Jan. 3, 2018
|Game 15: #2/2 Notre Dame (13-1, 2-0) vs (RV/RV) Miami (11-3, 1-0)|
|When:||Thursday, Jan. 4 | 7:00 pm ET|
|Where:||Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion (9,149)|
|Listen:||PULSE FM 96.9 / 92.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP)|
|Notes:||Notre Dame | Miami|
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 2 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team (13-1, 2-0) looks to remain undefeated at home in ACC play when the Irish host (RV/RV) Miami (11-3, 1-0) on Thursday, Jan. 3. Tip-off will commence at 7 p.m. ET and stream live on ACCN Extra.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series vs Miami, 19-4, and have won four straight against the Hurricanes.
The Irish starters have been key to the start of ACC play, as Notre Dame has had two straight games with two 20-point scorers, with the kick being they have all been different players. Jackie Young (23 points) and Jessica Shepard (24 points) achieved the feat in the 87-72 victory over Syracuse. Then three days later, Marina Mabrey (22 points) and Arike Ogunbowale (25 points) combined for 47 points in the 96-73 win at Wake Forest.
Young tied her career high of 23 points in the outing, while Shepard has rattled off three double-doubles over the past four games. Mabrey earned a new season high with her 22-point performance at Wake on an impressive 8-for-11 shooting day. Mabrey has also dished out at least five assists in four straight games.
Ogunbowale continues to do what the junior does best, which is reach the 20-point threshold. In fact, Ogunbowale continues to lead all players in the ACC with her now 10, 20+ point performances.
THREE-POINT SHOOTING HEATING UP
The Irish entered ACC play shooting 30.0 percent from beyond the arc, averaging 4.3 made three’s per game. Yet over the past two games to begin ACC play, the Irish have heated up from three-point range, knocking down 13-of-26 (.500) from deep. As a result, Notre Dame’s three-point shooting percentage has jumped to 32.7 percent.
Marina Mabrey has been a giant component to the three-point shooting surge, as the junior has gone 6-for-11 (.545) from beyond the arc over the past two games. In addition, Westbeld has knocked down a perfect 3-for-3, while Young has converted 2-of-5.
Westbeld has achieved a season best four straight games with double-digit points. During the four-game stretch, Westbeld has averaged 12.3 points on a staggering 70.8 percent shooting, to go with her 6.0 rebound average. The senior has risen her scoring average from 4.6 points to 6.9 points and her shooting percentage from .643 to its now team leading .673.
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.
CAREER VS MIAMI
Who’s had the most success against Miami in her career on the current roster? If your guess was Marina Mabrey, then you are correct. In three games vs Miami over her Irish career, Mabrey has totaled 36 points, good for a 12.0 ppg average. Following right behind her is fellow junior Arike Ogunbowale, who has totaled 31 points for a 10.3 ppg average. Finally, Westbeld averages 9.0 ppg through five games.
The Miami Hurricanes will arrive at Purcell Pavilion with an 11-3 overall record and a six-game win streak that started with a 65-54 upset over then No. 20/23 Kentucky. In addition, Miami is fresh off its best win of the season, knocking off No. 14/15 Duke, 51-48.
Senior Erykah Davenport recorded her fourth double-double in the win with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Davenport is Miami’s second leading scorer, averaging 10.9 points per game with her league best 9.6 rebounds. The top scoring spot belongs to freshman guard Mykea Gray, who averages 14.1 points per game on 40.4 percent shooting from the floor. In fact, three of Miami’s top five scorers this season are freshman guards.
Defensively, the Hurricanes have boasted a stingy defense, allowing 57.4 points per game, while ranking 10th in the nation in turnovers forced with 23.3 per game. Miami also ranks 31st in steals per game with 11.3.