Dec. 11, 2015

by Chris Masters

Notre Dame Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

2015-16 ND Women’s Basketball: Game 10

#3/3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-1 / 0-0 ACC) vs. TCU Horned Frogs (7-2 / 0-0 Big 12)

DATE: Dec. 12, 2015
TIME: Noon ET/11:00 a.m. CT
AT: Fort Worth, Texas – University Recreation Center (1,350)
SERIES: ND leads 1-0
STREAK: ND – won 1
LAST MTG: ND 78-67 (12/13/90)
TV: Fox Sports Net (live) (Ron Thulin – p-b-p / Brenda VanLengen – color)
RADIO: Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND (live) (Bob Nagle, p-b-p)
TWITTER: @NDsidMasters / @ndwbb


  • Notre Dame is making its first visit to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex since 1984.
  • The Fighting Irish and Horned Frogs will be playing almost exactly 25 years to the day after their first meeting at Purcell Pavilion on Dec. 13, 1990 (a 78-67 Notre Dame win during head coach Muffet McGraw’s fourth season with the Fighting Irish).

No. 3 Fighting Irish Back On Road Saturday At TCU
In a season that already has been full of challenges in the opening month, No. 3 Notre Dame will face another test at noon ET (11 a.m CT) Saturday when the Fighting Irish take on TCU at the University Recreation Center in Fort Worth, Texas. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net (see page five of the PDF version of this notes package for a list of affiliates that will carry the broadcast), with radio coverage on South Bend’s Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and worldwide online via the official Notre Dame athletics multimedia platform, WatchND (

The Fighting Irish (8-1) are coming off a 95-90 shootout win over No. 18/17 DePaul on Wednesday night at Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame shot a blistering 76.5 percent from the field in the first half, but needed some big plays down the stretch to lock up the victory.

Graduate student guard Madison Cable posted her second double-double of the year with game highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds.


  • Notre Dame is No. 3 in the latest Associated Press poll and is No. 3 in the latest WBCA/USA Today poll.
  • TCU is not ranked.

Quick Hitters

  • Including this week’s No. 3 ranking, Notre Dame has appeared in the Associated Press poll for 160 consecutive weeks (the past 90 weeks in the AP Top 10), extending a program record that dates back to the 2007-08 preseason poll, and ranking sixth in the nation among active AP poll appearances.
  • Notre Dame has been ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll for 102 of 113 weeks this decade (since 2010-11), ranking second in the nation in that category behind only Connecticut (113).
  • Every current Fighting Irish player has competed for a top-10 Notre Dame squad during her career, with the vast majority of that time (58 of 64 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. It’s 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 ranks among the top 25 in five NCAA statistical categories (as of Thursday), including four top-10 rankings – three-point field-goal percentage (2nd – .467), scoring offense (4th – 86.8 ppg.), field-goal percentage (6th – .504) and assists (9th – 19.8 apg.). The Fighting Irish also rank 17th in assist/turnover ratio (1.29), while tying for 17th in the non-statistical measure of win-loss percentage (.889).
  • Notre Dame has a remarkable tradition of success at home inside Purcell Pavilion, with the Fighting Irish owning a 423-91 (.823) all-time record in 39 seasons at the facility, including a 100-6 (.943) record since the arena was renovated prior to the 2009-10 season.
  • Including regular season and postseason play, the Fighting Irish have won 75 of their last 79 games against conference opponents (and 26 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 38-1 against conference foes (31-1 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 116-7 (.943) 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.
  • 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 41-6 (.872) record against ranked teams (23-6 against top-10 opponents).
  • With 707 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 795 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 966 as of Thursday).

The Notre Dame-TCU Series
For the second time in series history, and the first time in almost exactly 25 years, Notre Dame and TCU will square off when they take the hardwood Saturday in Fort Worth. The Fighting Irish won the only prior meeting between the two programs, posting a 78-67 victory on Dec. 13, 1990, at Purcell Pavilion.

The Last Time Notre Dame and TCU Met
Comalita Haysbert and Karen Robinson each scored 17 points, leading Notre Dame to a 78-67 win over TCU on Dec. 13, 1990, at Purcell Pavilion.

Haysbert added a team-high seven rebounds, while Robinson had a game-high eight assists and five rebounds. Krissi Davis chipped in 10 points, seven rebounds and five steals, while Tootie Jones came off the bench to record a game-best six steals for the Fighting Irish, who forced 31 TCU turnovers, with 22 coming on steals.

Liz Zeller scored a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds for the Horned Frogs. Zeller did much of her damage at the free-throw line, making 13-of-16 foul shots, with both marks still among the top two by an opponent in Purcell Pavilion history, even a quarter century later.

Joi Wells added 18 points for TCU, which remained within striking distance all day, thanks to its own defensive prowess that forced 24 turnovers and registered 15 steals.

Notre Dame shot .493 from the floor and finished with a 41-29 rebounding edge, including 16 offensive boards. TCU posted a .440 field-goal percentage and was a sharp 21-of-27 from the free-throw line (a .778 clip).

The Fighting Irish grabbed a 39-29 halftime lead and stayed in front the rest of the way, thanks in part to a strong bench unit that doubled up its TCU counterpart, 26-13.

Other Notre Dame-TCU Series Tidbits

  • Saturday’s game marks the third time in the past 16 Notre Dame games the Fighting Irish will play a team it had not faced in at least 20 years. In last year’s NCAA Championship, Notre Dame defeated Montana, 77-43 in the first round at Purcell Pavilion in the teams’ first matchup in more than 28 years. Notre Dame then toppled Stanford, 81-60 in the NCAA Oklahoma City Regional semifinals (Sweet 16) in Oklahoma City in its first game against the Cardinal since 1992.
  • Notre Dame will be playing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex for the second time in program history, and the first in more than three decades. On Jan. 15, 1984, the Fighting Irish dropped a narrow 64-63 decision at SMU.
  • Notre Dame is 10-11 (.476) all-time against Texas schools, having won its last three games against a Lone Star State team (83-74 vs. No. 2 Texas A&M on 21, 2012, at the World Vision Classic in Las Vegas; 88-69 vs. Baylor on March 31, 2014, in the NCAA Elite Eight at Purcell Pavilion; 77-68 vs. Baylor on March 29, 2015, in NCAA Elite Eight at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma).
  • Factoring in its numerous visits to the state for postseason tournaments (both NCAA and NWIT), Notre Dame is 10-14 (.417) all-time when playing in Texas. The last Fighting Irish victory in the Lone Star State came on March 15, 1998, when Notre Dame won at No. 6/5 Texas Tech, 74-59, in the second round of the NCAA Championship (Midwest Region) behind a game-high 23 points from then-freshman center Ruth Riley. Notre Dame last played in Texas on Nov. 20, 2011, dropping a 94-81 decision at No. 1 Baylor in the Preseason WNIT championship game.
  • Notre Dame has had five players on its all-time roster from the state of Texas, including current sophomore forward Brianna Turner (Pearland). Kelly Hicks (1977-80; Bandera) was the first Lone Star State product to suit up for the Fighting Irish, followed by Ellen Mauch (1987; Mineral Wells). In addition, two members of Notre Dame’s 2001 NCAA national championship team came from Texas – Imani Dunbar (1997-2001; San Angelo) and Amanda Barksdale (1999-2002; Friendswood).

Notre Dame vs. The Big 12 Conference

  • Notre Dame is 33-12 (.733) all-time against current Big 12 Conference members, including a 19-10 (.655) record away from home (road/neutral sites combined). The vast majority of those results have come against West Virginia, which the Fighting Irish played annually when the Mountaineers were members of the BIG EAST Conference from 1996-2012.
  • Notre Dame has won its last six games against Big 12 teams, including four in NCAA Championship play (two against Baylor, both in the Elite Eight; one each against Kansas and Oklahoma State in the Sweet 16).
  • Aside from its annual matchups with WVU prior to ’12-13, Notre Dame will be playing a current Big 12 opponent for the 20th time since that conference was founded in 1996-97. However, in an odd coincidence, 15 of the previous 19 games were played in a tournament format, including 12 in NCAA Championship play (9-3 record).

Doing Some Networking

  • Saturday’s game will air on Fox Sports Net as part of the Big 12’s television package.
  • Fans wishing to tune in and watch Saturday’s FSN broadcast of the Notre Dame-TCU game should check their local listings (on consult the accompanying box on page five of the PDF version of this notes package) for the latest rundown of affiliates that will carry the game.
  • Several affiliates will carry the game either on a delayed or repeat basis through Dec. 16, including all three Fox College Sports affiliates (Atlantic, Central and Pacific).
  • At press time, there is no indication the game will be streamed online.

Three For The Money

  • Notre Dame has heated up from the three-point line in a big way, canning 64 treys this season (7.1 per game), including 49 in its last five games alone.
  • 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 season-high .650 three-point percentage (13-of-20) in that Dec. 5 game 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 second in the nation in three-point percentage (as of Thursday), connecting at a .467 clip from beyond the arc.

Streak Stats

  • Dating back to the start of the 2012-13 season, Notre Dame has posted a 116-7 (.943) 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 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).

Poise Under Pressure

  • Notre Dame has won its last 22 games decided by single digits and/or in overtime, including three times this season (all within the past four games) – a 92-84 overtime win over UCLA on Nov. 28 in the Junkanoo Jam Freeport Division championship game in Freeport, Bahamas; a 75-72 victory over No. 10/12 Ohio State on Dec. 2 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Purcell Pavilion, and a 95-90 win over No. 18/17 DePaul on Dec. 9 at Purcell Pavilion.
  • 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, having won six in a row and eight of its last 11 games 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 nine 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.

Road Warriors

  • Notre Dame has enjoyed remarkable success on the road in recent seasons, having won 47 of its last 49 (and 54 of its last 61) 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.

Irish Enjoy Quality Cable

  • Graduate student guard Madison Cable has taken her game to new heights this season, averaging a team-high 17.0 points per game (third in the ACC). Entering this year, Cable was averaging 5.3 ppg. in her career, including a personal-best 6.2 ppg. last season.
  • Cable also is making an early run at the shooter’s Holy Grail – the 50-40-90 club (referring to one’s shooting percentages from the field, three-point line and free-throw line). Cable leads the ACC in three-point percentage (.574 – fourth in nation) while ranking fourth in three-pointers per game (3.0), fifth in field-goal percentage (.582 – 25th in nation) and 13th in free-throw percentage (.769).
  • Prior to this season, Cable had started nine games in her first three years combined, registering 18 double-digit scoring games, two 20-point outings and one double-double.
  • In nine games this season, Cable has started each time out, scoring in double figures in every game (the first time she has posted a string of more than three consecutive double-digit games) and has four 20-point games, including a career-high 25 points on Dec. 2 against No. 10/12 Ohio State at Purcell Pavilion in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
  • That game against Ohio State also yielded Cable’s second career double-double when she grabbed a team-high (and season-best) 11 rebounds.
  • “She’s as good a shooter as there is in college basketball, and she played great tonight.” – Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff after Cable had 25 points, 11 rebounds and made two clutch plays (three-pointer with 56.2 seconds left; two foul shots with 7.5 seconds left) in Notre Dame’s 75-72 win over the No. 10/12 Buckeyes on Dec. 2 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
  • Cable added her third career double-double on Dec. 9 with game highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds in a win over No. 18/17 DePaul.
  • Cable was chosen the Junkanoo Jam Freeport Division MVP, after she averaged 17.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game with a .688 fieldââ’¬goal percentage, .667 threeââ’¬point percentage and .875 freeââ’¬throw percentage during Notre Dame’s two games in the Bahamas.
  • Cable continues her penchant for sacrificing her body for team success, having drawn four charges this season to raise her career count to 41 drawn charges. That includes Cable’s alert play in overtime of the win over UCLA, when she took a charge from Bruins’ all-Pac-12 guard (and Canadian National Team member) Nirra Fields with 30.1 seconds left, resulting in the fifth foul on Fields and giving Notre Dame possession with a six-point lead (in essence, clinching the win).

Mabrey is Jersey Tough

  • Freshman guard Marina Mabrey is quickly emerging as one of the top young players in the Atlantic Coast Conference, if not all of Division I basketball.
  • The Belmar, New Jersey, native is averaging 13.4 points per game, which is tied for 15th in the ACC and second among conference freshmen. She also has scored in double figures six times this season, including a career-high 23 points (on 10-of-13 shooting) on Dec. 5 at top-ranked Connecticut.
  • In that UConn game, Mabrey scored 21 points in the first half on 9-of-10 shooting, including a stretch of 12 consecutive points to highlight a 14-4 second-quarter run that helped give Notre Dame a trio of one-point leads.
  • Mabrey also has proven to be a strong defender, ranking fifth in the ACC at 2.9 steals per game. That mark was highlighted by a school-record 12 steals as part of a triple-double performance on Nov. 23 at Valparaiso (see following note).
  • Mabrey was named to the Junkanoo Jam Freeport Division All-Tournament Team on Nov. 28 after averaging 18.5 points, 5.0 steals, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists with a .600 field-goal percentage, .750 three-point percentage and .833 free-throw percentage during wins over Denver and UCLA in the two-day event in Freeport, Bahamas.
  • That effort, plus her triple-double earlier in the week, propelled Mabrey to earn ACC Rookie of the Week honors on Nov. 30.

Mabrey’s Historic Triple-Double

  • Freshman guard Marina Mabrey posted the fifth triple-double in school history (first by a freshman) with 18 points, a school-record 12 steals and a career-high 10 assists on Nov. 23 at Valparaiso.
  • Mabrey became just the second Fighting Irish player to record a triple-double using steals. Mary Gavin (17 points, 14 assists and 10 steals – the previous school record for steals before Mabrey’s effort) was the only other player to do so on Jan. 31, 1987, against Marquette.
  • Mabrey’s triple-double in her fourth career game tied for the second-quickest to start a career in NCAA Division I history – only Schaquilla Nunn of Winthrop did so faster (third career game on Nov. 20, 2012, vs. Mississippi State at the Hardwood for Hope Tournament in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico).
  • Mabrey’s triple-double was the 25th in ACC history, and the the first in ACC history to feature steals.
  • Mabrey was the second ACC freshman ever to record a triple-double, joining Duke’s Elizabeth Williams (18 points, 16 rebounds and 12 blocks at Wake Forest on Jan. 6, 2012) in that elite company.
  • Mabrey’s 12 steals also are second on the ACC single-game steals list, and the most since Georgia Tech’s Jill Ingram had 14 thefts (tying the NCAA Division I record) against Virginia Tech on Feb. 29, 2008.
  • Mabrey’s 12 steals tied for the second-most by a player in completing a triple-double, exceeded only by Old Dominion’s Ticha Penicheiro (22 points, 15 assists, 14 steals) vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) in the first round of the NCAA Championship on March 13, 1998.
  • Mabrey was the first Fighting Irish player with double-digit assists in a game since Feb. 24, 2013, when Skylar Diggins had 10 assists at DePaul as part of her second career triple-double (the most recent one by a Notre Dame player before Mabrey).

— 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).