Dec. 4, 2016
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — An emotional pre-game Ring of Honor induction for Niele Ivey ignited the Irish offense in an explosive 114-54 victory over Valparaiso on Sunday at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
Notre Dame used a 72-point offensive outburst in the first half to defeat the Crusaders and improve to 8-0 on the season.
Notre Dame opened the game with a 26-0 run, capped off by Mychal Johnson’s three-pointer at the 3:30 mark of the first quarter. The 26 straight points marked the most by an Irish team since a school-record 36-0 run versus Southeast Missouri State on Jan. 2, 2011.
“It was a pretty good start. I was happy with that,” Karen and Kevin Keyes Women’s Basketball Head Coach Muffet McGraw said. “We’re trying to work on a couple different things, and I thought we had some urgency and some intensity early on.”
The Irish never cooled off, scoring a school-record-tying 72 first-half points (also versus Mercer on Dec. 30, 2011) and leading the Crusaders, 72-23, at halftime. Notre Dame’s bench contributed 30 of its 72 points in the half, and the Irish outrebounded Valparaiso, 19-9 with eight offensive rebounds.
Six Notre Dame players finished in double-figures for the first time in just eight days, when the Irish defeated TCU. Jackie Young (20), Arike Ogunbowale (18), Marina Mabrey (16), Brianna Turner (13), Erin Boley (15) and Kathryn Westbeld (10) each scored at least 10 points.
Lindsay Allen added eight points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals in just 19 minutes for the Irish.
Young and Boley combined to score 35 points and gather seven rebounds and eight assists. Young is the first to come off the bench and score at least 20 points since Ogunbowale dropped 21 at TCU on December 12, 2015.
“I shot well, but I have a lot to work on,” Young said. “Just understanding the defense more, and I’ll get more comfortable.”
Notre Dame shot 64.0 percent in the game, breaking the 60.0-percent mark for the second time this season. The 114 total points are the most by an Irish offense since they scored 120 against Pittsburgh on January 17, 2012.
Ivey Enters Ring of Honor
Notre Dame honored associate head coach and national champion Niele Ivey prior to Sunday’s game with her induction into the Notre Dame Ring of Honor. Ivey’s No. 33 joins former teammate Ruth Riley’s 00 and Skylar Diggins’ No. 4 in the Purcell Pavilion rafters.
Ivey addressed the crowd and her son, Jaden, following the presentation.
“I want to be an example for you that hard work, education, strong family values and having faith in God is going to get you through,” Ivey said. “I love you.”
Coach McGraw Says…
On the team’s offensive production to start the game…
“I think you saw the emotion the first couple of possessions, but we settled in. Lindsay Allen was spectacular today; she really set the tone. She did a great job, and Arike did, too. It was great to see the freshmen get some minutes. For Jackie, the offensive output that people were used to seeing in high school and on a daily basis for us.”
On the team’s mindset in the midst of a 26-0 run…
“We are really trying to execute the offense without turnovers. Overall, we did pretty good taking care of the ball. I think we can execute a little better, we can be a little sharper looking inside. I thought there were opportunities we missed. We talked about things in the huddle, didn’t execute them well. There are a lot of little things we can work on.”
On Boley’s performance…
“Getting comfortable was big for her. She’s a great shooter. She shoots it well at practice. I think getting in the game long enough to feel comfortable [is important]. Early on, she really wasn’t playing in very long stretches. We’re trying to give her a little longer on the floor, just trying to get ready to get comfortable, and I think she’ll respond well.”
Coming Up Next
Top-ranked Notre Dame returns to action at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, when it hosts No. 2 Connecticut in its final home game before the New Year. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.