Dec. 8, 2015
by Chris Masters
2015-16 ND Women’s Basketball: Game 9
#3/3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1 / 0-0 ACC) vs. #18/17 DePaul Blue Demons (6-2 / 0-0 BIG EAST)
DATE: Dec. 9, 2015
TIME: 7:00 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. – Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
SERIES: ND leads 22-19
STREAK: ND – won 7
1ST MTG: DPU 82-53 (1/30/79)
LAST MTG: ND 79-67 (3/22/15)
TV: ESPN3/WatchESPN (live) (Rich Hidy – p-b-p / Ruth Riley – color)
RADIO: Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND (live) (Bob Nagle, p-b-p)
TEXT ALERT: UND.com
TWITTER: @NDsidMasters / @ndwbb
- For the second year in a row, Notre Dame is facing a ranked DePaul team at the end of a December stretch featuring three consecutive games against Top 25 opponents.
- The Fighting Irish and Blue Demons will play for the 42nd time on Wednesday, making this the second-most frequent rivalry in Notre Dame women’s basketball history.
No. 3 Fighting Irish Welcome No. 18/17 DePaul To Town Wednesday
After a hard-fought battle against the nation’s top-ranked team, No. 3 Notre Dame tackles another tough challenge on Wednesday as the Fighting Irish play host to No. 18/17 DePaul at 7 p.m. (ET) at Purcell Pavilion. The game will be televised live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app, 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 (watchnd.tv).
The Fighting Irish (7-1) aim to rebound from their first loss of the year, 91-81 at No. 1 UConn on Saturday. Notre Dame tied a school record with 13 three-pointers and led the Huskies three times in the first half before UConn finally turned back the Fighting Irish in the second half.
Freshman guard Marina Mabrey scored a career-high 23 points (21 in the first half) to lead five Notre Dame players in double figures.
- Notre Dame is No. 3 in the latest Associated Press poll and is No. 3 in the latest WBCA/USA Today poll.
- DePaul is No. 18 in the latest Associated Press poll and is No. 17 in the latest WBCA/USA Today poll.
- 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 seven NCAA statistical categories (as of Tuesday), including four top-10 rankings – three-point field-goal percentage (2nd – .453), scoring offense (5th – 85.8 ppg.), field-goal percentage (9th – .490) and assists (10th – 19.5 apg.). The Fighting Irish also rank 17th in assist/turnover ratio (1.30), 19th in scoring margin (+22.0 ppg.) and 21st in turnover margin (+5.88), while tying for 20th in the non-statistical measure of win-loss percentage (.875).
- Notre Dame has a remarkable tradition of success at home inside Purcell Pavilion, with the Fighting Irish owning a 422-91 (.823) all-time record in 39 seasons at the facility, including a 99-6 (.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 115-7 (.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 40-6 (.870) record against ranked teams (23-6 against top-10 opponents).
- With 706 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 794 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 Tuesday).
The Notre Dame-DePaul Series
Separated by only 100 miles, Notre Dame and DePaul will renew the second-most frequent rivalry in Fighting Irish women’s basketball history on Wednesday when the two schools meet for the 42nd time. Notre Dame leads the series, 22-19 (including a 12-6 record at Purcell Pavilion) and has won the past seven meetings with the Blue Demons.
The Last Time Notre Dame and DePaul Met
Michaela Mabrey scored 19 points, hitting five 3-pointers, Taya Reimer and Brianna Turner added 14 points each as Notre Dame defeated DePaul, 79-67 on March 22, 2015, in the second round of the NCAA Championship.
The Fighting Irish had a 51-32 rebounding edge, with Turner pulling down 11 rebounds and Reimer had 10, and Notre Dame held DePaul to 36 percent shooting to win their 19th straight to advance to the Sweet 16 for the sixth straight season. DePaul, which had won eight straight, fell a win shy of advancing to the round of 16 for a second straight season.
Mabrey was 5-of-7 from 3-point range for her first double-digit scoring game since scoring 20 against Boston College on Feb. 8.
Megan Podkowa led the Blue Demons with 19 points and 11 rebounds and Jessica January had 12 points and five assists.
The victory was a stark contrast to when the rivals played three months earlier, when Notre Dame took advantage of poor free-throw shooting by DePaul and Jewell Loyd scored a career-high 41 points to rally the Fighting Irish to the overtime victory. Loyd was 3-of-15 in the rematch and finished with 10 points. Brittany Hrynko, who scored 32 points for DePaul in the December loss, was 3-of-16 shooting and finished with 11 points.
Notre Dame also got 11 points and seven assists from Lindsay Allen, but it was the inside game that was key. The Fighting Irish outscored DePaul 18-12 on second-chance points as Turner, who missed the first game with a dislocated shoulder, teamed with Reimer and Kathryn Westbeld, who had eight points and seven rebounds, to dominate inside.
Mabrey hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 12-0 run in the first half to give the Fighting Irish the lead and had a pair of free throws during an 8-0 run in the second half that stretched the lead to 57-44 on a layup by Reimer midway through the second half. Madison Cable later hit a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 68-49 and eventually extended the lead to 77-55 on a basket by Turner with less than three minutes left.
Notre Dame had trouble adjusting to DePaul’s pressing early, turning the ball over four times on five possessions as the Blue Demons took a 10-6 lead. The Fighting Irish continued to be flustered by DePaul as the Blue Demons scored 11 points off six Fighting Irish turnovers, opening a 20-12 lead when Centrese McGee scored a basket inside.
But Loyd got the Fighting Irish going moment later with a 14-foot jumper to cut the lead to 24-19. After Reimer scored on a rebound, Mabrey hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cap a 12-0 run and give 29-24 lead. DePaul was 0-of-6 shooting during the run with three turnovers.
Loyd hit a pair of free throws with two seconds left in the half to give the Fighting Irish a 37-31 lead.
The Last Time Notre Dame and DePaul Met in the Regular Season
Jewell Loyd scored a career-high and school record-tying 41 points – including seven in overtime – to lead No. 5/4 Notre Dame to a 94-93 victory at No. 25 DePaul on Dec. 10, 2014, at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago.
With Notre Dame down 93-92 and 5.3 seconds left in overtime, Loyd was fouled on a drive and hit two free throws to help the Fighting Irish win their sixth straight in the series.
Notre Dame erased a six-point deficit in the final three minutes to force overtime.
Brittany Hrynko missed eight free throws – all in the final 30 seconds of regulation or overtime – for DePaul. She was 5-of-16 from the line and the Blue Demons were 12-of-29 overall.
Hrynko scored 32 points for the Blue Demons. Megan Podkowa had 20, and Chanise Jenkins 12 and a game-high 10 assists.
Loyd also had a game-high 12 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Madison Cable had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Taya Reimer added 15 points and 11 rebounds. It was the first time Notre Dame had three players with double-doubles since Dec. 8, 2012.
Notre Dame built a 40-35 halftime lead behind 17 points from Loyd and 10 more from Cable.
But two minutes into the second half DePaul sprinted to a 49-44 lead with a 14-4 run that included Hrynko’s two three-pointers and another form Podkowa.
Loyd’s layup with 16:20 left launched a 10-0 Notre Dame run as the Fighting Irish opened a 54-49 lead. DePaul went back up at 64-63 on Jessica January’s layup on the way to a 71-63 lead, its largest of the night with 7:31 to go.
Notre Dame rallied to force a 82-82 tie on Loyd’s two free throws with 13.5 seconds left in regulation and DePaul missed a chance to go ahead with Hrynko missed two free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining.
Other Notre Dame-DePaul Series Tidbits
- DePaul is Notre Dame’s second-most common opponent (after Connecticut and its 45 series games against the Fighting Irish), with the two sides meeting for the 42nd time on Wednesday night.
- The Fighting Irish and Blue Demons first played during the 1978-79 season (Notre Dame’s second as a varsity program). The teams faced off at least once annually from 1981-82 through 1994-95, and again each year beginning with the 2005-06 season.
- Nine of the past 18 series games have been decided by single digits, including seven of the past 13.
- Notre Dame’s 94-93 win on Dec. 10, 2014, in Chicago marked the first overtime contest in the 41-game series.
- Despite the long history of the Notre Dame-DePaul series (41 games since 1978-79), the aggregate point totals for the two teams are extremely close, separated by just 59 points – the Fighting Irish have scored 2,874 points (70.1 ppg.), while the Blue Demons have tallied 2,815 points (68.7 ppg.).
- In 17 of the past 22 series games, the winning team has scored at least 75 points. The only exceptions have been the second matchups in 2007-08 and 2008-09 (66-64 Notre Dame win in Chicago in 2008; 62-59 Fighting Irish win at Purcell Pavilion in 2009), as well as both games in 2010-11 (70-69 DePaul win in Chicago; 71-67 Notre Dame win in BIG EAST semifinals at Hartford) and most recently the 2012 BIG EAST quarterfinal (a 69-54 Fighting Irish victory in Hartford).
- The Fighting Irish have held DePaul to 70 points or fewer in 10 of the past 12 series games after holding DePaul to that mark only once in the previous seven series contests.
- DePaul’s 19 series wins are the third-most by one Fighting Irish opponent, exceeded only by Connecticut (33) and Tennessee (20).
- Notre Dame and DePaul have been members of the same conference twice, as part of both the North Star (1983-88) and BIG EAST (2005-13) conferences. Combining those two league memberships (regular season and conference tournament games), Notre Dame is 15-10 against DePaul, but when the two schools meet as non-conference opponents, the Blue Demons are 9-7 against the Fighting Irish.
- Notre Dame has had 15 players come from the state of Illinois (third-most from any state behind Indiana’s 21 and Michigan’s 16), including 14 from the Chicagoland area. Junior center Diamond Thompson (Wheaton/Wheaton Warrenville South HS) is the latest addition to a list that includes 2015 espnW National Player of the Year, No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft and WNBA Rookie of the Year Jewell Loyd (Lincolnwood/Niles West HS), NCAA career three-point percentage record holder Alicia Ratay (Lake Zurich/Lake Zurich HS), two-time All-America guard Lindsay Schrader (Bartlett/Bartlett HS) and 1,000-point scorer/2004 Purple Heart recipient Danielle Green (Chicago/Roosevelt HS).
- Both head coaches – Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw and DePaul’s Doug Bruno – have ties to the old Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL) which existed from 1978-81 and was an ancestor of the current American women’s professional basketball league, the WNBA; McGraw was a point guard for the California Dreams in 1979 (the Orange County-based franchise’s only year of existence), while Bruno was head coach and director of player personnel for the Chicago Hustle throughout its incarnation from 1978-80.
- In recent years, Notre Dame has shown exceptional resiliency when it comes to responding to a double-digit loss.
- Since 1995-96, the Fighting Irish are 66-14 (.825) in their next game after a double-digit defeat, including an active 13-game winning streak in such contests, a run that dates back to the end of the 2008-09 season.
- Notre Dame is 91-31 (.746) in the 29-year Muffet McGraw era (1987-88 to present) when playing its first game following a loss of 10 points or more.
Three For The Money
- Notre Dame has heated up from the three-point line in a big way, canning 53 treys this season (6.6 per game), including 38 in its last four 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 Tuesday), connecting at a .453 clip from beyond the arc.
- Dating back to the start of the 2012-13 season, Notre Dame has posted a 115-7 (.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 21 games decided by single digits and/or in overtime, including twice in as many opportunities this season – a 92-84 overtime win over UCLA on Nov. 28 in the Junkanoo Jam Freeport Division championship game in Freeport, Bahamas, and a 75-72 victory over No. 10/12 Ohio State on Dec. 2 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge 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.
- 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 16.5 points per game (fourth 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 currently leads the ACC in three-point percentage (.564 – sixth in nation) while ranking second in free-throw percentage (.909 – 14th in nation), fourth in three-pointers per game (2.8) and sixth in field-goal percentage (.577).
- 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 eight 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 three 20-point games, including career-high totals in two of her last three games (22 points against UCLA on Nov. 28 in the Junkanoo Jam Freeport Division title game; 25 points on Dec. 2 against No. 10/12 Ohio State at Purcell Pavilion in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge). The latter game also yielded her 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 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 fieldÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬goal percentage, .667 threeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬point percentage and .875 freeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬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.
- Although she has come off the bench in all eight games to date, the Belmar, New Jersey, native is averaging 13.1 points per game, which is tied for 19th in the ACC and second among conference freshmen. She also has scored in double figures five 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 third in the ACC and 17th in the nation with 3.3 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).
- Sophomore forward Kathryn Westbeld is another Notre Dame player who has shown significant growth during the early portion of this season.
- The Kettering, Ohio, native moved into the starting lineup this year following injuries to two of the Fighting Irish starting posts from a season ago and has not looked back, averaging a career-high 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
- Westbeld has scored in double figures in six games this year (including a season-high 16 points at Valparaiso on Nov. 23) after posting nine double-digit scoring games as a rookie in 2014-15.
- Westbeld ranks 13th in the ACC in field-goal percentage (.522, just off last year’s pace of .526) and is 29th in the conference in scoring thus far.
— 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).