Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Take to Hardwood for First Time for 2017-18 Season

Exhibition: #5 Notre Dame vs IUP
When: Wednesday, Nov. 1 | 7 pm ET
Where: Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
Listen: PULSE FM 96.9 / 92.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP)
Live Scoring:
Notes: Notre Dame

– The No. 5 Notre Dame women’s basketball team takes to the floor for the very first time of the 2017-18 season when the Irish host Indiana University Pennsylvania in an exhibition bout on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. ET inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.


Karen and Kevin Keyes head coach Muffet McGraw embarks on her 31st season at the helm (765-227) and 36th overall (853-268) as a head coach. McGraw ranks 10th all-time among NCAA Division I coaches in career wins and sixth among active coaches.

McGraw is also just one of six coaches (men’s or women’s basketball) in NCAA Division I history with 800 wins, seven Final Fours and five NCAA title games. The prestigious list includes Pat Summitt, Geno Auriemma, Duke men’s coach Mike Krzyzewski, the late North Carolina men’s coach Dean Smith and current North Carolina men’s coach Roy Williams.

This past fall, McGraw took her rightful place among the game’s elite when she was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, becoming the 32nd woman ever to do so.


On Oct. 26, USA Today released its preseason top-25 coaches poll with the Irish landing in the No. 5 spot with 648 points.

Thursday’s poll also solidified the fact that Notre Dame’s 2017-18 schedule will undoubtedly rank among the top in the country. Currently, the Irish will challenge a total of 12 schools ranked inside the top-25, and a total of 18 different opponents either ranked or receiving votes, including nine in the ACC.

Fellow ACC schools joining Notre Dame inside the top-25 were No. 10 Louisville, No. 12 Duke, No. 14 Florida State and No. 24 Miami, as the league boasted the second most ranked teams with five (Pac-12 had six).


On Oct. 19, the ACC Blue Ribbon Panel and head coaches’ poll were in agreement – Notre Dame women’s basketball returns as the preseason favorite for the 2017-18 season. For the fourth consecutive year, Notre Dame was recognized as the team to beat in the ACC. The Irish claimed 35 first-place votes and 858 points to claim the top spot. Meanwhile, Louisville (5 first-place votes, 809 points), Duke (10, 799) and Florida State (10, 752) followed in said order.

Since joining the conference for the 2013-14 season, the Irish have posted an impressive 62-2 record in regular season league play. Last season, the Irish secured their fourth consecutive conference regular season and tournament title sweeps, and if the Irish were to claim its fifth straight in 2018, a new record would be set.

In addition, Notre Dame junior guards Arike Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey received Preseason All-ACC nods for the first time in their respective careers while senior transfer Lili Thompson was named to the Newcomer Watch List.

Ogunbowale returns after leading the Irish in scoring last season with her 15.9 points per game (ppg). The Milwaukee native started in 36-of-37 games, where she tallied seven 20+ scoring performances along with three double-doubles. Ogunbowale finished the year ranked fifth in the ACC in total points (588), 13th in field goal percentage (.449) and 15th in three-point field goals made (64).

Mabrey followed right behind with 14.6 ppg in 37 games played (36 started), registering nine games of 20+ points. The Belmar, New Jersey, native ranked fifth in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.383), 10th in field goal percentage (.471), 11th in three-point field goals made per game (2.0) and 14th in points per game.


Notre Dame proved to be one of the best shooting teams in the nation last season, ranking fourth in the country in field goal percentage (.395). The pure shooting led to Notre Dame’s 11th national rank in scoring offense at 80.1 points per game, which also ranked as the fourth best average in school history.

Furthermore, Notre Dame became the second team to lead the ACC in field goal percentage four years in a row, joining Duke’s eight-year run from 1999-2006.

However, the Irish weren’t done there, topping the ACC as a team in assists, assists per game, assist-to-turnover ratio, scoring offense, three-point field goal percentage and fewest turnovers per game.


Come the Nov. 11 season opener, Notre Dame’s Ring of Honor will have a new addition in the form of 2014 graduate Kayla McBride, joining the likes of Ruth Riley, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Niele Ivey and Beth (Morgan) Cunningham.

McBride played a pivotal role in one of the most successful four years in Notre Dame history. She helped lead the Irish to four consecutive Final Fours (2011-14), including three title game appearances. In addition, her senior class recorded the second-most wins (138) of any other class in history.

A two-time All-American and 2014 ACC Player of the year, McBride ranked first all-time in career free-throw percentage (.882) and sixth in scoring with her 1,876 career points. The Erie, Pennsylvania, native went on to be drafted No. 3 overall by the San Antonio Stars (now Las Vegas), earning WNBA All-Rookie Team honors in 2014 and was named a WNBA All-Star in 2015.


IUP returns all four of its double-digit average scorers from last season in junior guard Carolyn Appleby, senior forward Megan Smith, redshirt junior guard Lauren Wolosik and junior forward Brittany Robinson. Appleby led the way with her 14.7 ppg on 40.5 percent shooting, while Smith and Wolosik followed right behind 14.1 ppg and 12.5 ppg, respectively. Both Smith and Wolosik were prolific from three, each shooting over 41 percent last season.



Average amount of fans last season, which ranked sixth nationally. 8th straight year with an average of 8,000+.


-Point Club will almost certainly welcome two new members this season: Arike Ogunbowale (986 points) & Marina Mabrey (916 points)


Winning percentage over the last five years – second best in the nation


All-time Notre Dame program wins.


Notre Dame’s all-time winning percentage ranks 5th in NCAA Division I history.


Consecutive weeks ranked in the AP Poll, including 124 straight weeks in the top-10.


Notre Dame’s record in league play since joining the ACC for 2013-14 season.


Total conference championships.


Straight NCAA Championship appearances – fourth longest streak in the nation and fifth longest all-time.


Different All-Americans


Elite Elights, including six of the past seven years.


Final Four appearances – one-of-five schools in NCAA history to do so.


Regular season league championships in a row (2 Big East / 4 ACC)


Ring of Honor recipients as 2014 graduate Kayla McBride gets her banner raised on Nov. 11, 2017.


Consecutive ACC regular season and tournament title sweeps. If Notre Dame were to secure its fifth straight in 2018, it would set an ACC record.


Irish players on roster who will not play during the 2017-18 season: Brianna Turner and Mychal Johnson due to ACL injuries & Nebraska junior transfer Jess Shepard due to NCAA transfer policy.


Preseason All-ACC selections in junior guards Arike Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey


Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer – Coach McGraw was enshrined in @HoopsHall on Sept. 9, 2017.