Dec. 28, 2015
By Chris Masters
Inside The Game: #3 Notre Dame 62, #10/9 Oregon State 61
Dec. 28, 2015 – Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
It Was Over When: Freshman guard Marina Mabrey gathered an inbounds pass to kill off the final :00.3 after Oregon State’s Katie McWilliams attempted to miss the second of her two free throws with the Beavers trailing, 62-60, but instead banked in the foul shot. Notre Dame then was able to successfully inbound the ball after the free throw to clinch the win.
Game Ball Goes To: Mabrey, who scored 13 points and provided a much-needed spark off the bench for the Fighting Irish, who began the game by missing their first nine shots before Mabrey’s three-pointer from the top of the key with 3:54 remaining in the first quarter.
Unsung Hero: In her second game back from a month-long layoff due to a shoulder injury, sophomore forward Brianna Turner filled every column in the box score, winding up with eight points, nine rebounds, four blocks and a career high-tying three steals in 33 minutes of action. Turner also held OSU’s 6-foot-6 senior center Ruth Hamblin to 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting after Hamblin came into the game shooting 57.1 percent from the field this season.
Unofficial Play of the Game: Senior guard Hannah Huffman earns this honor for the second game in a row. After the Fighting Irish gained possession in the final seconds of the first half, junior guard/captain Lindsay Allen drove into the lane, then kicked the ball out to Huffman on the left wing and her 15-foot jumper was true, just beating the halftime horn to give Notre Dame 30-26 lead. It was Huffman’s only shot of the night and would prove pivotal in light of the one-point final margin.
Stat Of The Game: Notre Dame has won 23 consecutive games decided by single digits and/or in overtime, including all four such contests this season. All four of those wins have come against teams that either were ranked at tipoff or currently are ranked – UCLA (92-84 in OT – unranked at time, but moved into Associated Press poll two days after playing Notre Dame and now No. 21 in AP poll), No. 10/12 Ohio State (75-72), No. 18/17 DePaul (95-90) and No. 10/9 Oregon State (62-61).
Additional Notes: Notre Dame is 3-1 against ranked teams this season and 42-6 (.875) against Top 25 opponents in the past four years, including a 24-6 (.800) mark against top-10 teams in that span ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish have won 13 consecutive games when coming back from the Christmas holiday ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame improves to 31-20 (.608) all-time against current Pac-12 Conference teams, including a 12-4 (.750) record at home – the Fighting Irish also have won 10 in a row and 28 of their last 35 games against the present Pac-12 alignment ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame shot a season-high .667 from the three-point line, bettering its .650 mark from beyond the arc at top-ranked Connecticut on Dec. 5 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish matched their season low with seven turnovers for the second consecutive game ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame turned in season lows for points (previous was 74 vs. Toledo on Nov. 18), assists (previous was 15 at South Dakota State on Nov. 21) and field-goal percentage (previous was .375 against No. 10/12 Ohio State on Dec. 2) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish bench outscored Oregon State’s reserves, 21-4, and have now outscored the opposition’s bench in all 12 games this season ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ freshman guard Marina Mabrey scored in double figures for the eighth time this year, with seven of those when she has come off the bench ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ sophomore forward Brianna Turner tied her season high with nine rebounds (also at South Dakota State on Nov. 21), while coming with a career high-tying three steals (the third time she’s hit that mark and first since Feb. 8, 2015, at Boston College) – Turner’s four blocks were one off her season best that she established twice (most recently at Valparaiso on Nov. 23) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ junior guard/captain Lindsay Allen (who was named ACC Co-Player of the Week earlier on Monday) dished out at least five assists for the 10th time in 12 games this year ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ coming into Monday’s game, Allen was 3-of-6 at the free-throw line inside the final five minutes and overtime, but she converted two clutch foul shots with 5.6 seconds left (and Notre Dame leading 60-59) to help secure the win ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish now have won 118 consecutive games when leading at halftime and are 193-2 (.990) in such games since the start of the 2009-10 season ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw earned her 798th career win on Monday.
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame opens its third season in the Atlantic Coast Conference at 7 p.m. (ET) Wednesday when it plays host to Georgia Tech at Purcell Pavilion. The game will be televised live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app, 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).