Dec. 30, 2017
|Game 14: #2/2 Notre Dame (12-1, 1-0) at Wake Forest (8-5, 0-0)|
|When:||Sunday, Dec. 31 | 1:00 pm ET|
|Where:||Winston-Salem, N.C. | LJVM Coliseum (14,665)|
|Listen:||PULSE FM 96.9 / 92.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP)|
|Notes:||Notre Dame | Wake Forest|
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 2 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team (12-1, 1-0) hits the road to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where they’ll challenge Wake Forest (8-5, 0-0) to a New Year’s Eve showdown at 1 p.m. ET on ACCN Extra.
The Irish are 5-0 all-time against the Demon Deacons with a 2-0 mark inside the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Not only has Westbeld achieved three straight games with double-digit points, but also has achieved a new season high in points in every game along the way. During the three-game stretch, Westbeld has averaged 13.0 points on a staggering 78.9 percent shooting, to go with her 6.0 rebound average. The senior has risen her scoring average from 4.6 points to 6.7 points and her shooting percentage from .643 to its now team leading .702.
Westbeld earned her best overall game of the year vs Syracuse on Dec. 28, tallying season highs in points (16), made field goals (6), made three’s (3), assists (4), steals (4) and minutes (36).
The game prior, Westbeld secured her first double-double of the year and fifth of her career with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the overtime win vs Marquette on Dec. 20.
With 24 points and 12 rebounds vs Syracuse on Dec. 28, Shepard became the first Irish player since Natalie Achonwa in the 2013 NCAA Tournament to record three consecutive double-doubles.
During Shepard’s three-game double-double stretch, the junior has averaged 25.3 points and 11.7 rebounds, ultimately raising her scoring average from 12.9 to 15.8, which now ranks 10th in the ACC.
Shepard is now up to six double-doubles on the season, which ranks third in the ACC and 27th in the nation. To put it in perspective, Shepard totaled 25 double-doubles over two seasons at Nebraska.
Lastly, Shepard has led the Irish in rebounding 10 times as her 8.8 rebounds per game ranks 5th in the ACC. Shepard’s 5.4 defensive rebounds ranks 7th in the league while her 3.5 offensive rebounds ranks 2nd.
CAREER VS WAKE
Both Ogunbowale and Mabrey have enjoyed success against Wake Forest in the two games they have played against the Demon Deacons. Ogunbowale tallied 16 points in her freshman season before earning 22 points vs Wake as a sophomore. Meanwhile, Mabrey has tallied 11 points and 14 points, respectively, in her two games. In addition, Westbeld is averaging 9.3 points over three games vs Wake.
FINDING ANOTHER GEAR IN SECOND HALF
Another trend that has emerged over the last three games is the fact that Notre Dame has been able to find another gear in the second half, shooting over 50 percent each time. Notre Dame shot 66.7 percent (16-24 FG) in the second half vs DePaul on Dec. 17, then 56.0 percent (14-25 FG) vs Marquette on Dec. 20, followed by 51.4 percent (18-35 FG) vs Syracuse on Dec. 28.
ABOUT WAKE FOREST
Sunday’s matchup will be Wake Forest’s first ACC contest of the season as they enter with an 8-5 overall record. The Demon Deacons have won six straight with recent wins over Charlotte and College of Charleston. Wake ranks 16th nationally in offensive rebounds per game (17) and 26th in rebounds per game (44.15).
Wake Forest boasts two scorers who average double-digits in Elisa Penna (12.9 ppg) and Amber Campbell (11.5 ppg). Alex Sharp leads the rebounding effort with 7.8 boards per game to go with her 9.8 points per game average.