March 21, 2016
By Chris Masters
It Was Over When: Graduate student guard Madison Cable canned back-to-back three-pointers 25 seconds apart to give Notre Dame an 80-60 lead with 6:37 remaining. Cable’s twin treys punctuated a 24-6 Fighting Irish run that stretched back into the third quarter and Indiana never got closer than the final margin (and that came only via an uncontested Tyra Buss three-pointer with two seconds left).
Game Ball Goes To: Junior guard/captain Lindsay Allen, who picked the perfect time to score a season-high 22 points, including 10 in a row to close out the first half. Allen also dished out seven assists and added a career-high five steals, two days after she had 10 assists, but did not take a single shot from the floor (she made 1-of-2 free throws) in Notre Dame’s first-round win over North Carolina A&T.
Unsung Hero: Playing in only her second NCAA postseason game, freshman guard Marina Mabrey looked like an experienced veteran, coming off the bench to score 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting (including 11 points in the first half). It was Mabrey’s highest point total since Jan. 7 at Virginia, when she also scored 15 points, and her first-half performance provided particularly vital in helping Notre Dame keep a scrappy Indiana side at bay.
Unofficial Play of the Game, Part I: After Indiana trimmed the Notre Dame lead to 56-54 and had a possession to tie or take the lead with 2:10 left in the third quarter, Allen came up with double defensive dynamite to restore the Fighting Irish momentum. First, she picked off Buss’ pass, raced into the front court and found freshman guard Arike Ogunbowale for a layup. Then, she swiped the ensuing inbounds pass by IU’s Lyndsay Leikem, drove into the lane and spun in a layup, bringing the Purcell Pavilion crowd to its feet and forcing IU head coach Teri Moren to call timeout.
Unofficial Play of the Game, Part II: On Notre Dame’s first possession of the fourth quarter, Allen threw a pass inside to sophomore forward Brianna Turner, who posted up in the lane, but lost her footing as her IU defender backed away. As Turner fell to the ground in the paint, she maintained her dribble and from the seat of her pants, she alertly looked up and saw Mabrey cutting down the lane and the Notre Dame rookie shoveled in a six-foot floater to give the Fighting Irish a 68-56 lead.
Stat Of The Game: Notre Dame is the only NCAA Division I school to send both of its basketball teams to the NCAA Championship Sweet 16, as well as have its football team compete in a New Year’s Six bowl game. Notre Dame also is one of two schools to send both basketball teams to this year’s Sweet 16 – the other is a fellow ACC member, Syracuse.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame advances to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the seventh consecutive season and 14th time in program history (all within the past 20 seasons) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish are one of five teams to make the Sweet 16 the past seven years, along with Connecticut, Tennessee, Baylor and Stanford ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame moves to 27-4 (.871) all-time as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship and 38-5 (.884) as a higher seed ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish are 14-5 in NCAA tournament second-round games, including a 7-0 record at home ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame has won three of its last four second-round NCAA games by exactly 17 points ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish are 16-2 (.889) all-time at home in the NCAA Championship ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame is 24-0 all-time in the NCAA Championship when it scores at least 80 points in a tournament game ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish move to 7-4 all-time against Indiana (4-3 at Purcell Pavilion), with this marking not only the largest margin of victory by either team in the series, but just the second double-digit win in the 11-game series (Notre Dame posted a 74-61 victory on Nov. 23, 2005, at Assembly Hall in Bloomington) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish have won 22 consecutive games against in-state opponents ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame has won 26 of its last 32 games against Big Ten Conference schools and 15 in a row ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish are 7-0 this season when playing on one day’s rest or less ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame’s 34 mad field goals tied for the fourth-most by the Fighting Irish in an NCAA tournament game and most since March 22, 2014, when they made a program-record 38 baskets in an NCAA first-round win over Robert Morris in Toledo, Ohio ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Allen had a season-high 22 points, two more than her total against another Big Ten opponent, No. 10/12 Ohio State on Dec. 2 at Purcell Pavilion ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Allen has scored at least 20 points in three of her last six NCAA postseason games (28 vs. Stanford, 23 vs. Baylor, both at the 2015 Oklahoma City Regional last year) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Allen’s career-high five steals were one more than her previous best set on five occasions (most recently on Jan. 18 against No. 18/15 Tennessee) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Turner picked up her fourth double-double of the season and ties for fifth on Notre Dame’s single-season chart with 85 blocks (Ruth Riley had 85 blocks in 1999-2000).
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame will play fourth-seeded (and No. 13/16) Stanford in the NCAA Championship’s Lexington Regional semifinal (Sweet 16) at 9 p.m. (ET) Friday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. The game will be televised live on ESPN and WatchESPN, while radio coverage will be available in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1).
– 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).