March 4, 2016
By Chris Masters
Inside The Game: #2/3 Notre Dame 83, Duke 54
March 4, 2016 – Greensboro, North Carolina (Greensboro Coliseum)
It Was Over When: Senior guard/captain Michaela Mabrey found sophomore forward Brianna Turner with a lob from 30 feet out on the left wing and Turner converted the layup in mid-air with 6:07 left in the third quarter to give Notre Dame a 49-26 lead and result in a Duke timeout. The play was one of several highlights in a 12-0 third-quarter run that blew the game wide open and the Fighting Irish would keep their lead well above 20 points for the remainder of the afternoon.
Game Ball Goes To: Mabrey, who scored 11 points and connected on 3-of-7 three-pointers, including two deep triples in the first half, the latter in transition from four feet beyond the arc just 33 ticks into the second quarter to help spark a 21-4 Notre Dame run to open the period.
Unsung Heroes: Senior guard Hannah Huffman and junior forward Kristina Nelson added even more punch to an already-strong Fighting Irish bench unit, combining for 14 points (on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line), 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Nelson had a career-high six rebounds on the afternoon, part of Notre Dame’s 44-32 rebounding edge.
Unofficial Play of the Game: Junior guard/captain Lindsay Allen dazzled the Greensboro Coliseum crowd on a second-half fast break, racing down the left side of the floor and then putting a wicked crossover move on Duke’s Angela Salvadores, leaving the Blue Devil guard on the seat of her pants, as Allen smoothly glided in for a layup and a 53-29 Notre Dame lead with 4:35 left in the third quarter.
Stat Of The Game: The Fighting Irish did not commit a turnover in the first half and had only seven turnovers for the game. It was Notre Dame’s second-lowest turnover count of the year, behind only its five giveaways at Duke on Feb. 1.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame is off to a 29-1 start for the third time in program history, all within the past four seasons (also 2012-13 and 2013-14) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish have won 33 consecutive games against ACC opponents (29 regular season, four postseason) and are 55-1 against league teams (47-1 regular season, 8-0 postseason) since joining the ACC in 2013-14 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Friday’s margin was the second-largest for Notre Dame in three appearances (eight games) at the ACC Tournament behind an 83-48 win over No. 14/17 N.C. State in the 2014 semifinals ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish now have advanced to the conference tournament semifinals in 20 of the past 29 seasons, covering four leagues (North Star, Midwestern Collegiate/Horizon League, BIG EAST and ACC) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame is 43-19 (.694) all-time in conference tournament games, including a 25-7 (.781) record as a higher seed dating back to 1995-96 (the start of its membership in the BIG EAST) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish shot a season-best 92.3 percent (12-of-13) from the foul line, their best mark since they went a perfect 13-of-13 on March 27, 2015, against Stanford in the NCAA Oklahoma City Regional semifinals (Sweet 16) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Notre Dame bench scored at least 40 points for the eighth time this season and have outscored their opponent’s bench in 28 of 30 games this year ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish had five double-figure scorers for the 10th time this year and improve to 18-1 in games when they have four players in double digits (as well as wins in 106 of their last 108 such outings) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame is 13-1 all-time against Duke and has won the past 11 games in the series ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish are 33-2 (.943) all-time against teams from the state of North Carolina, including an active 22-game winning streak ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame is 20-1 (.952) all-time when playing in the state of North Carolina (11-1 road, 9-0 neutral).
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame will take on No. 21 (and fifth-seeded) Miami in the first ACC Tournament semifinal at noon (ET) Saturday at the Greensboro Coliseum. The game will be televised live on ESPNU and WatchESPN, while radio coverage will be available in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and free of charge around the world through the official Notre Dame athletics online multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv).
– 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).