Jan. 18, 2016

Recap | Box Score | USATSI Gallery

By Chris Masters

Inside The Game: #3 Notre Dame 79, #18/15 Tennessee 66
Jan. 18, 2016 – Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

It Was Over When: Junior guard/captain Lindsay Allen drove into the lane, flipped in a double-pump layup and was fouled by Tennessee’s Andraya Carter with 4:24 remaining in the game. Allen completed the old-fashioned three-point play to give Notre Dame a 71-48 lead and although the Lady Vols chipped into the margin somewhat with late pressure against the Fighting Irish reserves, Notre Dame maintained its comfortable double-digit lead all the way to the finish line.

Game Ball Goes To: Freshman guard Arike Ogunbowale, who scored nine of her team-high 14 points in the second quarter when Notre Dame took the lead for good, outscoring Tennessee, 21-11 in the period. Ogunbowale finished 4-of-8 from the field (making her only three-point attempt) and converted 5-of-6 free throws while grabbing three rebounds in an efficient 20 minutes of action off the bench.

Unsung Hero: Sophomore forward Kathryn Westbeld quietly continues to play a pivotal role in Fighting Irish fortunes this season. The Kettering, Ohio, native scored 13 points and made 6-of-7 shots (including her first three in the opening five minutes and her first three-pointer of the season), in addition to pulling down six rebounds in 28 minutes. Westbeld and fellow sophomore Brianna Turner punctuated a solid Notre Dame post game that scored 27 points on 13-of-17 shooting and snared 15 rebounds (Turner added five blocks and a career-high three assists).

Unofficial Play of the Game: As they did often on Monday, Notre Dame turned defense into offense, no more so than with 3:48 remaining in the second quarter. As Tennessee’s Te’a Cooper drove in for a layup, Turner blocked the ball and kept it in play to Allen, who raced upcourt before finding Ogunbowale on the right wing. The rookie from Milwaukee snapped the twine from the three-point line and the Fighting Irish grabbed a 30-25 lead, part of an 11-2 run late in the period that helped propel the hosts into the locker room with a seven-point lead.

Stat Of The Game: Notre Dame tied a season high with six players scoring in double figures (none more than 14 points), matching its balanced production from a 110-54 win at Valparaiso on Nov. 23.

Additional Notes: Notre Dame is off to a 17-1 start for the fourth time in five years and the sixth time in program history (also 2000-01, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14) … the Fighting Irish are 4-1 this season against ranked opponents (not including a 92-84 overtime victory over UCLA on Nov. 28 in the Junkanoo Jam Freeport Division title game in Freeport, Bahamas, a game played 48 hours before UCLA entered the Associated Press poll) … in the past four seasons, Notre Dame is 43-6 (.878) against ranked opponents … the Fighting Irish are 12-0 all-time when playing on ESPN’s “Big Monday” telecast (7-0 at home, 5-0 on the road) … Notre Dame has won six in a row against Tennessee, all by double digits, after losing the first 20 games in the series against the Lady Vols … the Fighting Irish have won 13 of their last 14 games (and 16 of their last 24) against Southeastern Conference opponents … Notre Dame shot better than 50 percent from the field for the ninth time this year … the Fighting Irish bench outscored its opponent’s reserves for the 17th time in 18 games this year and tallied at least 30 points for the 11th time this season … Notre Dame is 10-1 this season with at least four players scoring in double figures and 128-6 (.955) in such games dating back to the start of the 2009-10 season (with wins in 98 of its last 100 outings) … Turner tied her season high with five blocks (her 11th career five-block game) and set a new career high with three assists (she had two helpers on eight occasions) … Allen tied her career high with four steals, a mark she’s hit four times previously (most recently against Baylor on March 29, 2015, in the NCAA Elite Eight/Oklahoma City Regional final) … Allen also started her 95th consecutive game, tying Katryna Gaither (1994-97) for the second-longest streak of consecutive starts in school history (Jacqueline Batteast started 97 in a row from 2002-05).

Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame continues its three-game homestand and returns to ACC play at 7 p.m. (ET) Thursday, playing host to Syracuse 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).