March 1, 2016
By Chris Masters
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After earning its school-record fifth consecutive outright regular-season conference title (and third in as many years of Atlantic Coast Conference membership), the No. 2/3 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team was recognized for its efforts with a handful of individual honors on Tuesday, as the ACC office announced this year’s all-conference and all-freshman teams.
Fighting Irish junior guard Lindsay Allen (Mitchellville, Md./St. John’s College), graduate student guard Madison Cable (Mt. Lebanon, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) and sophomore forward Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel) earned spots on this year’s 10-player All-ACC First Team. Notre Dame was the only school with three first-team selections this season, marking the fourth time in six years the Fighting Irish have fielded three first-team all-conference honorees in the same season (first since 2012-13 in the BIG EAST Conference).
In addition, Notre Dame placed two of its freshman guards – Marina Mabrey (Belmar, N.J./Manasquan) and Arike Ogunbowale (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) – on the 2015-16 ACC All-Freshman Team that was revealed Tuesday. The Fighting Irish and North Carolina were the only programs with two all-freshman choices, the first time Notre Dame fielded a pair of all-rookie picks in the same season since a three-year run of multiple BIG EAST All-Freshman Team choices from 2007-09.
Sophomore forward Brianna Turner earned her second All-ACC First Team selection in as many years after leading the ACC and ranking among the top 15 nationally in field-goal percentage (.615) and blocked shots (3.1 bpg.) this year.
The conference will unveil its specialty awards – Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Coach of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Sixth Player of the Year – in separate announcements on Wednesday.
This week’s ACC awards were selected through a vote of the ACC’s Blue Ribbon Panel, which consists of designated media members who cover the conference’s 15 institutions, the conference’s 15 head coaches and media relations directors, and other selected national and regional women’s basketball experts. The complete rundown of all-conference and all-freshman teams can be found on the ACC’s official web site, theacc.com.
A second set of all-conference honors, as voted on by the ACC head coaches at the end of the regular season, will be released next week.
This marks the ninth consecutive season Notre Dame has had multiple players earn all-conference recognition. For Turner, it is her second first-team selection in as many seasons. She becomes the 15th Fighting Irish player to collect multiple first-team all-league citations during their careers, stretching back to the program’s previous affiliations with the BIG EAST (1995-2013), Midwestern Collegiate (1988-95) and North Star (1983-88) conferences.
Meanwhile, Allen and Cable both receive the first all-league citations of their respective careers.
Junior guard/captain Lindsay Allen leads the ACC and ranks among the top 25 in the nation in assists (5.7 apg.) and assist/turnover ratio (2.41) in 2015-16.
With this season’s first-team selections for Allen, Cable and Turner, it represents the 13th consecutive year, and 19th time in the past 21 seasons that the Fighting Irish have had at least one player garner first-team all-conference status. In fact, in head coach Muffet McGraw’s 29 seasons as head coach at Notre Dame, covering four conference affiliations (ACC, BIG EAST, Midwestern Collegiate and North Star), the Fighting Irish have had at least one first-team all-conference selection an astounding 26 times (all but 1993, 1998 and 2003).
Allen, a final candidate for the Nancy Lieberman Award as the country’s top point guard, leads the ACC in both assists (5.7 apg. ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” also 22nd in nation) and assist/turnover ratio (2.41 ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” also 20th in nation) while averaging 8.9 points per game. In conference play, she likewise led the ACC in those two categories with 5.6 assists per game and a 2.43 assist/turnover ratio, while ranking third in the league with a .549 field-goal percentage.
In addition to being a Lieberman Award final candidate, Allen also was named to the Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30 List and was chosen as the ACC Player of the Week on Dec. 28 after collecting 16 points, nine assists and seven rebounds a week earlier at Saint Joseph’s (Pa.).
Graduate student guard Madison Cable was a two-time ACC Player of the Week choice this year and ranks among the top 20 in the ACC in five categories, including a league-best .457 three-point percentage (good for fourth in the nation).
Cable was a two-time ACC Player of the Week selection this year after posting career-high averages in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and double-doubles. She ranks among the top 20 in the ACC in five different categories, including a conference-best .457 three-point percentage (good for No. 4 in the nation). She also is 10th in the ACC in steals (1.9 spg.) and three-pointers per game (2.0), as well as 13th in field-goal percentage (.515) and 19th in scoring (13.6 ppg.) with three double-doubles to her credit.
In conference games, Cable ranked fourth in the ACC in free-throw percentage (.850), seventh in three-point percentage (.385), 15th in field-goal percentage (.472) and 23rd in scoring (12.2 ppg.).Cable has been especially strong against Top 25 opponents this season, averaging a team-high 15.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game with a .489 three-point percentage and all three of her double-doubles. She also was named the Most Valuable Player of the Junkanoo Jam’s Freeport Division on Nov. 28 after averaging 17.5 points and 6.0 rebounds with a .688 field-goal percentage in leading Notre Dame to wins over Denver and UCLA to claim the tournament title.
Despite missing six games with a shoulder injury early in the season, Turner has been one of the ACC’s most consistent players all year long, leading the conference in field-goal percentage (.618 ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” also fifth in nation) and blocked shots (3.1 bpg. ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” also 13th in nation), while ranking 12th in scoring (14.3 ppg.) and 13th in rebounding (7.0 rpg.) with two double-doubles.
A member of the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 List and Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30 List, Turner was equally strong during conference games, leading the ACC in field-goal percentage (.658) and blocks (2.9 bpg.), while ranking eighth in scoring (15.4 ppg.) and 12th in rebounding (7.3 rpg.).
After blocking 89 blocks as a rookie last year, Turner has recorded 72 blocked shots this season, already standing eighth on Notre Dame’s single-season blocks list. In fact, she joins Ruth Riley as the only Fighting Irish players ever to post multiple 70-block seasons – Riley did so during each of her four years under the Golden Dome from 1997-98 through 2000-01.
Freshman guard Marina Mabrey ranks second in the ACC with a .448 three-point percentage and has scored in double figures 18 times this year, along with posting the fifth triple-double in school history on Nov. 23 at Valparaiso.
Mabrey has been part of one of the nation’s premier bench units, ranking fourth on the team and 29th in the ACC in scoring at 10.9 points per game (sixth among conference freshmen). She also ranks second in the ACC in three-point percentage (.448), as well as seventh in free-throw percentage (.788), 13th in steals (1.7 spg.) and 15th in field-goal percentage (.502).
Mabrey was chosen as the ACC Rookie of the Week on Nov. 30, two days after making the Junkanoo Jam All-Tournament Team. Those two honors capped a week that saw her average 18.5 points and 5.0 steals per game at the Junkanoo Jam, on the heels of a triple-double at Valparaiso (18 points, school-record 12 steals, 10 assists), the fifth in school history and first by a freshman (second by an ACC rookie).
What’s more, Mabrey pulled off the second-fastest triple-double to start a career in NCAA Division I history, doing so in her fourth college game. She is one of 19 players in the nation to record a triple-double this season, and one of two ACC player to do so, along with Syracuse’s Cornelia Fondren.
Mabrey also has shown she can thrive on the big stage, averaging 11.7 points per game with a .545 field-goal percentage and .636 three-point percentage against ranked opponents. That includes a career-high 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting at top-ranked Connecticut on Dec. 5, a performance that featured 21 first-half points on 9-of-10 shooting and 12 in a row to open the second quarter.
Ogunbowale teamed with Mabrey to provide solid punch from the Fighting Irish second platoon this year, ranking third on the team and 24th in the ACC (fifth among league rookies) in scoring at 12.2 points per game, while placing fifth among ACC freshmen with 20 double-figure scoring games.
Freshman guard Arike Ogunbowale leads all Fighting Irish reserves in scoring at 12.2 points per game and has scored in double figures 20 times this season (fifth among ACC rookies).
During league play, Ogunbowale was equally sharp, ranking 20th in the ACC in scoring (12.6 ppg.), as well as 14th in free-throw percentage (.768).
Ogunbowale also earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors on Dec. 14 after pouring in a career-high 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting in a win at TCU two days earlier.
Winners of a season-best 21 consecutive games, Notre Dame (28-1, 16-0 ACC) is the top seed for the 2016 ACC Tournament and has earned a double-bye into the quarterfinal round, where it will play at 2 p.m. (ET) Friday at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina, against the winner of the second-round game between eighth-seeded Duke and No. 9 seed Virginia.
Notre Dame’s ACC quarterfinal contest will be televised live to a national cable audience on the ACC-Regional Sports Networks, produced by Raycom Sports (a television package that includes South Bend’s Comcast Channel 101; check local listings or theacc.com for additional presenting affiliates), as well as worldwide on ESPN3 and WatchESPN. It also can be heard on the radio in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) as well as free of charge around the globe through the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv) and the WatchND app.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, visit the main women’s basketball page on the University’s official athletics web site (UND.com/ndwbb), sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter and Instagram pages (@ndwbb), like the program on Facebook or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
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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).