Nov. 15, 2015

Recap | Box Score | Quotes | Photo Gallery

by Chris Masters

Inside The Game: #3 Notre Dame 85, Bucknell 54
November 15, 2015 – Notre Dame, Indiana (Purcell Pavilion)

It Was Over When: Freshman guard Marina Mabrey took a floor-length bounce pass from her sister and senior guard/tri-captain Michaela Mabrey and converted a fast break layup, giving Notre Dame a 41-20 lead with 2:47 left in the first half. The basket capped a 21-5 Fighting Irish run and the hosts never let their lead dip lower than 13 points the rest of the afternoon.

Game Ball Goes To: Graduate student guard Madison Cable, who finished one point shy of her career scoring high with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including a near-perfect 3-of-4 from three-point range.

Unsung Hero: Senior guard/tri-captain Michaela Mabrey didn’t score a point, but her value was measured in more than the scoring column on Sunday. With junior guard Lindsay Allen saddled with foul trouble much of the day, Mabrey had to handle the point guard duties for long stretches during the game and came through with six assists, one off her career high, in 23 minutes.

Unofficial Play of the Game: The aforementioned Mabrey-to-Mabrey connection should get mention, but we’ll look at a play midway through the third quarter. Junior guard Lindsay Allen came down on the fast break, crossed over her defender and knifed into the lane before laying off a perfect pass to sophomore forward Kathryn Westbeld for the easy layup and a 53-35 Fighting Irish lead with 5:35 left in the third period. It was one of Allen’s eight assists on the day, one away from her career best.

Stat Of The Game: There’s only one on a milestone day like this – Muffet McGraw earns her 700th victory at Notre Dame (now 700-221, .760, since she arrived in South Bend prior to the 1987-88 season). McGraw is the second coach in any sport in the 128-year history of Fighting Irish athletics to win 700 games while coaching at Notre Dame (the late legendary fencing coach Mike DeCicco went a combined 774-80 at the helm of the Fighting Irish men’s and women’s fencing teams from 1962-95).

Additional Notes: Notre Dame is 26-3 (.897) in season openers under 29th-year head coach Muffet McGraw and has won its last 21 lidlifters ââ’¬¦ the Fighting Irish are 49-3 (.942) against first-time opponents since 2000-01, including an active 25-game winning streak ââ’¬¦ Notre Dame has won 38 consecutive home games against first-time opponents, a run that dates back to the 1995-96 season ââ’¬¦ the Fighting Irish have won 19 consecutive games against teams from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (13 in a row at home) and are 62-26 (.705) all-time against Keystone State schools, including a 30-5 (.857) record at home ââ’¬¦ McGraw improves to 8-2 (.800) all-time against Bucknell (she was 7-2 against the Bison while coaching at Lehigh from 1982-87) ââ’¬¦ Notre Dame is 89-14 (.864) in the month of November since the start of the 1995-96 season, including wins in 26 of its last 27 November games ââ’¬¦ freshman guard Marina Mabrey’s 16 points tied for the fifth most by a Notre Dame rookie in her debut game – current sophomore forward Brianna Turner holds the record with 29 points in last year’s season-opening win over UMass Lowell ââ’¬¦ Turner collected her seventh career 20-point game and first since Feb. 5, 2015, when she scored 26 points in a win over Virginia at Purcell Pavilion ââ’¬¦ graduate student guard Madison Cable posted her second career 20-point game and first since she scored a career-high 21 points against UCLA on Dec. 7, 2013, at Purcell Pavilion ââ’¬¦ Notre Dame had two 20-point scorers in the same game for the first time since March 27, 2015, when current junior guard Lindsay Allen (28 points) and Jewell Loyd (21 points) did so in the NCAA Oklahoma City Regional semifinals (Sweet 16) against Stanford in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma ââ’¬¦ Allen’s eight assists were one off her career high set on two occasions (the last on Feb. 23, 2015, against Louisville at Purcell Pavilion – three days later, she had her most recent eight-assist game in a home victory over Pittsburgh).

Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame will be back in action at 7 p.m. (ET) Wednesday, playing host to Toledo at Purcell Pavilion. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. In addition, radio coverage will be available in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and free of charge worldwide online through the official Notre Dame athletics multimedia platform, WatchND.

— 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).