throws.

"Jenna struggled in the first half, but she hit some key shots in the fourth," Miller said.

With Schwartzhoff and Walker in foul trouble at times, Miller was happy with the way Cron stepped up.

"When Reylyn and Emily were out, Vicki really did a good job," Miller said. "She did a real nice job on Olivia along with Emily Walker.

"We played good team defense on her (May). We really did a good job denying her the ball. I think Vicki's length really helped with that in the fourth quarter."

Waverly's players were happy with the way they defended in the game.

"Our defense was the key," Walker said.

For Notre Dame it was frustrating to play good defense, but struggle with turnovers in the game.

"When you work as hard as we do on defense against a quality team and then just turn around and give the ball back to them, it's tough," Kelly said.

Waverly knows that the victory puts them in the driver's seat in the IAC and they are happy with the win.

"It feels amazing," Sabrina Bowman said.

"It feels great," Walker said.

And, after a couple games where they weren't tested a lot early, the Wolverines were happy to pass their first test.

"It shows us a lot," Sabrina Bowman said. "Notre Dame is one of the only really tough teams we have."

And, getting to face a tough opponent is something the Waverly players believe will make them better.

"It helps us a lot," Sabrina Bowman said.

"It shows us we have to work harder," Walker added.

Bowman led all scorers with 21 points, including four threes, and Jenna Bowman had eight points.

Myers, Walker and Cron had four points each, and Schwartzhoff had three points.

Bowman had 10 steals in the game and two assists and Schwartzhoff had eight boards, four steals and two blocked shots.

Cron had six rebounds, Walker had five boards, Jenna Bowman had four steals and Myers had three steals.

Heine led Notre Dame with 11 points and 10 steals, along with three assists, and May had eight points, while Kaylyn Curran had six points.

Skordynksi had five points, Alivia Clark had two points and Carson had one point.

May and Skordynski each had six boards and Carson had three assists in the game.

Waverly won the JV game 45-30. Kiana Manuel led Waverly with 27 points in the game and Sara Watts had 15 points to lead Notre Dame.