Feb. 11, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
In every game, the No. 7 Notre Dame women’s basketball team tries to fight off a fierce opponent ready to knock off one of the sport’s most successful and prominent teams. Once a year, the Fighting Irish also fight for those who have been or will be affected by breast cancer by hosting their annual Pink Zone game.
In addition to playing host to Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. on Sunday, the Irish will have a variety of events to raise funds for breast cancer research, including a silent auction. For information about the beneficiaries, a list of silent auction items, things for sale at the Pink Zone table and more, head to UND.com/pinkzone.
The Irish will wear special uniforms for the game along with even more unique pregame warmup T-Shirts. Fans were able to bid on sponsoring a player’s pregame shooting shirt with the name of a loved one. The shirts will be autographed after the game and given to the donor.
Additionally, Sunday’s game will mark the 20-year reunion of the 1997 Final Four team — the program’s first to reach the national semifinals. The group will be recognized on the Purcell Pavilion court during the game.
Here is some more information about the game:
About the Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech enters that game at 14-10 on the year and 3-8 in ACC play. The Yellow Jackets claimed an solid win over Virginia Tech on Feb. 5 but have wrapped it around tough overtime losses at Virginia (Feb. 2) and NC State (Feb. 9). Zaire O’Neil, the reigning ACC Player of the Week, leads Georgia Tech at 13.3 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game. No other Yellow Jackets average in double figures, but Ohio State transfer Kaylan Pugh comes the closest at 9.7 points per game. MaChelle Joseph is in her 14th year as head coach at Georgia Tech, compiling a 266-172 record.
The Irish have won all seven meetings with the Yellow Jackets, six of them coming since Notre Dame joined the ACC for the 2013-14 season. Georgia Tech is one of six teams Notre Dame has faced at least seven times and never lost to, joining Valparaiso (27-0), Providence College (22-0), St. Mary’s (Ind.) (10-0), Cincinnati (9-0) and Western Michigan (9-0).
While the Irish might lead the series, 7-0, the games have been relatively close. The most lopsided of the seven contests was just 17 points, coming in the most recent meeting on Jan. 2.
In the only pre-ACC era meeting, the teams first faced off in Atlanta on Nov. 30, 1996, with the Irish taking a 76-69 victory to win the Comfort Inn Downtown Classic.
Last month in Atlanta, Notre Dame used a 23-2 run in the late first and early second quarters to pull away to an eventual 55-38 victory over Georgia Tech. Arike Ogunbowale led all scorers with 18 points while Brianna Turner narrowly missed a double-double with her nine points and 11 assists. Lindsay Allen also put forth a balanced stat line on the night with seven points, seven rebounds and eight assists. On the defensive end, the 38 points marked Georgia Tech’s fewest on its home floor since Virginia beat the Yellow Jackets, 61-38, on Jan. 10, 2005, at then-Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Since Louisville joined the ACC and Maryland left following the 2013-14 season, Georgia Tech and Boston College have been Notre Dame’s two home-and-home ACC opponents.
Big Scoring Nights on the Rise
Arike Ogunbowale poured in 22 points in Monday night’s win over No. 12 Louisville. The offensive output by the sophomore reflects a growing trend for the Irish in 2016-17. Last season, Notre Dame recorded a 20-point individual game 16 times. This year, with plenty of basketball left to be played, Notre Dame has produced 13 games with 20 points.
Additionally, Ogunbowale hit the 30-point mark on opening night against Central Michigan (Nov. 11). Notre Dame did not have any 30-point games a season ago.
McGraw Radio Show Returns This Monday
For the first time, Muffet McGraw has her own local radio show as the Muffet McGraw Show Presented by TireRack.com debuted Jan. 9 at O’Rourke’s Public House, located in Eddy Street Commons, across the street from campus.
The hour-long show, which begins at 6 p.m., is hosted by Bob Nagle, now in his 12th year as the radio voice of the Irish women’s basketball team. It is broadcast live locally on 92.1 Pulse FM and also available over the internet at WatchND.tv. The shows are archived as Notre Dame Athletics Podcasts which are presented by Nissan. Each episode will also feature interviews with a current student-athlete, a member of the Irish coaching staff and also a feature on a select former player. Fans will have an opportunity to ask questions of coach McGraw and her guests along with winning prizes.
Five shows, all on Monday nights, are planned for the 2016-17 season with the dates being Jan. 9, Jan. 23, Feb. 13, Feb. 20 and Feb. 27.
National Honors Abound For Irish
Notre Dame comprises a full 10% of the remaining candidates for both the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy. The two national player of the year awards reduced their candidate rolls to 20 and 30, respectively, on Wednesday as Lindsay Allen and Brianna Turner appeared on both lists while Arike Ogunbowale was included with the Naismith Top 30.
Additional information on the trio is available in Wednesday’s press release, here at UND.com.
How to Watch/Listen
The game will be broadcast regionally through the ACC Network with Mike Hogewood and Chelsea Shine on the call. The game is not available on local TV in South Bend. Irish fans outside of the South Bend area can check their local listings for availability here.
ACC Network games are also available online at WatchESPN.com (formerly branded as ESPN3) or through the WatchESPN app outside of the ACC’s television footprint. Streams are free to all ESPN subscribers in these areas. The blackout has been lifted for the South Bend market because the game is not being broadcast here.
Information on how to access WatchESPN is available here.
For those familiar with the WatchESPN and not in a television broadcast zone, the direct link to the webcast of the Georgia Tech game is available here.
Bob Nagle is in his 12th season as the radio voice of the Irish. Notre Dame’s local home on the radio is Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) while the audio is also available globally via WatchND.tv and the WatchND app. The audio link for the broadcast is here.
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications associate director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013 and coordinates all media efforts for Notre Dame’s women’s basketball and men’s golf teams. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.