Feb. 17, 2016
by Chris Masters
2015-16 ND Women’s Basketball: Game 26
#2/3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (24-1 / 12-0 ACC) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (15-11 / 6-7 ACC)
DATE: Feb. 18, 2016
TIME: 7:00 p.m. ET
AT: Winston-Salem, N.C. – Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum (14,665)
SERIES: ND leads 3-0
STREAK: ND – won 3
1ST MTG: ND 92-69 (11/27/10)
LAST MTG: ND 92-63 (2/1/15)
RADIO: Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND (live) (Bob Nagle, p-b-p)
TEXT ALERT: UND.com
TWITTER: @NDsidMasters / @ndwbb
- Notre Dame is 18-1 all-time when playing in the state of North Carolina, including a 10-1 record in true road games.
- With a victory on Thursday, the Fighting Irish can secure a top-four seed and a double-bye for the upcoming ACC Tournament.
No. 2/3 Fighting Irish On Tobacco Road Thursday At Wake Forest
With less than two weeks to go in the regular season, the ACC race remains tight as No. 2/3 Notre Dame begins its stretch drive at 7 p.m. (ET) Thursday when it travels to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to take on Wake Forest at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. While the game will not be televised, radio coverage will be available on South Bend’s Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and worldwide online via the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv).
Notre Dame (24-1, 12-0) remains atop the conference standings following a wire-to-wire 90-69 victory over No. 19/17 Miami on Sunday afternoon. The Fighting Irish shot 54.2 percent from the field and led by as many as 36 points in the fourth quarter en route to their 17th consecutive 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.
- Wake Forest is receiving votes in this week’s WBCA/USA Today poll.
- Notre Dame is off to a 24-1 start or better for the fourth time in five years and fifth time in program history (also 2000-01, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14).
- The Fighting Irish have registered their 22nd 20-win season in the past 23 years (1993-2016) and the 26th in head coach Muffet McGraw’s 29 seasons at Notre Dame.
- The Fighting Irish are 7-1 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 tied for 12th in this week’s AP poll and is ranked 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 13.7 ppg.) and sophomore forward Kathryn Westbeld (6.7 to 8.2 ppg.), as well as the reliable production off the bench from freshman guards Arike Ogunbowale (11.8 ppg.) and Marina Mabrey (11.4 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 30.3 points per game, compared to 14.4 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 – .491), three-point field-goal percentage (4th – .411), scoring margin (6th – +19.5 ppg.), assists (9th – 18.0 apg.) and scoring offense (10th – 80.2 ppg.). The Fighting Irish also rank 23rd in assist/turnover ratio (1.20), while standing third in the non-statistical measure of win-loss percentage (.960).
- Including this week’s season-high No. 2 ranking, Notre Dame has appeared in the Associated Press poll for 170 consecutive weeks (the past 100 weeks in the AP Top 10), extending a program record that dates back to the 2007-08 preseason poll, and ranking fifth in the nation among active AP poll appearances.
- Notre Dame has been ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll for 112 of 123 weeks this decade (since 2010-11), ranking second in the nation in that category behind only Connecticut (123).
- Every current Fighting Irish player has competed for a top-10 Notre Dame squad during her career, with the vast majority of that time (68 of 74 weeks) spent in the top five of the Associated Press poll.
- Notre Dame remains ranked No. 3 in this week’s Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today poll, making its 137th 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 431-91 (.826) all-time record in 39 seasons at the facility, including a 108-6 (.947) record since the arena was renovated prior to the 2009-10 season.
- Including regular season and postseason play, the Fighting Irish have won 90 of their last 94 games against conference opponents (and a school-record 32 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 50-1 against conference foes (43-1 regular season, 7-0 postseason). The last ACC school to lose only once in regular-season conference play during a two-year span was Duke in 2003 and 2004.
- Guards Madison Cable, Hannah Huffman and Michaela Mabrey have helped Notre Dame to a 132-7 (.950) 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 three conference regular season titles and three league tournament crowns), as well as a 46-6 (.885) record against ranked teams (24-6 against top-10 opponents).
- With 723 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 (774-80 from 1962-95).
- With 811 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 (second all-time/first among active with 975 as of Tuesday).
The Notre Dame-Wake Forest Series
Notre Dame and Wake Forest will play for just the fourth time in their series history on Thursday night. The Fighting Irish are 3-0 all-time against the Demon Deacons (the last two coming since Notre Dame joined the ACC in 2013-14) and prevailed in their only prior visit to Winston-Salem.
The Last Time Notre Dame and Wake Forest Met
The Notre Dame press impressed coach Muffet McGraw.
The fourth-ranked Fighting Irish turned up the pressure and forced Wake Forest into 30 turnovers, leading to 42 points by Notre Dame in a 92-63 win on Feb. 1, 2015, at Purcell Pavilion.
After the Demon Deacons drew within 10 points, the Fighting Irish held them to three baskets in the final 11 minutes.
“I thought we did a really good job during that stretch,” McGraw said. “The press was effective, we caused some turnovers there and we made them rush a little bit and they threw it away at the other end. So I thought the press made a difference.”
After cutting the lead to 63-53, the Demon Deacons turned the ball over on their next five possessions. They had 10 turnovers in the last 11 minutes.
“We’ve just got to take care of the ball better,” Wake Forest coach Jen Hoover. “We got too careless with the basketball. You can’t give a team 42 points off of turnovers. Those are freebies. We can’t beat ourselves in those situations.”
The Fighting Irish took control with a 14-0 run in the first half and ended a threat by the Demon Deacons in the second half with a 13-0 burst.
“We just can’t give them those runs and those runs are typically sparked by turnovers,” Hoover said.
Jewell Loyd led the Fighting Irish with 20 points, Lindsay Allen added 18 points, eight assists and four steals and Madison Cable had 12 points and a career-high six steals and provided a spark for the Fighting Irish, including a four-point play.
“I thought Madison Cable has played as well as she’s played all year long,” McGraw said. “That was a phenomenal game defensively.”
Dearica Hamby led Wake Forest with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Milan Quinn finished with a career-high 14 points.
Hamby kept the Demon Deacons in the game early, scoring 11 of Wake Forest’s first 22 points in the opening 12 minutes. Wake Forest led briefly, going ahead 9-6 lead early on a 17-foot jumper by Kelila Atkinson. The Fighting Irish twice opened six-point leads, but Hamby kept hitting shots to keep the Demon Deacons close.
She followed a three-point play with a layup to cut the lead to 19-18 and scored inside again moments later to cut the lead to 23-22. But after Allen made a pair of free throws to give Notre Dame a 25-22 lead, Hamby was taken out for a moment. The Fighting Irish responded with a pair of fastbreak baskets by Brianna Turner and Allen and the run continued when Hamby returned to the game with another fastbreak layup by Allen as Notre Dame used a 14-0 run to open a 37-22 lead.
The Last Time Notre Dame and Wake Forest Met in Winston-Salem
Jewell Loyd had 29 points and 10 rebounds and two other players finished in double figures as No. 2 Notre Dame shook off a poor shooting night to ease past Wake Forest, 86-61 on Feb. 20, 2014, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Notre Dame shot just 39.4 percent (28-of-71), its second-worst game of the season to date. It was the first time the Fighting Irish had been under 40 percent since beating then-No. 10 Penn State on Dec. 4.
However, the Fighting Irish forced Wake Forest into 22 turnovers, held the Demon Deacons to 35.7 percent shooting (20-of-56) and outrebounded them 49-39.
The turnovers led to a 30-12 advantage for the Fighting Irish in points, and 20 offensive rebounds gave them an 18-11 scoring advantage in second-chance points.
Notre Dame also made 27 of 31 from the free-throw line, 15 of 17 coming in the second half as the Fighting Irish built on their 51-39 halftime lead.
Wake Forest shot just 22 percent from the field (6-of-27) in the second half after hitting 48.3 percent (14-of-29) in the first half.
That allowed the Fighting Irish to expand their 12-point halftime lead. They went ahead by 20 points for the first time, 70-50, on Loyd’s two free throws with 7:39 left, and scored the game’s final 10 points for the final margin.
Dearica Hamby had 26 points and Jill Brunori added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Wake Forest, which made just five of 16 three-pointers and went 16 of 29 from the foul line.
Other Notre Dame-Wake Forest Series Tidbits
- In its 2010 game against Wake Forest, Notre Dame set school and Purcell Pavilion records (the latter still standing, the former now second all-time) for free throws made, going 37 of 43 from the stripe. The 43 attempts also still rank among the top five in school and arena history, with the only higher marks in the past 15 seasons coming on Dec. 30, 2011, when the Fighting Irish went 43 of 52 from the gift line in a 128-42 win at Mercer.
- Notre Dame is 31-2 (.939) all-time against North Carolina schools (including an active 20-game winning streak), with a 10-1 record in true road games (the lone loss being an 80-62 setback at Duke on Nov. 22, 1997).
- The Fighting Irish are 18-1 (.947) all-time when playing in the state of North Carolina. Along with its 10-1 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 3-0 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, and most recently toppling North Carolina State (82-46) at home on Feb. 4.
- 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).
- Prior to his current appointment, Wake Forest president Dr. Nathan O. Hatch spent 30 years (1975-2005) in various roles at Notre Dame, including time on the faculty in the University’s history department (1975-89), and later serving in administrative capacities as associate dean and acting dean of the College of Arts and Letters (1983-89), vice president for graduate studies and research (1989-96), and University provost (1996-2005).
- Wake Forest director of track & field/cross country John Millar spent 19 seasons on the coaching staff at Notre Dame from 1990-91 through 2009-10, helping the Fighting Irish track & cross country programs to a combined 22 BIG EAST Conference titles during his tenure.
- Before coming to Notre Dame in 2006, Fighting Irish director of football media relations Michael Bertsch spent three years (2003-06) on the media relations staff at Wake Forest, working closely with the Demon Deacons’ men’s soccer and baseball programs, while also serving as secondary media contact for football and men’s basketball and chief editor of both the football game program and men’s basketball yearbook.
Peaking When It Counts
- When the regular season enters its stretch run in the month of February, Notre Dame historically seems to raise its level of play.
- Since 1995-96, the Fighting Irish are 125-28 (.817) in February games (including an active 30-game winning streak), as well as a 70-6 (.921) mark at home.
- In the 29-year Muffet McGraw era (1987-88 to present), the Fighting Irish are 173-43 (.801) in the month of February, including a 92-12 (.885) home record.
- In that time, Notre Dame has never posted a losing record in February, and only once did the Fighting Irish end the month at .500 (4-4 in 1988-89, McGraw’s second year in South Bend).
Turner of Fortune
- Sophomore forward Brianna Turner has had a significant effect on Notre Dame’s fortunes throughout her young career, and entered this year as the ACC Preseason Player of the Year. Thus, when she was sidelined for six games earlier this season with a shoulder injury, the Fighting Irish saw a noticeable change in their productivity, mainly at the defensive end of the court without their 6-foot-3 rim protector.
- Through 19 games with Turner in the lineup, Notre Dame has allowed just 55.6 points per game, while holding opponents to a .341 field-goal percentage and .271 three-point percentage. In fact, just one opponent has scored more than 70 points against the Fighting Irish with Turner in uniform this season (Georgia Tech in an 85-76 Notre Dame win on Dec. 30), and 11 of those 19 foes did not top 60 points (four others scored 61-62 points).
- Conversely, when Turner was sidelined from Nov. 27-Dec. 12, the Fighting Irish allowed 76.8 points per game, while opponents shot .458 from the field and .339 from the three-point line.
Allen Is The Iron Woman
- Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw has often noted that she seeks the kind of point guard to whom she can roll the ball out as a freshman and then take it back when that player graduates four years later. As it turns out, junior guard/captain Lindsay Allen is following that notion to the letter.
- Allen has started all 102 games of her Fighting Irish career, setting the program record for the longest streak of consecutive games started in Notre Dame history, surpassing Jacqueline Batteast, who started 97 in a row from Jan. 26, 2002-March 21, 2005.
- When Allen took the reins for Notre Dame’s 2013-14 season opener against UNC Wilmington on Nov. 9, 2013 (a 99-50 win at Purcell Pavilion), she became the first true freshman to start at point guard for Notre Dame in a season opener since Nov. 26, 1994, when Mollie Peirick led the Fighting Irish offense in a 65-60 overtime loss at No. 25 Seton Hall.
- Allen’s current run of consecutive starts is longer than a pair of recent All-America guards who were poised to challenge the school record in Skylar Diggins (86 from 2011-13) and Jewell Loyd (86 from 2013-15). Diggins twice gave up her starting spot for graduating seniors to start on Senior Day, while Loyd started nearly every game of her three seasons at Notre Dame before forgoing her final year of eligibility in 2015-16 to enter the WNBA Draft.
- With Allen at the helm, the Fighting Irish have amassed a stellar 97-5 (.951) record — and when you factor in her final prep season at St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., Allen’s teams are a combined 124-6 (.954) in the past four years when she’s been in the starting lineup.
McGraw Named Finalist For Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
- Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw is among 14 finalists (and four women’s basketball choices) for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2016, with the finalists announced Feb. 12 during NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto. The Hall of Fame Class of 2016 unveiled April 4 during the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Houston. McGraw previously was enshrined in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in June 2011 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
- With her team’s 65-55 win on Jan. 3 at Pittsburgh, McGraw became the 10th NCAA Division I coach to register 800 career victories. McGraw has a 34-year record of 811-263 (.755), including a 723-222 (.765) record in 29 seasons with the Fighting Irish.
- McGraw is just the fifth NCAA Division I coach in either men’s or women’s basketball history to amass 800 wins, seven NCAA Final Four berths and five NCAA championship game appearances in his/her career. The other four — all of whom are enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame — are Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma, former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt and two men’s coaches — Duke’s current skipper Mike Krzyzewski and the late North Carolina coach Dean Smith.
- McGraw became the sixth-fastest Division I coach to reach the 800-win milestone, doing so in 1,063 career games to hit the mark quicker than several other notable coaches including Rutgers’ C. Vivian Stringer (1,064 games), recently-retired Georgia head coach Andy Landers (1,068 games) and North Carolina’s Sylvia Hatchell (1,074 games), and nearly in lockstep with former Texas head coach Jody Conradt (1,062 games).
- Four of the five Division I coaches who reached 800 wins faster than McGraw are enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame — Auriemma (928 games), Summitt (958 games), Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer (997 games) and Conradt. The lone exception is Montana’s Robin Selvig (1,055 games).
Spreading The Wealth
- Notre Dame has had at least four players score in double figures in 16 games this year, going 15-1 in those contests.
- Since the start of the 2009-10 season, the Fighting Irish are 133-6 (.957) when they have four or more players reach double digits in the scoring column, including wins in 103 of their last 105 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 (14th – 13.9 ppg.), graduate student guard Madison Cable (16th – 13.7 ppg.), freshman guard Arike Ogunbowale (24th – 11.8 ppg.; fifth among ACC rookies) and freshman guard Marina Mabrey (26th – 11.4 ppg.; sixth among ACC rookies).
Three For The Money
- Notre Dame has heated up from the three-point line in a big way, canning 151 treys this season (6.04 per game).
- At their current pace, the Fighting Irish would easily 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).
- 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).
- 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), connecting at a .411 clip from beyond the arc, while graduate student guard Madison Cable (.469) currently ranks as the nation’s No. 3 individual three-point shooter.
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 (30.3 ppg. to 14.4 ppg.).
- The Notre Dame reserves have combined to score at least 30 points in 13 games this year, including six 40-point outings.
- The Fighting Irish second unit has outscored the opponent’s bench in 23 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 freshman guards — Arike Ogunbowale (11.8 ppg.) and Marina Mabrey (11.4 ppg.) head up the Fighting Irish bench contingent, which has seen at least one reserve score in double figures in 21 games this year (total of 33 double-figure outings).
- Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Notre Dame has posted a 132-7 (.950) 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 90 of its last 94 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 50-1 against league opponents, going 43-1 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’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.
- Since the loss at Miami, Notre Dame has won its last 25 regular season games against ACC opponents.
- The Fighting Irish have won a school-record 32 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.
Poise Under Pressure
- Notre Dame has won its last 26 games decided by single digits and/or in overtime, including seven times this season.
- The Fighting Irish last dropped a single-digit decision on March 6, 2012, falling 63-54 at No. 4 Connecticut in the BIG EAST Conference Tournament championship game at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.
- Notre Dame has been sharp when pushed to overtime, winning six in a row and eight of its last 11 when going to an extra session.
Visiting Century City
- Notre Dame’s 110-51 victory at Valparaiso on Nov. 23 was its 13th 100-point game since the start of the 2011-12 season (and 10 other games of 95-99 points), a remarkable offensive explosion considering Notre Dame had 13 triple-digit games in the first 34 years of the program’s existence — and just four in the 12 seasons prior to its current run.
- Notre Dame has enjoyed remarkable success on the road in recent seasons, having won 55 of its last 57 (and 62 of its last 69) regular season road games.
- The only blemishes for the Fighting Irish in this current run (which dates back to the early portion of the 2011-12 campaign) are a 78-63 loss at Miami on Jan. 8, 2015, and a 91-81 defeat at top-ranked Connecticut on Dec. 5, 2015, in the Jimmy V Classic.
- The loss in Miami snapped Notre Dame’s NCAA Division I record-tying 30-game road winning streak. It was an amazing string of results in hostile territory, a streak that lasted exactly three years (Jan. 4, 2012-Jan. 4, 2015) and left Notre Dame tied with Connecticut for the NCAA Division I all-time mark in that category.
- One of the more notable highlights of Notre Dame’s sensational recent road run came on Jan. 5, 2013, when Notre Dame edged No. 1 Connecticut, 73-72, at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut, earning its fourth all-time win over a top-ranked opponent and first-ever victory on the road.
Nearly In A Class By Themselves
- For the fifth consecutive season, a Notre Dame senior class is threatening to set the bar in terms of career wins by one group. The current class of tri-captain Michaela Mabrey, plus Madison Cable and Hannah Huffman, is third all-time with 132 wins (132-7, .950), trailing only the past two senior classes (2014-15).
- Last year, the Fighting Irish two-player senior class of Whitney Holloway and Markisha Wright posted the best four-year record (143-10, .935) in program history and tied for the second-most wins by one senior class in NCAA Division I history (Connecticut’s 2011 class had 150 victories, while the 1982 Louisiana Tech seniors also had 143 wins).
- Holloway and Wright’s feat topped the Notre Dame’s Class of 2014 (Natalie Achonwa, Ariel Braker and Kayla McBride), which had previously the best four-year record (138-15, .902) in school history, topping the win total (130) compiled by the prior year’s seniors (Skylar Diggins and Kaila Turner).
- Prior to the 2011-12 season, the highest four-year win total by a senior class was 109, set by the Class of 2001 that capped their careers with the program’s first NCAA national championship and included (among others) consensus national player of the year and 13-year WNBA veteran Ruth Riley, as well as current Fighting Irish associate coach/recruiting coordinator Niele Ivey.
— 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).