Jan. 16, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – No. 6 Notre Dame led for most of the contest but a fourth quarter surge lifted Tennessee to a 71-69 upset win over the Irish before a crowd of 10,517 at Thompson-Boling Arena. The Irish (16-3, 4-1 ACC) took a 62-52 lead into the final quarter but the Lady Vols (11-6, 2-2 SEC) held Notre Dame to just seven points in the final 10 minutes to claim victory.
The Lady Vols took their first lead since the first quarter on a Meme Jackson three with 1:22 to play which made it a 69-67 game. The Irish countered to tie the score when Lindsay Allen floated in a jumper with 1:03 remaining. Jodran Reynolds missed a layup but Tennessee got a crucial team rebound as the loose ball went out of bounds off of Notre Dame. Jaime Nared put Tennessee up by two with 11 seconds remaining.
The Lady Vols had been whistled for just one team foul in the fourth quarter to that point so Tennessee was able to run the clock down to 4.2 seconds without worrying about putting the Irish on the line. The final inbounds play was well-defended and Allen’s three from the top of the key fell short. Brianna Turner caught the errant ball but did not have enough time to attempt a game-tying put-back.
Marina Mabrey led the Irish with 17 points while Arike Ogunbowale chipped in 14 points and both Brianna Turner and Jackie Young added 10. Lindsay Allen ended up one point short of a double-double with her nine points and 10 assists.
You Lead By Nine, We Lead By Nine
Both teams held nine point leads during a wild first quarter. The start proved inauspicious for the Irish as the Lady Vols ran out to an 11-2 lead and forced a Notre Dame timeout just 2:59 into the game.
The Irish had hit just one out of four shots to that point. From that well-timed timeout on, Notre Dame shot 10-of-15 for the quarter (66.7%) and closed the stanza on a 23-7 run to take a 25-18 advantage after 10 minutes of play.
After looking up at the Lady Vols, Notre Dame took its first lead of the game – one it would not relinquish until the game’s penultimate minute – at 17-16 on a Lindsay Allen lay-in with 3:07 left in the quarter.
The exclamation mark during the stretch came at the 1:21 mark when the Irish collapsed the Lady Vol defense around the basket leaving Marina Mabrey all alone by 10 feet at the top of the arc. Mabrey drained a three to cap a 10-0 Irish run over just 1:40 of action and leave Tennessee calling for time out.
Young Consecutive Double Figures
Freshman Jackie Young continues to develop as a two-way threat as she tallied 10 points tonight. Combined with her 15-point showing Thursday night against Pitt, it is the second time the 2016 Indiana Miss Basketball recorded consecutive double-figure efforts. Young also grabbed five rebounds tonight.
Allen Double Figure Assists
Senior captain Lindsay Allen recorded the fifth double-figure assist game of her career, with her 10 tonight. It is her third this season joining the career-high 12 she recorded in the win over TCU on Nov. 26 and her second dozen-assist game which came as a part of her first career triple-double on Dec. 27 at Chattanooga. Along with her 12 assists against the Mocs, Allen poured in 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the sixth triple-double in Irish lore.
Allen now has 696 assists in her Irish career as she closes in on the 700 career assist milestone hit only previously three times in Notre Dame history and four times in ACC lore.
Notre Dame returns to ACC play on Thursday night as the Irish head east for their annual matchup with Boston College at Conte Forum. Tipoff in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts is set for 7 p.m.
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications associate director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013 and coordinates all media efforts for Notre Dame’s women’s basketball and men’s golf teams. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.