Jan. 3, 2016
By Chris Masters
Inside The Game: #3 Notre Dame 65, Pittsburgh 55
Jan. 3, 2016 – Pittsburgh, Pa. (Petersen Events Center)
It Was Over When: Freshman guard Arike Ogunbowale converted a layup while being fouled to give Notre Dame a 60-53 lead with 5:29 remaining in the game. Although the Milwaukee native missed the ensuing free throw after a Pittsburgh timeout, it was one of the centerpieces in a 9-0 run Fighting Irish in the fourth quarter that helped the visitors finally turn back the pesky Panthers.
Game Ball Goes To: Sophomore forward Brianna Turner, who rolled up a game-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, along with five rebounds and three blocks. It was Turner’s second consecutive 20-point game and her fourth of the season.
Unsung Hero: Senior guard Hannah Huffman, who tied her career high with four assists, while adding three steals (all in a 2:29 span midway through the fourth quarter), two rebounds and a blocked shot in 15 minutes off the bench.
Unofficial Play of the Game: With the score tied 53-53 and 6:39 remaining in the game, Huffman caught the ball at the high post and lofted a pass to Turner, who had started to post up, then reversed field and rose up to catch Huffman’s lob, laying it in as she was fouled by Pittsburgh’s Stasha Carey. Turner then sank the free throw to complete the all-important three-point play and ignite Notre Dame’s clinching 9-0 run in the final period.
Stat Of The Game: Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw earned her 800th career win, becoming the fifth NCAA Division I coach in either men’s or women’s basketball history to amass 800 wins, seven NCAA Final Four berths and five national championship game appearances in his/her career (the others being former Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt, current Connecticut women’s coach Geno Auriemma, current Duke men’s coach Mike Krzyzewski and the late North Carolina men’s coach Dean Smith).
Additional Notes: Notre Dame is 40-1 against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents since joining the conference prior to the 2013-14 season (33-1 regular season, 7-0 postseason) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish have won 50 of their last 52 regular season road games ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame held Pittsburgh to an opponent season-low six points in the fourth quarter, matching two other foes this season (the last being Denver in the second period on Nov. 27 at the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport, Bahamas) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish also held Pittsburgh to an opponent season-low one three-pointer, besting the previous mark of two triples by Toledo on Nov. 18 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish registered season lows for field-goal percentage (previous was .373 against Oregon State on Dec. 28), field-goals made (previous was 22 against Oregon State on Dec. 28), field-goals attempted (previous was 56 at South Dakota State on Nov. 21) and three-pointers made (previous was three on two occasions, the last at Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 21) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame has won 21 consecutive games against teams from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and improves to 64-28 (.696) all-time against schools from the Keystone State (3-0 this season) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish have won 11 of their last 12 games to begin a new year and improve to 31-8 (.795) all-time in January openers ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame moves to 24-3 (.889) all-time against Pittsburgh, including a current seven-game series winning streak ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ McGraw also is the 10th NCAA Division I women’s basketball coach to register 800 career wins and the sixth-fastest to that milestone, doing so in 1,063 career games and edging past such notable Hall of Fame coaches as Rutgers’ C. Vivian Stringer (1,064 games), recently-retired Georgia coach Andy Landers (1,068 games) and North Carolina’s Sylvia Hatchell (1,074 games), while earning her 800th win one game behind former Texas head coach Jody Conradt (1,062 games) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Ogunbowale collected a career-high nine rebounds, one more than her total at Valparaiso on Nov. 23 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ junior guard/captain Lindsay Allen tied her season high with seven rebounds ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ graduate student guard Madison Cable tied her season high with three steals and posted career bests with 9-of-10 free throws ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame continues its first ACC road trip of the season on Thursday when it travels to Charlottesville, Virginia, to take on Virginia in a 7 p.m. (ET) contest at John Paul Jones Arena. The game will not be televised, although 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).