Feb. 27, 2016
By Chris Masters
Inside The Game: #2/3 Notre Dame 70, Boston College 58
Feb. 27, 2016 – Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
It Was Over When: Sophomore forward Brianna Turner converted a lob pass from freshman guard Marina Mabrey to give Notre Dame a 20-4 lead with 3:38 left in the first quarter. While Boston College doggedly battled the Fighting Irish all afternoon, Notre Dame never let the Eagles trim the margin to single digits, maintaining that early 16-point spread for the balance of the game and leading by as much as 23 points in the fourth quarter.
Game Ball Goes To: Graduate student guard Madison Cable, who set the tone early for Notre Dame on Senior Day, making five of her six shots and finishing with a game-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Cable also paced an aggressive Fighting Irish defense with a season high-tying five steals, including four in the first half alone.
Unsung Hero: Freshman guard Arike Ogunbowale turned in yet another signature performance off the bench with 15 points (on 6-of-10 shooting), eight rebounds and a career high-tying four assists in 23 minutes. In addition to her assist total, Ogunbowale narrowly missed matching her personal high in rebounds (nine at Pittsburgh on Jan. 3).
Unofficial Play of the Game: Late in the third quarter, Cable came up with her fifth steal of the game, raced into the front court and fed Turner on the left block. The pass was tipped back out to the perimeter, with Cable alertly finding sophomore guard Mychal Johnson at the top of the key. Without missing a beat, Johnson whipped a pass back inside to Turner, who had re-established position in the lane and canned a jump hook as she was fouled by BC’s Katie Quandt, giving Notre Dame a 55-33 lead with 1:50 to go in the period.
Stat Of The Game: Notre Dame made 11 of its first 12 shots from the floor (including seven in a row at one stretch) and finished the first half with a .727 field-goal percentage (16-of-22). As it turns out, that wasn’t even Notre Dame’s best shooting half of the season – the Fighting Irish connected at a .765 clip (26-of-34) in the first half against No. 18/17 DePaul on Dec. 9, 2015, at Purcell Pavilion.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame clinches its third consecutive outright Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title and fifth outright league regular-season crown in a row, going back to its final two years in the BIG EAST (2011-12 and 2012-13) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish are the first ACC team to win three consecutive outright conference championships since Duke won four in a row from 2001-04 (the Blue Devils took four straight from 2010-13, but shared the first two in that run with Florida State and Miami, respectively) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame is just the second ACC school from outside North Carolina’s Research Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) to win three consecutive conference crowns, and the first since Virginia’s six-year run from 1991-96 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ this marks the third time in four years (and second in three ACC seasons) the Fighting Irish have “run the table” and gone 16-0 in conference play – Notre Dame is the fourth ACC school to post multiple undefeated seasons, along with Duke (3), North Carolina State (2) and Virginia (2) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame is just the second program in ACC history to experience just one regular-season loss in a three-year span – Duke did likewise from 2002-04, recording the same 47-1 combined record in conference play as the Fighting Irish have done the past three seasons ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame is 54-1 all-time against ACC opponents when factoring in a 7-0 mark in the postseason (6-0 in the ACC Tournament, plus a win over then-conference member Maryland at the 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Nashville, Tennessee) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish have won 29 consecutive regular-season ACC games (32 overall, including last year’s ACC Tournament) and have won a program-record 34 consecutive home games against league opponents ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame extends its current overall home winning streak to 28 games, the third-longest in program history ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame’s five consecutive outright conference regular-season titles extends the program’s high-water mark in that category – prior to this current run, the Fighting Irish had won three in a row just once (1989-91 in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference/Horizon League) and the first of those was shared with Loyola-Chicago ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ this is the 13th regular-season conference title in Notre Dame women’s basketball history (11th under Hall of Fame head coach Muffet McGraw), with 11 of those being outright championships (nine in the McGraw era) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the current 21-game Fighting Irish winning streak ties for the fifth longest success string in one season in program history (and the sixth time in seven years Notre Dame has had a 21-game winning streak) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish improve to 33-6 (.846) all-time on Senior Day, including a 26-3 (.897) mark in the McGraw era (1987-88 to present) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame finished the month of February unbeaten for the fourth consecutive season and has won 34 consecutive February games, while rising to 129-28 (.822) in the critical month since 1995-96, highlighted by a 72-6 (.923) home record in February games during that span ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish knocked down four three-pointers on Saturday, giving them 173 for the season and tying the 2000-01 national championship squad for the fourth-most treys in one season in program history ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame moves to 18-5 all-time against Boston College (11-0 at home) and has won the past eight games in the series – the Fighting Irish also are 16-3 against the Eagles in regular-season conference play, dating back to their previous shared membership in the BIG EAST (1996-2005) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame also has held BC to fewer than 61 points in 11 of their last 12 series matchups ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish are 23-5 (.821) all-time against schools from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and have won their last 12 games against teams from the Bay State ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame posted its third sellout crowd of the season (9,149) as well as the 48th in program history (42nd since 2009-10).
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame has earned the No. 1 seed for next week’s ACC Tournament and will have a double-bye into the tournament quarterfinals. The Fighting Irish will play their first ACC Tournament game at 2 p.m. (ET) Friday, March 4 with a quarterfinal matchup against the winner of the second-round game between the Nos. 8-9 seeds (likely to be come from a group of four teams – Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia and Wake Forest; the full ACC bracket will be revealed Sunday night after all conference regular-season play has concluded). Notre Dame’s ACC quarterfinal will be televised live on the ACC-Regional Sports Networks (including Comcast Channel 101 in South Bend – check theacc.com for additional presenting affiliates), as well as on ESPN3 and WatchESPN. In addition, radio coverage will be available in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and the official Notre Dame athletics online multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv) and the WatchND app,
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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).