Nov. 30, 2016
By Megan Golden
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The No. 1 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team relied on its veteran leadership to guide it to a 73-58 victory at Iowa on Wednesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Fighting Irish remain unbeaten at 7-0, following a competitive affair in their first road game of the season at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Sophomore Marina Mabrey opened the game with the hot hand as she netted seven points within the first three minutes of play. Mabrey, who scored 10 of Notre Dame’s first 19 points versus TCU, accounted for nine of the team’s first 15 points against the Hawkeyes.
Just minutes into the contest, Irish senior Brianna Turner scored her 1,000th career point and ultimately finished in double-figures for the seventh time this season.
Turner was not the only player to score 10-plus points for the Irish. Sophomore Arike Ogunbowale had a relatively quiet night, adding 14 points and two rebounds. Senior Lindsay Allen, who collected seven first-half assists, took control of the basket late in the third quarter to extend Notre Dame’s lead and secure the victory on the road. Allen finished with 11 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
One-Thousand Point Club
Entering the game with 999 career points, Turner wasted little time on offense. She surpassed the 1,000-point milestone at just the 8:25 mark of the first quarter, when Mabrey found her and lobbed a pass over the arms of a defender in the paint.
The layup makes Turner the 36th Irish player to accomplish the feat. She joins teammate Lindsay Allen, who reached the plateau earlier this season on November 17 versus Green Bay.
Turner has recorded double-figures in 25 straight contests, dating back to last season.
With 31 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Allen’s steal and fastbreak layup sealed a 7-0 Irish run and put Notre Dame up, 57-48.
The Irish struggled to retire Iowa’s offense all night. Notre Dame held a 41-33 lead at halftime, despite the Hawkeyes shooting 56-percent in the first half. Iowa went on an 8-2 run to open the second half, eventually cutting Notre Dame’s halftime lead to 43-41 at the 7:27 mark of the third quarter.
Notre Dame received a combined five points from freshmen Erin Boley and Jackie Young to maintain its lead, but the Irish needed separation. Allen, who tied a career high with five steals, stole the ball and scored on a fastbreak layup to solidify the team’s nine-point lead with one quarter remaining.
Coach McGraw Says
Following her team’s victory on the road, Karen and Kevin Keyes Women’s Basketball Head Coach Muffet McGraw said her team struggled to contain Iowa’s offense at times.
“It’s a learning experience, especially for the freshmen,” she said. “I was disappointed in the upperclassmen that they didn’t come out ready. We got out to an early lead, and I think we relaxed. We didn’t play as I wanted to, but I thought we did enough good things at the end to win.”
Notre Dame returns to action at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 4, when it hosts Valparaiso at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The Irish play their next two games at home before hitting the road for six straight.
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.