Nov. 27, 2015
By Chris Masters
Inside The Game: #3 Notre Dame 94, Denver 52
Nov. 27, 2015 – Freeport, Bahamas (St. Georges High School)
It Was Over When: Freshman guard Marina Mabrey converted a fastbreak layup with 6:37 remaining in the first half, giving Notre Dame a 28-9 lead and capping a 23-3 run that stretched exactly one full 10-minute period. Mabrey scored the first seven Fighting Irish points in the second quarter, culminating with her transition basket which not only highlighted the Notre Dame run, but wound up assuring Mabrey she would outscore Denver by herself in the second quarter (7-6).
Game Ball Goes To: Junior center Diamond Thompson, who was part of a group effort to help replace injured posts Brianna Turner (shoulder) and Taya Reimer (Achilles). Thompson finished with a career high-tying six points and a career-best five rebounds in a personal-high 15 minutes of action.
Unsung Hero: Sophomore guard Mychal Johnson continues to display solid growth this season, coming off the bench to chip in five points, three rebounds and three assists while playing 23 minutes, one shy of her career best.
Unofficial Play of the Game: Less than a minute after entering the game, Thompson blocked a shot by Denver’s Samantha Romanowski, gathered the rebound and found Marina Mabrey with a pinpoint outlet pass. In turn, Mabrey spotted graduate student guard Madison Cable on the left wing and the veteran drained a three-pointer, giving Notre Dame a 39-13 lead with 3:35 left in the first half.
Stat Of The Game: Notre Dame dished out a season-high 28 assists on 36 field goals, a sparkling 77.8 assist percentage. Through five games this season, the Fighting Irish have assisted on 107 of 167 field goals, good for a 64.1 assist percentage.
Additional Notes: For the fourth time in five games this season, Notre Dame held its opponent to 54 points or fewer … the Fighting Irish improve to 39-4 (.907) in multi-game tournament play since the start of the 1996-97 season … in the past seven years, Notre Dame is 7-0 in the regular season when playing outside the continental United States (3-0 at Junkanoo Jam, 3-0 at Paradise Jam in U.S. Virgin Islands, 1-0 at Toronto, Ontario) … the Fighting Irish have won 26 consecutive games against first-time opponents and are 50-3 (.943) against new foes since the start of the 2000-01 season … Notre Dame is 10-2 (.833) all-time against current Summit League teams, with a 4-1 record away from home (Friday was the first-ever neutral site game for the Fighting Irish against a Summit League opponent) … Notre Dame has won its last nine games immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday and is 26-13 (.667) all-time in its first game after Thanksgiving, including a 22-7 (.759) record in the Muffet McGraw era … the Fighting Irish are 93-14 (.869) in the month of November since the 1995-96 season and have won 30 of their last 31 November games … the Fighting Irish held Denver to an opponent season-low six points in the second quarter, matching Toledo’s total in the second period on Nov. 18 at Purcell Pavilion … Denver’s 15 first-half points were the fewest by a Notre Dame opponent since March 7, 2015, when No. 16 Duke scored 15 points in the first half of Notre Dame’s 55-49 win in the ACC Championship semifinals at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina … Notre Dame had just 12 turnovers on Friday and has committed just 34 giveaways in the past three games (11.3 per game) … the Fighting Irish sank a season-high nine three-point field-goals on a season-best .600 three-point percentage … Notre Dame shot better than 55 percent from the field for the second consecutive game (.614 at Valparaiso on Monday; .571 against Denver on Friday), the first time it has done that since Jan. 19-22, 2015, when the Fighting Irish shot .582 against Tennessee and .565 against Georgia Tech, with both of those games played at Purcell Pavilion … for the second game in a row, freshman guard Marina Mabrey posted a career scoring high with 19 points (she had 18 on Monday at Valparaiso) … junior center Diamond Thompson tied her career high with six points and set a new personal best with five rebounds and 15 minutes played, matching or eclipsing her totals in Monday’s game at Valparaiso (six points, four rebounds in seven minutes).
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame will face UCLA for the Junkanoo Jam Freeport Division championship at 3:15 p.m. (ET) Saturday at St. Georges High School in Freeport, Bahamas. 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). Basketball Travelers also will stream the game live via Periscope through the official Junkanoo Jam Twitter feed (@JunkanooJam), with a link provided shortly before tipoff.
— 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).