Dec. 30, 2015
By Chris Masters
Inside The Game: #3 Notre Dame 85, Georgia Tech 76
Dec. 30, 2015 – Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
It Was Over When: Junior guard/captain Lindsay Allen rattled in a leaning 15-foot jumper as the shot clock buzzer sounded with 2:23 remaining to give Notre Dame an 80-70 lead and essentially quash Georgia Tech’s fourth-quarter comeback (the Yellow Jackets didn’t get closer than the nine-point final margin, which came via two foul shots with 20 seconds to play).
Game Ball Goes To: Sophomore forward Brianna Turner, who continues to work her way back from her six-game injury hiatus and looked sharp on Wednesday with 20 points (one off her season high) on 6-of-9 shooting and 8-of-9 from the free-throw line. It was Turner’s third 20-point game of the season, but first since Nov. 21, when she posted that same total at South Dakota State.
Unsung Hero: Despite feeling under the weather, freshman guard Arike Ogunbowale provided a lift for the Fighting Irish off the bench, scoring all 11 of her points in the first half, when she made 4-of-6 shots.
Unofficial Play of the Game: This was a two-part play, which began when Ogunbowale came up with a steal and drove the lane before lobbing to Turner for the layup at the 4:54 mark of the third quarter. On the ensuing inbounds pass, graduate student guard Madison Cable snuck in, swiped the ball and converted a layup, drawing a low-five from her head coach Muffet McGraw as Cable raced back up the floor in front of the Fighting Irish bench, having given the hosts a 64-42 lead.
Stat Of The Game: Notre Dame has won 10 consecutive conference openers and 17 of its last 19 league lidlifters, dating back to its membership in the BIG EAST Conference.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame is off to a 12-1 start (or better) for the fifth consecutive season and eighth time in the past nine years … the Fighting Irish had at least four players score in double figures for the ninth time this season (8-1 record) — since the start of the 2009-10 season, Notre Dame is 126-6 (.955) with at least four double-digit scorers, including wins in 96 of its last 98 such outings … Notre Dame has won 24 consecutive games decided by single digits and/or in overtime, including all five such contests this year … the Fighting Irish attempted a season-high 26 three-pointers (previous was 24 against No. 10/12 Ohio State on Dec. 2), and made at least 10 treys for third time this year (also at No. 1 Connecticut on Dec. 5 and at home against No. 18/17 DePaul on Dec. 9) … Cable tied her career high with five three-pointers, having previously done so earlier this year against Ohio State and DePaul, as well as against UCLA on Dec. 7, 2013 (all four times Cable made five triples, it came at Purcell Pavilion) … Cable also tied her career best with nine three-point attempts, a mark she first reached earlier this month against Ohio State … Cable further tied her season high with three steals … for the second time in three games, Notre Dame shot a season-best .889 from the free-throw line, matching its mark from the Dec. 21 win at Saint Joseph’s (Pa.) … Turner’s eight free-throws made were one off her career high set on Jan. 15, 2015, at No. 12/10 North Carolina … sophomore forward Kathryn Westbeld tied her career high with four assists, the seventh time she’s posted that total (and fourth time this season) … for the first time all season, Notre Dame’s bench did not outscore its opposing number, as the Georgia Tech reserves finished with a 28-22 edge in bench points … the Fighting Irish are 57-11 (.838) when playing on one day’s rest or less since the start of the 2008-09 season, including a 2-0 record this year in such games … Notre Dame is 5-0 all-time against Georgia Tech (3-0 at Purcell Pavilion), with all five games decided by 15 points or less … the Fighting Irish are 9-2 (.818) all-time and have won their last nine games against schools from the state of Georgia, while posting a 5-1 lifetime mark at home against Peach State teams … Notre Dame has won its last nine games closing out the calendar year (the month of December) and is 25-14 (.641) all-time in such games, including a 10-3 (.769) record at home and 22-7 (.759) mark in the 29-year Muffet McGraw era … speaking of McGraw, she registered her 799th career victory, putting her on the doorstep of becoming the 10th NCAA Division I coach to record 800 wins …Notre Dame recorded its first sellout of the season, as well as its 46th all-time and 40th since the 2009-10 season.
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame embarks on its first road trip of the Atlantic Coast Conference season at 3 p.m. (ET) Sunday when it travels to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers at the Petersen Events Center. The game will be televised live on the ACC-Regional Sports Networks package, as well as ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app (check theacc.com for a full list of outlets televising the game), 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).