Jan. 21, 2016
By Chris Masters
Inside The Game: #3 Notre Dame 90, #RV/24 Syracuse 62
Jan. 21, 2016 – Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
It Was Over When: Sophomore forward Brianna Turner converted a layup with four seconds left in the first half to give Notre Dame a 57-29 lead at the break. Turner’s basket capped a sizzling first-half shooting performance by the Fighting Irish, who made 23 of 34 shots (67.6 percent) and assisted on 19 of those baskets in the opening 20 minutes. While Syracuse challenged Notre Dame the rest of the way, the Orange never got closer than 18 points, with the lead hovering between 20 and 30 points for the balance of the evening.
Game Ball Goes To: Senior guard/captain Michaela Mabrey enjoys playing against Syracuse, especially at home, and it showed again on Thursday, as the Belmar, New Jersey product tied her career high and her own Purcell Pavilion record with six three-pointers (on 10 attempts) while matching her career high with 20 points. Mabrey also had six triples the last time the Fighting Irish played the Orange at Purcell Pavilion on Feb. 9, 2014, and she had four treys in last year’s win at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
Unsung Heroes: Notre Dame’s sophomore trio of Turner, forward Kathryn Westbeld and guard Mychal Johnson all contributed in meaningful ways during Thursday’s win. Turner had 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting and had a season-high five blocks for the third time in the past four games. Westbeld added eight points, a game-high 12 rebounds (her highest mark since Dec. 12 at TCU, when she had a career-best 14 caroms) and a career high-tying four assists. Johnson also picked up a career high with eight rebounds and tied a personal best with one block, in addition to logging three assists and a steal in 18 minutes of action.
Unofficial Play of the Game: With 1:25 remaining in the second quarter, Mabrey punctuated Notre Dame’s blistering first-half shooting performance, spotting up well outside the top of the key, nearly on the edge of the midcourt shamrock and burying her fourth three-pointer of the night and the 200th of her career, becoming the fourth Fighting Irish player to sink 200 triples and first since school record holder Alicia Ratay reached that milestone during the 2001-02 season.
Stat Of The Game: In addition to Mabrey tying the individual Purcell Pavilion record for three-pointers in a game, Notre Dame also matched its team arena record for treys in a single contest, a mark it had reached twice before, but not since Jan. 23, 1999, when it made 11-of-25 three-point attempts in a 99-60 win over St. John’s. It was the fourth time this year the Fighting Irish had double-digit three-pointers in one game, including a season-high 13 triples at top-ranked Connecticut on Dec. 5.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame improves to 5-1 this season against Top 25 opponents (Syracuse was ranked 24th in the WBCA/USA Today coaches’ poll this week), and 44-6 (.880) against ranked opponents during the past four seasons ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish are off to an 18-1 start for the fourth time in five seasons and the sixth time in school history (also 2000-01, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame is 44-1 all-time (37-1 regular season, 7-0 postseason) against ACC opponents since joining the conference prior to the 2013-14 season ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish have won 29 consecutive home games against conference opponents, dating back to their membership in the BIG EAST ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame’s .676 first-half field-goal percentage wasn’t even its best in a half this season – the Fighting Irish shot 76.5 percent (26-of-34) in the first half against No. 18/17 DePaul on Dec. 9 at Purcell Pavilion ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame finished shooting better than 50 percent for the third time in four games (along with a .491 mark at Boston College on Jan. 14) and 10th this this year ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish had at least four double-digit scorers for the third time in four games and 12th time this year (11-1 record) – since the start of the 2009-10 season, Notre Dame is 129-6 (.956) when it has at least four players score in double figures, including wins in 99 of its last 101 such outings ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish had at least 25 assists for the third time this year and first since a season-high 28 assists against Denver on Nov. 27 in the opening round of the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport, Bahamas ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame recorded a season-high 10 blocked shots, its highest total in almost exactly one year (10 at No. 12/10 North Carolina on Jan. 15, 2015) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish move to 29-2 all-time against Syracuse and have won the past 16 games in the series ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the 29 wins are second-most all-time for Notre Dame against a single opponent (32 vs. Marquette) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ during their current 16-game winning streak against Syracuse, the Fighting Irish have won 14 times by double figures, including the past six meetings ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame has scored at least 70 points in 26 of its 31 series games against Syracuse, including 12 of the past 13 contests ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ with Mabrey’s career high-tying 20 points (a mark she first set at Boston College on Feb. 8, 2015), Notre Dame has had a player set or tie (at the time) a career scoring high for the eighth time in the last 13 games against Syracuse – Mabrey joins this unique group that also includes four All-Americans – Kayla McBride (2012), Skylar Diggins (2010), Lindsay Schrader (2006) and Charel Allen (2005) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish are 58-5 (.921) all-time against schools from the state of New York, including a 31-0 record at home and wins in 16 of their last 17 games overall (the exception being a 76-71 loss at St. John’s on Feb. 16, 2010) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ junior guard/captain Lindsay Allen started her 96th consecutive game (every contest of her career), moving into sole possession of second place on the list of consecutive starts in school history, passing Katryna Gaither (95 from 1994-97) and closing within one of Jacqueline Batteast’s school record (97 from 2002-05).
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame wraps up its three-game homestand at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday with an ACC matinee matchup against Virginia Tech 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).
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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).