Dec. 2, 2015
By Chris Masters
Inside The Game: #3 Notre Dame 75, #10/12 Ohio State 72
Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 2, 2015 – Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
It Was Over When: Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell saw her potential game-tying three-point attempt hit the back iron as time expired, giving Notre Dame a 75-72 win. Although the Fighting Irish led for all but 3:24 of Wednesday’s contest, neither team held a double-digit lead at any time and the margin was six points or less for the final 14 minutes of the game.
Game Ball Goes To: Graduate student guard Madison Cable, who, for the second game in a row, scored a career high with 25 points and added a team-best 11 rebounds to pick up her second career double-double (first since Dec. 10, 2014, in an overtime win at No. 25 DePaul). Cable put Notre Dame in front on a three-pointer from the right wing with 56.2 seconds left, then rebounded a missed three-pointer from Mitchell and hit two clutch free throws with 7.5 seconds remaining to help seal the win.
Unsung Hero: Making her second career start, senior guard Hannah Huffman displayed the bulldog mentality that has made her a fan favorite at Purcell Pavilion, grabbing a career-high nine rebounds, including seven at the offensive end. Huffman added two points and three assists in a season-high 19 minutes.
Unofficial Play of the Game: It’s sometimes the little things that make the biggest difference. After Cable’s two free throws with 7.5 seconds left, Notre Dame had a foul to give and sophomore guard Mychal Johnson alertly waited until Mitchell crossed midcourt, then used that spare foul with 2.9 seconds to play, preventing the OSU All-American from getting off a shot. It forced the Buckeyes to inbound from the sideline and led to Mitchell’s hurried last-second three-point attempt that was off the mark as the horn sounded.
Stat Of The Game: Notre Dame remains unbeaten in three appearances in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, one of three schools in either conference with an unblemished all-time record in the event (fellow ACC members Louisville and Pittsburgh both are 1-0, heading into their games Thursday night on the road at Michigan State and Michigan, respectively).
Additional Notes: Notre Dame has won 21 consecutive games decided by single digits and/or in overtime, including the past two games … the Fighting Irish are 40-5 (.889) against ranked opponents in the past four years, with a 23-5 (.821) record against top-10 teams … Notre Dame moves to 3-1 all-time against Ohio State, including a 2-0 record at Purcell Pavilion, and the Fighting Irish have won their last three games against the Buckeyes … all four games in the Notre Dame-Ohio State series have been decided by seven points or less … the Fighting Irish improve to 70-69 (.504) all-time against the current Big Ten Conference alignment, with a 36-24 (.600) record at home and 62-48 (.564) mark in the 29-year Muffet McGraw era … Notre Dame has won 14 consecutive games against Big Ten opponents and 25 of its last 31 against that conference (not counting matchups against Maryland, Nebraska or Rutgers before they joined the Big Ten) … the Fighting Irish rise to 78-16 (.830) all-time against Ohio schools, including a 40-7 (.851) record at home … Notre Dame has won 21 consecutive games against teams from the state of Ohio, including two this year (also a 74-39 victory over Toledo on Nov. 18 at Purcell Pavilion) … this marked the second time this season the Fighting Irish have had two 20-point scorers in the same game (Brianna Turner had 21 points and Madison Cable added 20 points in the season-opening win over Bucknell on Nov. 15 at Purcell Pavilion) … Cable’s 25 points not only eclipsed her previous career high set four days ago against UCLA (22 points), but it also was the most points by a Notre Dame player since Lindsay Allen’s 28 points vs. No. 14/17 Stanford in the NCAA Oklahoma City Regional semifinals (Sweet 16) on March 27, 2015, at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma … Cable’s five three-pointers tied her career high (also vs. UCLA on Dec. 7, 2013, at Purcell Pavilion) and were the most by a Notre Dame player since March 22, 2015, when Michaela Mabrey canned five treys against DePaul in the second round of the NCAA Championship at Purcell Pavilion.
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame will take part in the 14th annual Jimmy V Women’s Classic when it takes on No. 1 Connecticut at 5:15 p.m. (ET) Saturday at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut. The game will be televised live on ESPN 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).
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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).