Feb. 13, 2016
by Chris Masters
2015-16 ND Women’s Basketball: Game 25
#3/3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (23-1 / 11-0 ACC) vs. #19/17 Miami Hurricanes (21-4 / 9-3 ACC)
DATE: Feb. 14, 2016
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. – Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
SERIES: ND leads 16-4
STREAK: ND – won 1
1ST MTG: ND 59-53 (1/5/86)
LAST MTG: ND 77-61 (3/6/15)
TV: ACC-Regional Sports Networks/ESPN3/WatchESPN (live) (Mike Hogewood, p-b-p / Chelsea Shine Wilson, color)
RADIO: Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND (live) (Bob Nagle, p-b-p)
TEXT ALERT: UND.com
TWITTER: @NDsidMasters / @ndwbb
- Notre Dame will hold its eighth annual Pink Zone game on Sunday, with the Fighting Irish having raised more than $850,000 in the fight against breast cancer through the Pink Zone initiative in the past seven seasons.
- The Fighting Irish are facing their eighth ranked opponent this year, having posted a 6-1 record against Top 25 teams to date.
No. 3 Fighting Irish Await Sunday Matinee With No. 19/17 Miami
Following a week-long break, No. 3 Notre Dame returns to the hardwood at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, playing host to No. 19/17 Miami at Purcell Pavilion. The game will be televised live on the ACC-Regional Sports Networks, as well as ESPN3 and WatchESPN, while 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 (23-1, 11-0) is coming off a 66-61 win at No. 13 Louisville on Feb. 7. The Fighting Irish outscored the Cardinals, 17-6 in the final 8:12 to record their 16th consecutive win.
- Notre Dame is No. 3 in this week’s Associated Press poll and is No. 3 in this week’s WBCA/USA Today poll.
- Miami is No. 19 in this week’s Associated Press poll and is No. 17 in this week’s WBCA/USA Today poll.
- Notre Dame is off to a 23-1 start or better for the fourth time in five years and sixth time in program history (also 2000-01, 2009-10, 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 6-1 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 14th in this week’s AP poll and 16th 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 13.9 ppg.) and sophomore forward Kathryn Westbeld (6.7 to 8.3 ppg.), as well as the reliable production off the bench from freshman guards Arike Ogunbowale (11.5 ppg.) and Marina Mabrey (11.3 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 29.9 points per game, compared to 13.6 ppg. for their opponent’s bench.
- Notre Dame ranks among the top 20 in six NCAA statistical categories (as of Friday), including four top-10 rankings – three-point field-goal percentage (3rd – .411), field-goal percentage (4th – .489), scoring margin (6th – +19.5 ppg.) and assists (9th – 18.0 apg.). The Fighting Irish also rank 12th in scoring offense (79.8 ppg.) and 17th in assist/turnover ratio (1.23), while standing third in the non-statistical measure of win-loss percentage (.958).
- Including this week’s No. 3 ranking, Notre Dame has appeared in the Associated Press poll for 169 consecutive weeks (the past 99 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 111 of 122 weeks this decade (since 2010-11), ranking second in the nation in that category behind only Connecticut (122).
- Every current Fighting Irish player has competed for a top-10 Notre Dame squad during her career, with the vast majority of that time (67 of 73 weeks) spent in the top five of the Associated Press poll.
- Notre Dame also is ranked No. 3 in this week’s Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today poll, making its 136th 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 430-91 (.825) all-time record in 39 seasons at the facility, including a 107-6 (.947) record since the arena was renovated prior to the 2009-10 season.
- Including regular season and postseason play, the Fighting Irish have won 89 of their last 93 games against conference opponents (and a school record-tying 31 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 49-1 against conference foes (42-1 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 131-7 (.949) 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 45-6 (.882) record against ranked teams (24-6 against top-10 opponents).
- With 722 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 810 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 Friday).
The Notre Dame-Miami Series
Notre Dame and Miami will be meeting for the 21st time on Sunday afternoon, with the Fighting Irish holding a 16-4 edge in the series with the Hurricanes. Notre Dame also is 7-2 all-time against Miami at Purcell Pavilion.
The Last Time Notre Dame and Miami Met
Top-seeded (and second-ranked) Notre Dame avenged its only ACC loss by beating Miami, 77-61 in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals on March 6, 2015, in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Jewell Loyd scored 16 points, Brianna Turner had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Madison Cable scored 13 points to help Notre Dame advance to the semifinals for the second time in as many seasons as an ACC member.
Jessica Thomas scored a career-high 24 points and Jassany Williams had 16 for the eighth-seeded Hurricanes. Adrienne Motley, who came in averaging nearly 17 points, finished with just five on 2-of-8 shooting.
Kathryn Westbeld added 10 points for the Fighting Irish, who held the Hurricanes to 1-of-10 shooting over 6 1/2 minutes down the stretch.
Miami cut the Notre Dame lead to 48-43 on Thomas’ drive with 13 1/2 minutes left. However, Lindsay Allen converted a three-point play to start the decisive run, and Cable made a key three-pointer before Turner cashed in her own old-fashioned three-point play to give Notre Dame its largest lead, 63-47, with 9:05 to go.
The Last Time Notre Dame and Miami Met at Purcell Pavilion
Second-ranked started 1-of-13 from the field against Miami and fell behind by six before coming back to beat the Hurricanes, 79-52 on Jan. 23, 2014, at Purcell Pavilion.
The veterans actually were the ones struggling the most early as Natalie Achonwa was 1-of-5 from the floor with three turnovers in the first five minutes and Kayla McBride missed her first seven shots. But Achonwa finished with 23 points and nine rebounds, Lindsay Allen added a season-high 16 points and McBride had 15. Achonwa also struggled at the foul line, going 5-of-11 in the first half and finishing 9-of-15.
After the slow start, Notre Dame made 10 of its final 19 shots of the first half to open a 35-26 lead the break, then began the second half with a 10-0 run to take control.
Jassany Williams and Adrienne Motley led Miami with 10 points apiece as the Hurricanes shot a season-low 30.6 percent.
Other Notre Dame-Miami Series Tidbits
- Of the 20 games in the series, only six have been decided by single-digit margins. Notre Dame has come out on top in four of those six close affairs.
- Miami has scored more than 70 points against Notre Dame five times in their 20-game series (just twice in the past 11 meetings). Conversely, the Fighting Irish have topped the 70-point mark 13 times in their history with the Hurricanes, all in the past 18 series matchups.
- Notre Dame has had eight Florida natives suit up in the program’s 39-year history, with its most recent Sunshine State product being 2010 graduate Alena Christiansen (Fort Lauderdale/Cardinal Gibbons HS).
- Senior guard/tri-captain Michaela Mabrey played for Miami head coach Katie Meier on the 2012 USA Basketball Under-18 National Team that won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. Mabrey appeared in all five games (starting four times) for Team USA at the tournament, averaging 12.8 points, 4.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game with a .500 three-point percentage and .489 overall field goal percentage. She also scored in double figures four times (including 14 points against Brazil in the gold medal game), and led all players in the eight-team tournament in assists, assist/turnover ratio (2.67) and three-pointers per game (3.2).
- Notre Dame assistant athletic trainer Anne Marquez also served on Meier’s staff with the 2012 USA Basketball U18 National Team.
- Meier coached Notre Dame sophomore forward Brianna Turner on the 2013 USA Basketball U19 National Team that won the FIBA U19 World Championships in Lithuania. As the second-youngest player on the American roster, Turner played in all nine games for Team USA at the tournament, averaging 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game with a .500 field goal percentage.
Sunshine State Success
- Notre Dame is 34-6 (.850) all-time against Florida schools, including a 13-3 (.813) record at Purcell Pavilion against Sunshine State teams.
- The Fighting Irish also have won 14 of their last 15 games against Florida schools, including three wins in four tries last season (regular season vs. Florida State; ACC Tournament vs. Miami and FSU).
- Notre Dame has won its last six home games against Florida teams, most recently toppling Florida State, 74-68 on Jan. 2, 2015.
In The (Pink) Zone
- On Sunday, Notre Dame will play host to its eighth annual Pink Zone game (known nationally as Play4Kay), with the driving focus being to raise funds for breast cancer research. The Fighting Irish players will wear special alternate uniforms with pink accents, while the Notre Dame coaching staff also will be outfitted in various pink items.
- The Fighting Irish are 6-1 in Pink Zone games and have raised more than $850,000 in donations during those seven seasons, including better than $100,000 last year (among the most in the nation by a Division I program).
- The Purcell Pavilion doors will open at 11:30 a.m. (ET) to allow fans to begin participating in the Pink Zone silent auction in the Monogram Room, an event featuring numerous Notre Dame women’s basketball items including memorabilia from the program’s recent NCAA Women’s Final Four appearances.
- In addition, on Friday, Notre Dame women’s basketball and the University’s RecSports division held a 12-hour Spin-A-Thon fund-raiser at the Rockne Memorial on campus. This event featured participants riding stationary bikes for a set period of a time in a relay format with a pledged donation commitment from sponsors for each rider.
- Notre Dame will have a stationary bike located courtside (near Gate 10 behind the Fighting Irish bench at the southwest corner of the arena). A handful of riders will spin for a set period on the special Pink Zone bike, with a pledged commitment from sponsors.
- Once again this year, all funds raised by Notre Dame during its Pink Zone campaign will be divided between a local recipient (the Foundation of St. Joseph Regional Medical Center) and a national charity (the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, which will be represented at Sunday’s game by executive director Sue Donohoe).
Doing Some Networking
- Sunday’s game is the last of three appearances for Notre Dame on the ACC-Regional Sports Networks (RSN) television package this season. The Fighting Irish, who are 9-0 on the conference’s syndicated TV package since joining the ACC in 2013-14, already earned wins at Pittsburgh (65-55 on Jan. 3) and Georgia Tech (54-42 on Jan. 28).
- Fans wishing to watch Sunday’s ACC-RSN broadcast of the Notre Dame-Miami game should go online to the ACC web site for the latest rundown of affiliates that will carry the game (including Comcast Channel 101 in South Bend). In addition, ESPN3 and WatchESPN will stream the game live (subject to blackout in certain areas).
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 124-28 (.816) in February games (including an active 29-game winning streak), as well as a 69-6 (.920) mark at home.
- In the 29-year Muffet McGraw era (1987-88 to present), the Fighting Irish are 172-43 (.800) in the month of February, including a 91-12 (.883) 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 18 games with Turner in the lineup, Notre Dame has allowed just 54.8 points per game, while holding opponents to a .338 field-goal percentage and .269 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 18 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 101 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 96-5 (.950) 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 123-6 (.953) 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 810-263 (.755), including a 722-222 (.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 15 games this year, going 14-1 in those contests.
- Since the start of the 2009-10 season, the Fighting Irish are 132-6 (.957) when they have four or more players reach double digits in the scoring column, including wins in 102 of their last 104 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 Friday) – graduate student guard Madison Cable (15th – 13.9 ppg.), sophomore forward Brianna Turner (16th – 13.9 ppg.), freshman guard Arike Ogunbowale (26th – 11.5 ppg.; fourth among ACC rookies) and freshman guard Marina Mabrey (27th – 11.3 ppg.; fifth among ACC rookies).
Three For The Money
- Notre Dame has heated up from the three-point line in a big way, canning 146 treys this season (6.08 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 third in country in three-point percentage (as of Friday), connecting at a .411 clip from beyond the arc, while graduate student guard Madison Cable (.468) 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 nearly 30 points per game and have outscored the opponent’s bench by more than a 2-to-1 margin (29.9 ppg. to 13.6 ppg.).
- The Notre Dame reserves have combined to score at least 30 points in 12 games this year, including five 40-point outings.
- The Fighting Irish second unit has outscored the opponent’s bench in 22 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 (11.5 ppg.) and Marina Mabrey (11.3 ppg.) head up the Fighting Irish bench contingent, which has seen at least one reserve score in double figures in 20 games this year (total of 31 double-figure outings).
- Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Notre Dame has posted a 131-7 (.949) 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 89 of its last 93 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 49-1 against league opponents, going 42-1 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 then, Notre Dame has won its last 24 regular season games against ACC opponents.
- The Fighting Irish have won 31 consecutive home games against conference opponents, a streak that began on Feb. 14, 2012, with a 66-47 win over Providence. The current run ties the school record set from 1998-2002 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 131 wins (131-7, .949), 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).