Dec. 14, 2015

by Chris Masters

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – To paraphrase our friends on “Sesame Street,” this week’s Atlantic Coast Conference women’s basketball awards are brought to you by the number two.

That’s two – as in a pair of University of Notre Dame guards Madison Cable (Mt. Lebanon, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) and Arike Ogunbowale (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels), who were named the ACC Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively, on Monday, following a vote of the conference’s Blue Ribbon Panel, which is comprised of the ACC’s 15 head coaches, local and national media members and the women’s basketball media relations directors for each school.

Cable, who in keeping with the theme wears uniform No. 22, earned her first career ACC weekly award and the first ACC Player of the Week citation by a Fighting Irish player since Feb. 23, 2015, when Jewell Loyd copped the last of her four honors a season ago. Loyd also was part of the last time Notre Dame swept both ACC weekly honors, nabbing the top player award on Jan. 26, 2015, along with then-rookie forward Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel).

“Maddie is such a warrior,” said Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame’s Karen and Kevin Keyes Head Women’s Basketball Coach. “She battles every day, whether in practice or a game, and she always gives everything she has to help the team succeed. I’m so happy she’s being recognized for all that she’s done for our program this season.”

Meanwhile, the bearer of Notre Dame’s No. 2 jersey, Ogunbowale is the second Notre Dame freshman in three weeks to be selected as ACC Rookie of the Week after fellow guard Marina Mabrey (Belmar, N.J./Manasquan) was chosen on Nov. 30. This marks the fourth time in program history two different Fighting Irish players have earned conference rookie-of-the-week honors in the same season, and the first since 2008-09, when Natalie Novosel and Kellie Watson each garnered two weekly accolades.

“Arike has gotten better every single game,” McGraw said. “She had a real breakout game on Saturday at TCU, showing just how bright her future really is. She’s starting to get more and more comfortable and relaxed within our system, and as the season goes on, she’s going to continue growing into an even more valuable contributor for us.”

A 5-foot-10 graduate student, Cable averaged 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks per game with a double-double, .600 field-goal percentage and .500 three-point percentage while helping Notre Dame to two victories last week.

Cable chalked up her second double-double of the season (both against Top 25 opponents) with game highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds in a 95-90 win over No. 18/17 DePaul on Dec. 9 at Purcell Pavilion. In the victory, she tied her career high with five three-pointers (on eight attempts) and added a season-high two blocks.

Cable then collected 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting and chipped in two steals and two assists for the Fighting Irish in an 88-72 win on Dec. 12 at TCU. Cable also drew two charges in the contest, raising her career total to 43, including a team-high six this year.

For the season, Cable leads the ACC and ranks fifth in the nation in three-point percentage (.547), while ranking third in the conference in scoring (16.9 points per game), fourth in three-point field goals per game (2.9), fifth in field-goal percentage (.583 ââ’¬” also 23rd in the nation) and 14th in free-throw percentage (.769).

Ogunbowale posted career scoring highs in consecutive games last week, coming off the bench to average 18.5 points per game with a .583 field-goal percentage against DePaul and TCU.

She began the week by tying her (then) career scoring high with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting against No. 18/17 DePaul. Ogunbowale then poured in a career-high 21 points (again on 7-of-12 shooting, plus a career best-tying 7-of-10 free-throws) in last Saturday’s matinee victory at TCU.

A member of the preseason ACC Newcomer Watch List, Ogunbowale is the fifth different Notre Dame player to score 20 points in a game this season, and the second to do so in the past three games while coming off the bench – Mabrey scored a career-high 23 points at top-ranked UConn on Dec. 5.

Ogunbowale currently ranks 26th in the ACC, and fifth among conference rookies, in scoring this season (11.7 ppg.).

Third-ranked Notre Dame (9-1) is in the midst of a season-long nine-day break for final exams before it returns to action at 7 p.m. (ET) Dec. 21 when it travels to Philadelphia to take on McGraw’s alma mater, Saint Joseph’s (Pa.). The game will not be televised, but it can be heard on the radio in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) as well as free of charge around the globe through the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND ( and the WatchND app.

For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, visit the main women’s basketball page on the University’s official athletics web site (, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter and Instagram pages (@ndwbb), like the program on Facebook or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at

— 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).