March 16, 2018
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The No. 1 seeded University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team flexed its offensive muscle in its first round NCAA Championship matchup on Friday, knocking off No. 16 seed CSUN by the score of 99-81. It was a night for the record books, as the Irish tied the program mark for most points in a NCAA Tournament game in school history.
In addition, the Irish (30-3) achieved something that hadn’t been done since Jan. 7, 1999, as three different scorers finished with 20 or more points. Arike Ogunbowale led the way with 30 points, followed by 24 points from Jessica Shepard and 23 points from Marina Mabrey.
“I thought Jessica Shepard, for her first NCAA Tournament game was phenomenal with a double-double. Could have had a triple double with seven assists and no turnovers,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “Marina helped Jess out by hitting three’s and Arike did her normal offensive game, really hard to guard.”
How It Happened
Up 23-16 heading into the second quarter, Jessica Shepard got the Irish off to a quick start, scoring six of the team’s first eight points. Later, at the 5:26 mark, Mabrey connected on back-to-back treys, igniting what was a 12-0 Notre Dame run and eventual 19-8 run to end the half up 55-32.
All-in-all, the Irish recorded one of its best offensive quarters all season, tallying 32 points on 13-of-16 shooting in the second period. In fact, Notre connected on 11 of its last 13 to end the half. Ogunbowale notched 11 points in the quarter to lead the Irish with 18 points by the half, while Shepard and Mabrey followed suit with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
By three minutes into the third quarter, Mabrey had connected on two more three pointers. Then at the 3:50 mark, Mabrey not only connected on her career high sixth trey, but was also 6-for-6 from beyond the arc. A mini 5-0 run 50 seconds later by the Irish, gave Notre Dame it largest lead of the game, up 34 points at 82-48.
By the time the clock hit zero, Shepard had recorded her 12th double-double on the year and third straight with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Her seven assists also marked a career high. Mabrey finished one assist shy of her season high of eight and earned her 10th game of 20-plus points.
Lastly, Ogunbowale recorded her second 30-point game on the year, finishing two points shy of her career high. It also marked the fourth 30-point game of her career.
Stat of the Game
The Irish dished out 28 assists in today’s NCAA Tournament First Round matchup, tying their season high originally set vs North Carolina on Feb. 1. The 28 team assists were also the second most in an NCAA Tournament game in program history.
- Friday marked the first ever meeting between Notre Dame and CSUN.
- The Irish move to 57-23 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.
- Notre Dame moves to 19-2 all-time in NCAA Tournament play inside Purcell Pavilion, including the winners of 13 straight.
- Overall, the Irish have now won 24 straight games at home.
- Today’s victory gives Coach McGraw win No. 795 at Notre Dame and No. 883 overall.
- Today’s win also marks Notre Dame’s 30th victory on the year, marking the eighth consecutive season the Irish have done so. Also marks the 10th overall in school history.
- Marina Mabrey connected on a career high six three-pointers, tying the program mark for most in an NCAA Tournament game. The three former players prior who had connected on six: Brittany Mallory, Sheila McMillen and Beth Morgan.
- The last time an Irish player connected on six treys was Madison Cable vs Syracuse on March 6, 2016.
- Notre Dame’s 28 assists where the second most in an NCAA Tournament game in program history.
- Notre Dame’s nine three-pointers tied for the third most in an NCAA Tournament game. The all-time mark was 12 set against Ohio State just last year.
- Jessica Shepard recorded her third straight double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds. It marked her 12th this season.
- Shepard also finished with a career high seven assists to go with her zero turnovers.
- Arike Ogunbowale tallied her second 30-point game on the year and fourth of her career. Ogunbowale also tied her season high of five assists.
- Marina Mabrey earned her 10th game of 20-plus points with 23 points. The junior finished 6-of-8 from beyond the arc.
The Irish will first participate in Saturday’s mandatory press conference at 2:10 p.m. ET. Then Notre Dame will look to book its ticket to Spokane on Sunday, where they’ll square off against Villanova at 7 p.m. The Wildcats needed overtime tonight to defeat South Dakota State, 81-74