March 2, 2016
by Chris Masters
2015-16 ND Women’s Basketball: Game 30
Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament – Quarterfinal
#2/3 [#1 seed] Notre Dame Fighting Irish (28-1 / 16-0 ACC) vs. [#8 seed] Duke Blue Devils (19-11 / 8-8 ACC) or [#9 seed] Virginia Cavaliers (16-14 / 6-10 ACC)
DATE: March 4, 2016
TIME: 2:00 p.m. ET
AT: Greensboro, N.C. – Greensboro Coliseum (23,500)
SERIES: ND leads DU 12-1 / ND leads UVA 3-2
TV: ACC-Regional Sports Networks/ESPN3/WatchESPN (live)
RADIO: Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND (watchnd.tv) (live) (Bob Nagle, p-b-p)
LIVE STATS: theacc.com
TEXT ALERT: UND.com
TWITTER: @NDsidMasters / @ndwbb
- Notre Dame has earned the No. 1 seed in its conference tournament for the fifth consecutive year and 10th time in head coach Muffet McGraw’s tenure (since 1987-88).
- Notre Dame is 19-1 (.950) all-time when playing in the state of North Carolina, including an 8-0 record in neutral-site games.
No. 2/3 Fighting Irish Bound For ACC Tournament
After securing its third consecutive outright ACC regular-season title, No. 2/3 Notre Dame now focuses on this weekend’s ACC Tournament. The top-seeded Fighting Irish have a double-bye into the quarterfinal round, where they await No. 8 seed Duke or No. 9 seed Virginia at 2 p.m. (ET) Friday at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. The game will air live on the ACC-Regional Sports Networks, as well as ESPN3 and WatchESPN, while radio coverage is available on South Bend’s Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and the official Notre Dame athletics multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv).
Notre Dame (28-1, 16-0) wrapped up the ACC crown on Feb. 27 with a 70-58 victory over Boston College at Purcell Pavilion. The Fighting Irish made 10 of their first 11 shots and never looked back en route to the Senior Day win.
- Notre Dame is No. 2 in this week’s Associated Press poll and is No. 3 in this week’s WBCA/USA Today poll.
- Duke and Virginia are not ranked.
- Notre Dame has clinched its third consecutive outright ACC regular-season title and its school-record fifth consecutive conference crown, dating back to its final two seasons in the BIG EAST. Notre Dame is the third ACC school to win three consecutive outright regular-season championships, joining Virginia (1991-96) and Duke (2001-04).
- The Fighting Irish have earned the No. 1 seed for the ACC Tournament and will place in the top four of the final conference standings for the 26th time in head coach Muffet McGraw’s 29 seasons at Notre Dame (covering four different leagues).
- Notre Dame is off to a 28-1 start or better for the third time in four years and fourth time in program history (also 2000-01, 2012-13 and 2013-14).
- The Fighting Irish have registered their seventh consecutive 25-win season and the 13th in program history (all within the past 20 seasons).
- The Fighting Irish are 8-1 against ranked opponents this season, and also registered a win over UCLA on Nov. 28 in the Bahamas, two days before the Bruins entered the Associated Press poll (UCLA is 12th in this week’s AP poll and 14th in this week’s WBCA/USA Today coaches’ poll).
- Despite losing two starters from the lineup that opened last April’s NCAA championship game in Tampa (and missing a third – sophomore forward Brianna Turner – with an injury for six games), Notre Dame has scarcely missed a beat this season, led in large measure by two first-time starters in graduate student guard Madison Cable (scoring up from 6.2 to 13.6 ppg.) and sophomore forward Kathryn Westbeld (6.7 to 8.0 ppg.), as well as the reliable production off the bench from freshman guards Arike Ogunbowale (12.2 ppg.) and Marina Mabrey (10.9 ppg.).
- The Fighting Irish feature a very balanced attack with four players currently posting double-figure scoring averages (and two others at 8.0 ppg. or better). Of those six, two are freshmen (Marina Mabrey and Ogunbowale), and two are sophomores (Turner and Westbeld).
- Notre Dame’s bench play has been sharp this season, with the Fighting Irish reserves averaging 30.1 points per game, compared to 14.5 ppg. for their opponent’s bench.
- Notre Dame ranks among the top 25 in six NCAA statistical categories (as of Tuesday), including five top-10 rankings — field-goal percentage (3rd – .495), three-point field-goal percentage (4th – .404), scoring margin (5th – +19.3 ppg.), assists (9th – 18.1 apg.) and scoring offense (10th – 79.5 ppg.). The Fighting Irish also rank 22nd in assist/turnover ratio (1.21), while standing third in the non-statistical measure of win-loss percentage (.966).
- Including this week’s No. 2 ranking, Notre Dame has appeared in the Associated Press poll for 172 consecutive weeks (the past 102 weeks in the AP Top 10), extending a program record that dates back to the 2007-08 preseason poll, and ranking fourth in the nation among active AP poll appearances.
- Notre Dame has been ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll for 114 of 125 weeks this decade (since 2010-11), ranking second in the nation in that category behind only Connecticut (125).
- Every current Fighting Irish player has competed for a top-10 Notre Dame squad during her career, with the vast majority of that time (70 of 76 weeks) spent in the top five of the Associated Press poll.
- Notre Dame is ranked No. 3 in this week’s Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today poll, making its 139th consecutive appearance in that survey. It’s also the eighth consecutive season and 14 of the past 18 years the Fighting Irish have appeared in the top 10 of the coaches’ poll.
- Notre Dame has a remarkable tradition of success at home inside Purcell Pavilion, with the Fighting Irish owning a 433-91 (.826) all-time record in 39 seasons at the facility, including a 110-6 (.948) record since the arena was renovated prior to the 2009-10 season.
- Including regular season and postseason play, the Fighting Irish have won 94 of their last 98 games against conference opponents (and a school-record 34 in a row at home), dating back to their membership in the BIG EAST.
- Since joining the ACC prior to the 2013-14 season, Notre Dame is 54-1 against conference foes (47-1 regular season, 7-0 postseason). Notre Dame is just the second ACC school to lose only once in regular-season conference play during a three-year span (Duke also went 47-1 from 2002-04).
- Guards Madison Cable, Hannah Huffman and Michaela Mabrey have helped Notre Dame to a 136-7 (.951) record in their careers, putting them on pace to challenge last year’s senior class of Whitney Holloway and Markisha Wright as the most successful in Fighting Irish history. Holloway and Wright helped Notre Dame to a 143-10 (.935) record in their four-year careers, with those 143 wins tying for the second-most victories by any four-year class in NCAA Division I history (the Connecticut class of 2011 amassed 150 wins, while the Louisiana Tech class of 1982 also had 143 victories).
- Since they first suited up at Notre Dame in 2012-13, Cable, Huffman and Mabrey have paced Notre Dame to two NCAA national championship games and three NCAA Women’s Final Fours (plus four conference regular season titles and three league tournament crowns), as well as a 47-6 (.887) record against ranked teams (25-6 against top-10 opponents).
- With 727 victories in her 29 seasons at Notre Dame, head coach Muffet McGraw ranks second on the Fighting Irish athletics all-time coaching wins list (across all sports), trailing only men’s/women’s fencing coach Michael DeCicco (799-90 from 1962-95).
- With 815 career wins, McGraw ranks 10th in NCAA Division I coaching history (seventh among active coaches). She also is one of two ACC coaches in the top 10 all-time, along with current North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell (third all-time/second among active with 975 as of Tuesday).
The Notre Dame-Duke Series
Notre Dame and Duke could meet for the 14th time in their series history on Friday, with the Fighting Irish holding a 12-1 edge all-time against the Blue Devils after earning a 68-61 victory in the regular-season matchup between the clubs on Feb. 1 in Durham.
Notre Dame is 4-0 all-time against Duke in the postseason, including wins in the past two ACC Tournaments (69-53 in the 2014 championship game and 55-49 in last year’s semifinals).
The Last Time Notre Dame and Duke Met
No. 3 Notre Dame found itself trailing late in a road game against an angry conference rival with something to prove. The Fighting Irish can win those types of games, too — especially with Madison Cable playing so well.
Cable scored 18 points and Notre Dame beat Duke, 68-61 on Feb. 1 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.
Notre Dame blew a 13-point lead and trailed by five with under six minutes to play before reeling off 13 consecutive points while holding Duke scoreless for 6 1/2 minutes.
Rebecca Greenwell had 16 points to lead Duke. Her twisting, left-handed layup with seven minutes left put the Blue Devils up 55-50, but they followed that with 10 empty possessions while Notre Dame took over.
Cable hit the Fighting Irish’s biggest shot in that stretch, a 3-pointer from the right wing with just under four minutes left that put Notre Dame ahead to stay. She added a steal and layup a minute later to make it 61-55.
Freshman Kyra Lambert ended Duke’s drought with a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left, and she pulled the Blue Devils to 65-61 with a three-point play with 27 seconds to play. Turner and Michaela Mabrey then sealed it by going a combined 3-of-6 on free throws after that.
Other Notre Dame-Duke Series Tidbits
- Notre Dame is 32-2 (.941) all-time against North Carolina schools, including an active 21-game winning streak.
- The Fighting Irish are 19-1 (.950) all-time when playing in the state of North Carolina. Along with its 11-1 record in true road games, Notre Dame is 8-0 on neutral courts in the state, winning the past two ACC Tournament titles in Greensboro (three wins each) and claiming the 2012 NCAA Raleigh Regional title with victories over St. Bonaventure and Maryland at PNC Arena in Raleigh.
- The Fighting Irish are 4-0 this season against teams from the Old North State, having defeated North Carolina (88-54) on Jan. 10 at Purcell Pavilion, winning at Duke (68-61) on Feb. 1, toppling North Carolina State (82-46) at home on Feb. 4, and most recently prevailing at Wake Forest (86-52) on Feb. 18.
- In its 39-year history, Notre Dame has had just two North Carolina natives on its all-time roster — Raleigh product Mary Joan Forbes (1980-81) and Charlotte resident Erica Williamson (2006-10).
- Three future Fighting Irish and Blue Devil players will compete in the 2016 McDonald’s High School All-America Game on March 30 at Chicago’s United Center (6:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU). Notre Dame incoming freshman guard Jackie Young (one of five finalists for the Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year award and Naismith High School Player of the Year honor) and Duke incoming forward Leaonna Odom will play for the West Team against an East squad whose roster includes future Fighting Irish forward Erin Boley (who joins Young as a finalist for the Naismith High School Player of the Year award).
- Notre Dame and Duke had a combined four players that suited up in last year’s McDonald’s High School All-America Game at the United Center in Chicago. The Fighting Irish freshman guard trio of Marina Mabrey, Arike Ogunbowale and Ali Patberg all competed for the East Team that pulled out an 89-87 win over a West Team that included Duke freshman guard Kyra Lambert (Mabrey shared the game’s Co-Most Valuable Player award).
- Three participants from the 2014 McDonald’s High School All-America Game (played at the United Center in Chicago) appear on the teams’ rosters. Notre Dame sophomore forward Kathryn Westbeld and Duke second-year forward Lynee’ Belton played for the East Team, which dropped a narrow 80-78 decision to a West squad led by Fighting Irish sophomore forward Brianna Turner (the game’s Most Valuable Player).
- Four players from the 2013 McDonald’s High School All-America Game (also played at Chicago’s United Center) are on this year’s Fighting Irish and Blue Devil rosters. A pair of Notre Dame juniors — guard Lindsay Allen and forward Taya Reimer — played for the East Team, while Duke junior Oderah Chidom and redshirt sophomore Rebecca Greenwell helped the West squad to a 92-64 win.
- Allen, Reimer and Notre Dame freshman forward Brianna Turner played alongside Chidom and Greenwell on the 2012 USA Basketball U17 World Championship Team that won the gold medal with a perfect 8-0 record in the tournament, which was contested in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- Reimer and Greenwell made up half the USA Basketball roster at the inaugural FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championship in 2011 in Rimini, Italy. That squad earned honorary bronze medals from FIBA after being forced to forfeit its third-place game vs. Japan when Reimer and Greenwell were injured.
- Reimer and Greenwell were teammates on the 2011 USA Basketball U16 National Team that won gold at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Merida, Mexico.
- Duke vice president/director of athletics Kevin White spent eight years (2000-08) in a similar role at Notre Dame, and was at the helm when the Fighting Irish women’s basketball team won the 2001 national championship. Several of White’s lieutenants on the Duke athletics staff also have Notre Dame ties, including deputy director of athletics Nina King (director of rules education at Notre Dame from 2005-08; graduated from Notre Dame in 2000, earning bachelor’s of business administration degree from Mendoza College of Business; served as head student manager for Fighting Irish women’s swimming & diving program as a senior in 1999-2000).
- Duke’s director of marketing & promotions Nicole Jones held several roles in Notre Dame’s marketing & promotions department from 2003-10.
- Duke assistant director for resource acquisition David Brochu was part of the staff with Notre Dame Sports Properties from 2007-10.
- Duke associate head coach for track & field B.J. Linnenbrink was an assistant track & field coach at Notre Dame from 2003-07, working with the Fighting Irish throwers.
- Duke volunteer assistant women’s tennis coach Michelle Dasso is a 2001 graduate of Notre Dame, where she was a four-time All-American and the 2001 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Senior Player of the Year, and set program records for career wins in singles (140) and doubles (109). Dasso then served as an assistant coach at her alma mater from 2003-06, earning the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2006.
The Notre Dame-Virginia Series
Notre Dame and Virginia would play for just the sixth time if they square off in Friday’s ACC Tournament quarterfinals. The Fighting Irish have taken a slim 3-2 edge in the series against the Cavaliers, with Virginia winning the first two meetings, and Notre Dame the last three (all since the Fighting Irish joined the ACC prior to 2013-14).
Friday would mark the first time Notre Dame and Virginia meet in postseason play, although the Cavaliers have previously defeated the Fighting Irish at a neutral site (68-40 on Feb. 22, 1981, at the Rosemont Horizon — now called Allstate Arena — in Chicago).
The Last Time Notre Dame and Virginia Met
Brianna Turner had 19 points and nine rebounds and No. 3 Notre Dame pulled away from Virginia early for a 74-46 victory on Jan. 7 at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Mikayla Venson scored 17 points to lead Virginia. The Cavaliers shot just 30 percent (16 of 54) and were dominated inside. Notre Dame finished with a 38-4 advantage scoring in the paint and won the rebounding battle 45-28, including an 18-2 edge in second-chance points.
The Fighting Irish raced away from Virginia with a 20-8 run that began in the closing seconds of the first quarter and continued through the remainder of the first half. The Cavaliers never cut the margin to single digits from that point on, while Notre Dame steadily widened its lead to as much as 30 points by the middle of the fourth quarter.
Other Notre Dame-Virginia Series Tidbits
- Notre Dame is 15-8 (.652) all-time against Virginia schools, having won their last nine games against the Commonwealth. In addition to defeating Virginia this season, the Fighting Irish downed Virginia Tech, 80-41 on Jan. 24 at Purcell Pavilion.
- The Fighting Irish are 8-7 (.533) against Virginia schools away from home (road/neutral sites combined) and have won their last four road games against teams from the Commonwealth.
- Fighting Irish associate coach Beth Cunningham is no stranger to Virginia, having spent 11 seasons (2001-12) on the women’s basketball staff at VCU, the final nine (2003-12) as the Rams’ head coach before returning to her alma mater prior to the 2012-13 season.
- Of the 160 players who have suited up for the Notre Dame women’s basketball program during its 39-year history, only one has been a Virginia native. Cynthia Battel, a guard from Fairfax, appeared in 12 games for the Fighting Irish during the program’s second varsity seaon (1978-79), averaging 1.8 points and 0.8 assists per game.
- Prior to assuming his current post, Virginia baseball coach Brian O’Connor spent nine seasons (1995-2003) as assistant/associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Notre Dame, most notably serving as the pitching coach while helping the Fighting Irish reach the 2002 College World Series.
- Virginia assistant athletics director for media relations Jim Daves served as assistant and associate sports information director at Notre Dame from 1986-92, spending his first four years in South Bend as the Fighting Irish women’s basketball media relations contact (the last three of those alongside current Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw, who arrived in South Bend in 1987).
- McGraw’s arrival at Notre Dame was due in no small part to then-Fighting Irish athletics director Gene Corrigan, who hired McGraw as one of his final acts in South Bend before taking over as Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner months later and leading the ACC from 1987-97. Corrigan came to Notre Dame in 1981 following 10 years at Virginia.
- The Corrigan family has several other ties to Notre Dame, most notably the current Fighting Irish head men’s lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan, who is in his 28th season at Notre Dame in 2016. During his tenure, Kevin Corrigan (a 1982 Virginia graduate) has led the current No. 1-ranked Fighting Irish to five NCAA Final Fours, including national title game appearances in 2010 and 2014, and 17 conference titles, most recently the 2015 ACC crown.
- Kevin’s brother, Boo Corrigan, is a 1990 Notre Dame graduate and spent five years (2003-08) as an associate athletics director at the University, working closely with the Fighting Irish athletics marketing and corporate relations. He currently is in his fifth year as athletics director at Army West Point, where his senior woman administrator is Stephanie Menio, Notre Dame’s director of women’s basketball operations from 2005-12.
Irish In The ACC Tournament
- Notre Dame opens play in its third ACC Tournament this weekend, looking to defend the ACC postseason crowns it has earned to cap off its first two seasons in the conference.
- Between their memberships in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now known as the Horizon League), BIG EAST Conference and ACC, the Fighting Irish have played in 28 league tournaments entering this weekend’s action, compiling a 42-19 (.689) record in conference tournament games.
- In that time (1989-present), Notre Dame has won eight titles (MCC-5, ACC-2, BIG EAST-1) and reached the tournament championship game 14 times, while advancing to the league tournament semifinals in 19 of those 28 seasons.
- Before entering the ACC in 2013-14, the Fighting Irish posted a 24-17 (.585) record in 18 BIG EAST Championship appearances. Notre Dame also won the 2013 BIG EAST title (61-59 at Connecticut on a layup by Natalie Achonwa with 1.8 seconds left) in the last of their seven title game appearances (1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013). In addition, the Fighting Irish reached the BIG EAST semifinals in 11 of their 18 years.
- Prior to joining the BIG EAST in 1995-96, Notre Dame won the MCC Tournament five times, all in six-year span (1989-92, 1994), and made the tournament semifinals in 1995 (its final year in that conference).
Other ACC Tournament Tidbits
- Notre Dame is the No. 1 seed in its conference tournament for the fifth consecutive year, and 10th time in 29 years (also 1990, 1991, 1994 and 1995 in the MCC; 2001, 2012 and 2013 in the BIG EAST; 2014 and 2015 in the ACC). In nine previous tournaments as a top seed, Notre Dame has won six titles (1990, 1991 and 1994 MCC; 2013 BIG EAST; 2014 and 2015 ACC) and reached the championship game on two other occasions (2001 and 2012 BIG EAST).
- Dating back to the start of its BIG EAST tenure in 1995-96, the Fighting Irish are 24-7 (.774) in conference tournaments when playing as the higher seed.
- Beginning with the classic 2001 BIG EAST title game against Connecticut (won by the Huskies on Sue Bird’s fadeaway jumper at the buzzer), 19 of the past 31 Fighting Irish games in the tournament have been decided by 11 points or fewer (Notre Dame is 9-10 in these close contests), including 13 by single digits (7-6 record).
- Since 1995-96, more than half (24) of Notre Dame’s 46 conference tournament games have featured margins of 11 points or fewer, with the Fighting Irish going 12-12 (.500) in those games.
- Notre Dame has been known for its ability to share the basketball like few teams in the sport, a trend that continues this year with the Fighting Irish recording assists on 61.6 percent of their made baskets (525 of 852).
- This should come as no surprise, for in the past six seasons (2009-10 through 2014-15), Notre Dame finished the campaign with assists on more than 60 percent of its baskets five times — and in the sixth (2014-15), the Fighting Irish had assists on 59.5 percent of their field goals.
Spreading The Wealth
- Notre Dame has had at least four players score in double figures in 18 games this year, going 17-1 in those contests.
- Since the start of the 2009-10 season, the Fighting Irish are 135-6 (.957) when they have four or more players reach double digits in the scoring column, including wins in 105 of their last 107 such outings.
- In the past seven seasons, Notre Dame’s only losses when it has fielded at least four double-figure scorers both came against Connecticut – 83-65 in the 2013 NCAA Women’s Final Four national semifinal at New Orleans Arena (now known as the Smoothie King Center), and 91-81 earlier this season on Dec. 5 in the Jimmy V Classic at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut.
- For the season, Notre Dame currently has four players registering double-figure scoring averages (and two others at better than 8.0 ppg.), all of whom are ranked among the top 30 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (as of Tuesday) — sophomore forward Brianna Turner (12th – 14.3 ppg.), graduate student guard Madison Cable (19th – 13.6 ppg.), freshman guard Arike Ogunbowale (24th – 12.2 ppg.; fifth among ACC rookies) and freshman guard Marina Mabrey (29th – 10.9 ppg.; sixth among ACC rookies).
Three For The Money
- Notre Dame has heated up from the three-point line in a big way, canning 173 treys this season (5.97 per game).
- At their current pace, the Fighting Irish would top the single-season program record for three-pointers per game (5.74 in 1998-99). In fact, only once in the past 13 seasons has Notre Dame averaged five treys per game (2013-14, when it made exactly five per contest and a school-record 190 total).
- Notre Dame’s 173 three-pointers this year are tied for fourth on the school’s single-season list, and the sixth time in seven years (all but 2010-11) the Fighting Irish have knocked down at least 160 treys in one season.
- The Fighting Irish tied a school record with 13 three-pointers on Dec. 5 at top-ranked Connecticut. The 13 triples (which Notre Dame last registered on Jan. 2, 2002, at Miami) also matched two UConn opponent records for three-pointers in a single game (overall and Gampel Pavilion).
- That performance was the first of five times this year the Fighting Irish have made at least 10 three-pointers in a game, with four of those coming against ranked opponents (Dec. 9 vs. #18/17 DePaul; Dec. 30 vs. Georgia Tech; Jan. 21 vs. #RV/24 Syracuse and Feb. 22 at #12/9 Florida State).
- Notre Dame’s .650 three-point percentage (13-of-20) at UConn was the highest against the Huskies since March 26, 2007, when LSU made 7-of-10 three-pointers (.700) against UConn in the NCAA Fresno Regional final (Elite Eight) in Fresno, California.
- The Fighting Irish rank fourth in country in three-point percentage (as of Tuesday), now connecting at a .404 clip from beyond the arc, while graduate student guard Madison Cable (.457) currently leads the ACC and ranks as the nation’s No. 4 individual three-point shooter.
- This marks the first time since 2000-01 that Notre Dame has had two players make at least 55 three-pointers in the same season (Cable-58; Michaela Mabrey-55). In 2000-01, Alicia Ratay (81) and current Fighting Irish associate coach/recruiting coordinator Niele Ivey (57) both topped that total from beyond the arc, a year after they were the only pair in program history to each make 60 treys in one season (Ratay-73, Ivey-61 in 1999-2000).
The Second Platoon
- Another reason for Notre Dame’s success this season has been the performance of its reserves, who are averaging more than 30 points per game and have outscored the opponent’s bench by more than a 2-to-1 margin (30.1 ppg. to 14.5 ppg.).
- The Notre Dame reserves have combined to score at least 30 points in 14 games this year, including seven 40-point outings.
- The Fighting Irish second unit has outscored the opponent’s bench in 27 games this season, including a season-high 64 points on Nov. 23 at Valparaiso, outscoring the entire Crusader roster by 10 points (not to mention the Notre Dame starters by 18).
- The Fighting Irish reserves also outscored the full Virginia Tech roster on Jan. 24, edging the Hokies, 42-41 (and outscoring the Notre Dame starters by four).
- In addition to the Valparaiso and Virginia Tech games, the Fighting Irish bench came close to outscoring the entire opposing team on two other occasions — Nov. 18 vs. Toledo (UT 39, ND reserves 32) and Nov. 27 vs. Denver at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas (DU 52, ND reserves 48).
- A pair of ACC All-Freshman Team guards — Arike Ogunbowale (12.2 ppg.) and Marina Mabrey (10.9 ppg.) head up the Fighting Irish bench contingent, which has seen at least one reserve score in double figures in 25 games this year (total of 40 double-figure outings).
- Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Notre Dame has posted a 136-7 (.951) record.
- In that four-year span, six of the seven Fighting Irish losses have come against top-three teams, including the past five against Connecticut — No. 3 Baylor (73-61 on Dec. 5, 2012, at Purcell Pavilion), No. 3 Connecticut (83-65 on April 7, 2013, in the NCAA Women’s Final Four national semifinals at New Orleans Arena – now known as the Smoothie King Center – in New Orleans, Louisiana), No. 1 Connecticut (79-58 on April 8, 2014, in the NCAA Women’s Final Four national championship game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee), No. 3 Connecticut (76-58 on Dec. 6, 2014, in the Jimmy V Classic at Purcell Pavilion), No. 1 Connecticut (63-53 on April 7, 2015, in the NCAA Women’s Final Four national championship game at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida) and No. 1 Connecticut (91-81 on Dec. 5, 2015, in the Jimmy V Classic in Storrs, Connecticut).
- The other loss came on Jan. 8, 2015, with a 78-63 setback at Miami. That defeat ended Notre Dame’s 61-game winning streak against unranked opponents in the Associated Press poll, the second-longest active run in the nation (research for this note provided by STATS via the AP).
- Including postseason tournament results (league and NCAA), Notre Dame has won 94 of its last 98 games against conference opponents, dating back to the start of the 2011 BIG EAST Conference Tournament.
- Since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference prior to the 2013-14 season, the Fighting Irish are 54-1 against league opponents, going 47-1 in the regular season and 7-0 in the postseason (including a win over then-ACC member Maryland in the 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four national semifinals).
- Notre Dame is just the second ACC program to go three seasons with only one combined loss. From 2002-04, Duke mirrored the current 47-1 Fighting Irish record.
- Notre Dame’s only loss to an ACC opponent since joining the conference came on Jan. 8, 2015 — a 78-63 defeat at Miami that ended a school-record streak of 38 consecutive wins in regular season conference games that began in the program’s BIG EAST era.
- Since the loss at Miami, Notre Dame has won its last 32 games against ACC opponents (29 in the regular season, plus three more in the 2015 ACC Tournament), the third-longest active winning streak in the nation against conference opponents (Connecticut-75, Florida Gulf Coast-42).
- The Fighting Irish have won a school-record 34 consecutive home games against conference opponents, a streak that began on Feb. 14, 2012, with a 66-47 win over Providence. The previous school record for consecutive home conference wins (31) was set from Dec. 12, 1998-Feb. 19, 2002 during the program’s BIG EAST membership.
That Championship Feeling
- With its 70-58 victory over Boston College on Feb. 27, Notre Dame secured its fifth consecutive outright conference regular-season title, and third in as many years as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
- Notre Dame has won five consecutive outright league regular season championships (2012-13 in BIG EAST; 2014-16 in ACC) for the first time in its 39-year history, after winning three in a row just once before.
- In their first three seasons (1988-89 to 1990-91) in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (Horizon League), the Fighting Irish won the regular season title each time, although they shared the MCC crown in their inaugural league season with Loyola-Chicago.
- Notre Dame is the third program to earn three consecutive outright ACC regular-season crowns and first since Duke won four in a row from 2001-04.
- Notre Dame is the second program from outside the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle to collect three consecutive outright ACC regular-season championships and the first since Virginia won six in a row from 1991-96.
— ND —
Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s basketball and women’s golf programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).