Jan. 15, 2015
Inside The Game: #7 Notre Dame 89, #12/10 North Carolina 79
January 15, 2015 – Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Carmichael Arena)
It Was Over When: Junior guard/tri-captain Michaela Mabrey buried her third three-pointer of the night from the deep left corner with 2:41 remaining and Notre Dame leading North Carolina, 82-77. Mabrey’s triple highlighted a 9-0 run down the stretch, helping the Fighting Irish turn back the Tar Heels’ second-half rally.
Game Ball Goes To: Freshman forward Brianna Turner, who set or tied career highs for points (29 – tied), rebounds (18) and blocked shots (seven – tied) while making 10 of 13 shots from the field in 36 minutes of action. It was Turner’s fourth double-double of the season, all within the past six games, and her third in five ACC games this year.
Unsung Hero: Sophomore guard Lindsay Allen more than made up for her ailing backcourt mate, junior guard Jewell Loyd (who was laid low by illness), with Allen posting new career highs with 24 points (on nine of 12 shooting) and nine assists while playing all 40 minutes.
Unofficial Play of the Game: Allen had 16 points in the first half, then came up with several timely plays down the stretch in the second half, most notably converting a foul-line jumper with 4:05 remaining, just 24 seconds after North Carolina had trimmed Notre Dame’s 14-point lead down to 78-77. Allen’s basket sparked the decisive 9-0 Fighting Irish run that included Mabrey’s clinching three-pointer.
Stat Of The Game: According to STATS, Turner is just the second NCAA Division I women’s basketball player since 1999-2000 to record 29 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocked shots in a single game. Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris had 30 points, 20 rebounds and seven blocks on March 11, 2008, in a 70-64 overtime loss to Missouri in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri.
(Another) Stat Of The Game: Loyd had her 60-game streak of scoring double figures come to an end Thursday night when the Lincolnwood, Illinois, native tallied eight points. It was the first time Loyd did not score at least 10 points in a game since March 11, 2013, when she had eight points in an 83-59 win over Louisville in the BIG EAST Conference Tournament semifinals at Hartford, Connecticut. Loyd’s 60-game streak is the second-longest run of its kind in program history, trailing only a 76-game double-figure scoring streak by Katryna Gaither from Dec. 28, 1994-Jan. 21, 1997.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame improves to 5-1 against ranked opponents this season, including a 4-0 record on the road, and a 2-1 mark against top-10 teams (according to either major national poll) … the Fighting Irish are 4-1 all-time against North Carolina, with Thursday representing Notre Dame’s first-ever visit to Chapel Hill and historic Carmichael Arena (formerly known as Carmichael Auditorium and previously the home of the UNC men’s basketball team for many years, including the Michael Jordan era of the early 1980s, before the construction of the Dean Smith Center aka “The Dean Dome” and Carmichael’s subsequent renovation) … Notre Dame is 23-2 (.920) all-time against schools from the state of North Carolina (8-1 in true road games) and has won its last 13 games against teams from that state … the Fighting Irish have won their last 10 games they have played in the state of North Carolina, covering the past seven seasons (starting with a 68-61 win at Charlotte on Dec. 28, 2008), and including neutral-site wins over St. Bonaventure and Maryland in the 2012 NCAA Raleigh Regional (played at PNC Arena in Raleigh) and over Florida State, North Carolina State and Duke in the 2014 ACC Tournament (played at the Greensboro Coliseum) — prior to the Charlotte game, Notre Dame had not played a game in North Carolina since Nov. 22, 1997, when it dropped an 80-62 decision at No. 19 Duke … this was the second time in the past two weeks the Fighting Irish have rallied from a double-digit deficit to win — on Jan. 2, Notre Dame fell behind to Florida State 20-8 early in the first half, but came back to earn a 74-68 victory in their ACC opener at Purcell Pavilion … the Fighting Irish shot at least 50 percent from the floor for the seventh time in their last eight games … Notre Dame blocked a season-high 10 shots, its first double-digit block total since it had 10 rejections against No. 21/18 Oklahoma State on March 29, 2014, in the NCAA Sweet 16 (regional semifinals) at Purcell Pavilion … Turner had seven blocks in a game for the second time in 11 days, having also pulled off that feat on Jan. 4 at Syracuse — the seven blocks also tied for the fifth-most swats by a Fighting Irish player in a single game (record is 11 by Amanda Barksdale vs. Boston College on Feb. 16, 2002, at Purcell Pavilion) … Turner’s 18 rebounds tied for eighth-most caroms by one player in a single game in Notre Dame history and were the most by a Fighting Irish player in one game since March 10, 2013, when Natalie Achonwa had 20 rebounds against South Florida in the BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinals at Hartford, Connecticut — coincidentally, Achonwa was on the Notre Dame bench Thursday night in her role as operations specialist for the Fighting Irish women’s basketball program … Turner collected her fifth 20-point game and her fourth “5-5-5” game of the season, in addition to her fourth double-double of the year … Turner’s previous career highs had been 29 points (Nov. 14 in her college debut vs. UMass Lowell at Purcell Pavilion), 16 rebounds (Dec. 28 at UCLA) and seven blocks (Jan. 4 at Syracuse) … Allen topped her previous career scoring high of 22 points, set on Dec. 28 at UCLA, and she erased her prior personal best with nine assists, one more than her previous high set twice before (most recently on Jan. 2 against Florida State at Purcell Pavilion) … UNC’s Allisha Gray was the first Notre Dame opponent to go 10 for 10 at the free-throw line since Dec. 5, 2012, when Baylor’s Odyssey Sims posted the same efficiency in a 73-61 BU win at Purcell Pavilion.
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame steps out of conference play one final time in the 2014-15 regular season when it welcomes No. 6 Tennessee to Purcell Pavilion at 7 p.m. (ET) Monday. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and the WatchESPN app as part of the ESPN2 “Big Monday” package, the first of three times the Fighting Irish will play on “Big Monday” this season. Radio coverage of Monday’s game also 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 (watchnd.tv).
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director