Jan. 31, 2016
by Chris Masters
2015-16 ND Women’s Basketball: Game 22
#3/3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (20-1 / 8-0 ACC) vs. Duke Blue Devils (16-6 / 5-3 ACC)
DATE: Feb. 1, 2016
TIME: 6:00 p.m. ET
AT: Durham, N.C. – Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314)
SERIES: ND leads 11-1
STREAK: ND – won 9
1ST MTG: ND 74-67 (3/22/86)
LAST MTG: ND 55-49 (3/7/15)
TV: ESPN2/ESPN3/WatchESPN (live) (Beth Mowins, p-b-p / Stephanie White, color)
RADIO: Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND (live) (Bob Nagle, p-b-p)
LIVE STATS: goduke.com
TEXT ALERT: UND.com
TWITTER: @NDsidMasters / @ndwbb
- Notre Dame is 17-1 all-time when playing in the state of North Carolina, including a 9-1 record in true road games.
- The Fighting Irish will make the second of three appearances this season on ESPN2’s Big Monday package, tying South Carolina for the most Big Monday games in 2015-16.
No. 3 Fighting Irish Visit Duke On Big Monday
It’s no coincidence that the second half of the ACC schedule and the critical month of February arrive at the same location, as No. 3 Notre Dame begins its regular season stretch drive against perennial power Duke at 6 p.m. (ET) Monday at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. The game will be televised live on ESPN2’s Big Monday package (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 (20-1, 8-0) made an unblemished turn in ACC play and picked up its 13th consecutive win Thursday, grinding out a 54-42 road victory at defensive-minded Georgia Tech.
- Notre Dame was No. 3 in last week’s Associated Press poll and was No. 3 in last week’s WBCA/USA Today poll.
- Duke was receiving votes in last week’s Associated Press poll and was receiving votes in last week’s WBCA/USA Today poll.
- Notre Dame is off to a 20-1 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 5-1 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 was 15th in last week’s AP poll and 19th in last 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 13.2 ppg.) and sophomore forward Kathryn Westbeld (6.7 to 9.0 ppg.), as well as the reliable production off the bench from freshman guards Marina Mabrey (12.1 ppg.) and Arike Ogunbowale (11.2 ppg.).
- The Fighting Irish feature a very balanced attack with four players currently posting double-figure scoring averages (and two others at 9.0 ppg.). 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 30.8 points per game, compared to 13.8 ppg. for their opponent’s bench.
- Notre Dame ranks among the top 15 in six NCAA statistical categories (as of Saturday), including five top-10 rankings – three-point field-goal percentage (1st – .426), field-goal percentage (3rd – .496), scoring offense (7th – 81.0 ppg.), scoring margin (7th – +20.0 ppg.) and assists (7th – 18.6 apg.). The Fighting Irish also rank 17th in assist/turnover ratio (1.24), while standing third in the non-statistical measure of win-loss percentage (.952).
- Including last week’s No. 3 ranking, Notre Dame has appeared in the Associated Press poll for 167 consecutive weeks (the past 97 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 109 of 120 weeks this decade (since 2010-11), ranking second in the nation in that category behind only Connecticut (120).
- Every current Fighting Irish player has competed for a top-10 Notre Dame squad during her career, with the vast majority of that time (65 of 71 weeks) spent in the top five of the Associated Press poll.
- Notre Dame also was ranked No. 3 in last week’s Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today poll, making its 134th 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 429-91 (.825) all-time record in 39 seasons at the facility, including a 106-6 (.946) record since the arena was renovated prior to the 2009-10 season.
- Including regular season and postseason play, the Fighting Irish have won 86 of their last 90 games against conference opponents (and 30 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 46-1 against conference foes (39-1 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 128-7 (.948) 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 44-6 (.880) record against ranked teams (24-6 against top-10 opponents).
- With 719 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 807 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 973 as of Saturday).
The Notre Dame-Duke Series
Notre Dame and Duke will meet for the 13th time in their series history on Monday, with the Fighting Irish holding an 11-1 record all-time against the Blue Devils, including wins in the past nine series games. Notre Dame also is 2-1 all-time against Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Last Time Notre Dame and Duke Met
When No. 2 Notre Dame needed her most, Jewell Loyd once again did it all.
Loyd scored 21 points and grabbed an important rebound in the Fighting Irish’s 55-49 win over No. 16 Duke in an Atlantic Coast Conference semifinal on March 7, 2015, at Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The 2015 ACC Player of the Year hit five straight baskets during six key minutes down the stretch for the top-seeded Fighting Irish.
Brianna Turner added 11 rebounds to help the Fighting Irish earn their 16th straight win. The defending ACC tournament champions improved to 5-0 in the event in their two years in the league and earned a return trip to the title game after shooting 39 percent and holding off the Blue Devils’ late push.
Elizabeth Williams had 15 points and Ka’lia Johnson added 12 for Duke, which had the ball while trailing by four points with less than two minutes left.
However, Rebecca Greenwell’s 3-point try failed to hit anything, and Turner hit the front end of a one-and-one with 1:29 to go. She missed the second, but Loyd grabbed the rebound and spun in a layup to make it 53-46 with 1:15 left.
AzurÃƒÆ’Â¡ Stevens added 11 points for Duke, which was denied its 14th ACC tournament title game appearance but made things interesting after falling behind by 12 in the second half.
The Blue Devils reeled off seven straight points and Williams hit three straight buckets, the third of which made it 46-41 with just under five minutes left.
Greenwell then pulled Duke to 50-46 with her big 3-pointer with 2 1/2 minutes to play. Her pivotal airball came on the Blue Devils’ next possession and they didn’t score again until Johnson’s 3-pointer with four-tenths of a second left.
The Last Time Notre Dame and Duke Met in Durham
Kayla McBride had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Jewell Loyd scored 17 points and Lindsay Allen and Natalie Achonwa had 15 apiece, as No. 2 Notre Dame toppled third-ranked Duke, 88-67 on Feb. 2, 2014, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.
Notre Dame never trailed, shot nearly 62 percent and held Duke to a season-worst 39 percent shooting while claiming sole possession of first place by bringing an end to the Blue Devils’ 42-game winning streak in home conference games.
Tricia Liston scored 23 points and single-handedly prevented Duke from being blown out by halftime. Notre Dame became the first ACC team to beat the Blue Devils at Cameron since Maryland did it in 2007-08, head coach Joanne P. McCallie’s first season at Duke.
The Blue Devils threatened to get back in the game early in the second half, pulling to 49-44 on Richa Jackson’s putback with 15 1/2 minutes left.
That’s when Notre Dame got hot, scoring on six straight trips downcourt.
With Loyd hitting twice from close range and Michaela Mabrey making two outside jumpers, the Fighting Irish reeled off nine straight points during a 13-2 run.
Achonwa’s free throw with 12:18 left gave Notre Dame a 62-46 lead, and the Blue Devils never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way, as the Fighting Irish expanded their lead to 23 points in the closing minutes.
Jackson and Alexis Jones added 16 points each for Duke.
Other Notre Dame-Duke Series Tidbits
- Notre Dame is 29-2 (.935) all-time against North Carolina schools (including an active 18-game winning streak), with a 9-1 record in true road games (the lone loss being an 80-62 setback at Duke on Nov. 22, 1997).
- 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 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.
- 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) will be represented on Monday. 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 Monday’s 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.
Coming Up Big On “Big Monday”
- Notre Dame will make the second of three appearances this season on ESPN2’s “Big Monday” women’s basketball package when it visits Duke Monday night.
- The Fighting Irish already defeated Tennessee at home (79-66) on Jan. 18, and they will visit Florida State on Feb. 22 as part of this year’s Big Monday package, joining South Carolina as the only schools that will make three appearances on Big Monday in 2015-16.
- Notre Dame has played 12 times on Big Monday in the past four seasons (2011-12 to present), going 12-0 in those games (7-0 at home, 5-0 on the road).
- That record does not include three appearances (two victories over Duke, one over North Carolina) on ESPN’s Sunday afternoon women’s basketball package that debuted in 2013-14.
- Following their 88-54 win over North Carolina on Jan. 10 at Purcell Pavilion, the Fighting Irish will make a second appearance this season on ESPN’s Sunday afternoon slate on Feb. 7 when they pay a visit to Louisville.
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 121-28 (.812) in February games (including an active 26-game winning streak), as well as a 68-6 (.919) mark at home.
- In the 29-year Muffet McGraw era (1987-88 to present), the Fighting Irish are 169-43 (.797) in the month of February, including a 90-12 (.882) 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 15 games with Turner in the lineup, Notre Dame has allowed just 54.6 points per game, while holding opponents to a .337 field-goal percentage and .286 three-point percentage, while posting a +5.6 rebounding margin. 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 10 of those 15 foes did not top 60 points.
- Conversely, when Turner was out from Nov. 27-Dec. 12, the Fighting Irish allowed 76.8 points per game, while opponents shot .458 from the field, .339 from the three-point line and Notre Dame’s rebounding margin was trimmed to +4.5 rpg.
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 98 games of her Fighting Irish career, setting the program record 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 25th-ranked 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 93-5 (.949) 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 120-6 (.952) in the past four years when she’s been in the starting lineup.
McGraw Earns 800th Career Win
- With her team’s 65-55 win on Jan. 3 at Pittsburgh, Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw became the 10th NCAA Division I coach to register 800 career victories. McGraw has a 34-year record of 807-263 (.754), including a 719-222 (.764) 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).
- McGraw is among 14 women’s basketball nominees on the ballot for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2016, which was announced Dec. 21. The four women’s basketball finalists for this year’s class will be revealed Feb. 12 during NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto, with 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.
Spreading The Wealth
- Notre Dame has had at least four players score in double figures in 12 games this year, going 11-1 in those contests.
- Since the start of the 2009-10 season, the Fighting Irish are 129-6 (.956) when they have four or more players reach double digits in the scoring column, including wins in 99 of their last 101 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 9.0 ppg.), three of whom are ranked among the top 30 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (as of Saturday) – graduate student guard Madison Cable (18th – 13.2 ppg.), freshman guard Marina Mabrey (23rd – 12.1 ppg.; fourth among ACC rookies) and freshman guard Arike Ogunbowale (28th – 11.2 ppg.; fifth among ACC rookies).
Three For The Money
- Notre Dame has heated up from the three-point line in a big way, canning 132 treys this season (6.3 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 lead the nation in three-point percentage (as of Saturday), connecting at a .426 clip from beyond the arc, while graduate student guard Madison Cable (.474) currently ranks as the nation’s No. 2 individual three-point shooter and senior guard Michaela Mabrey is 25th (.429).
The Second Platoon
- Another reason for Notre Dame’s success this season has been the performance of its reserves, who are averaging nearly 31 points per game and have outscored the opponent’s bench by more than a 2-to-1 margin (30.8 ppg. to 13.8 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 19 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 – Marina Mabrey (12.1 ppg.) and Arike Ogunbowale (11.2 ppg.) head up the strong Fighting Irish bench contingent, which has seen at least one reserve score in double figures in 17 games this year (total of 27 double-figure outings).
- Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Notre Dame has posted a 128-7 (.948) 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 86 of its last 90 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 46-1 against league opponents, going 39-1 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 21 regular season games against ACC opponents.
- The Fighting Irish also have won 30 consecutive home games against conference opponents, a streak that began on Feb. 14, 2012, with a 66-47 win over Providence. The current run is one shy of the school record set from 1998-2002 during the program’s BIG EAST membership.
Poise Under Pressure
- Notre Dame has won its last 24 games decided by single digits and/or in overtime, including five 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 53 of its last 55 (and 60 of its last 67) 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.
— 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).