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No. 3/2 Irish Outlast Penn, 66-54

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PHILADELPHIA — The No. 3/2 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team recorded its nation-best seventh win away from home, topping Penn, 66-54, in a Saturday matinee at The Palestra.

In a homecoming for Karen and Kevin Keyes Head Women’s Basketball Coach Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame (9-1) used a dominant fourth quarter from Arike Ogunbowale to outlast Penn (2-4).

“Defensively, I thought we did a really good job on Michelle (Nwokedi),” McGraw said. “That was kind of the key to the game. I thought we were physical with her. Jessica Shepard and the defense defended her really well.”

How It Happened

Jackie Young and Kathryn Westbeld opened play shooting 4-of-5 from the field, collecting Notre Dame’s first nine points. The Irish ended the period on a 10-2 run, capped by a last-second block by Shepard that led to a breakaway layup from Kristina Nelson. Notre Dame, which had six scorers in the quarter, led, 22-12, after the first.

The Irish later boasted a 33-26 lead at the half, as each of Notre Dame’s starters had at least five points, accounting for 29 of the team’s 33 points.

Next, Notre Dame limited Penn to three field goals in the third quarter, holding the Quakers scoreless for a 4:13 span midway through the period, taking a 42-34 lead into the final period.

In the fourth, the Irish sent Penn on yet another scoreless drought, lasting 4:40 and spanning from the third to the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Notre Dame’s Ogunbowale took control, scoring the first seven points of the fourth period and going on a 9-3 run of her own. Ogunbowale scored 13 of Notre Dame’s 24 fourth-quarter points, helping the Irish secure the 66-54 road victory.

“We were in attack mode,” Ogunbowale said. “In the fourth quarter, we knew we had to pick it up. When we attacked, we got people open and got a few buckets.”

Player of the Game

Ogunbowale tallied her Atlantic Coast Conference-best seventh game of 20-plus points and 10th straight game of double-figure points, recording 20 points in the game. Ogunbowale dropped 13 points in the fourth quarter.


  • With today’s victory, the Irish now lead the all-time series, 4-0, over Penn.
  • Coach McGraw is now 33-18 all-time against the Big-Five since taking the helm at Notre Dame.
  • Notre Dame claimed its seventh win away from home on Saturday, marking the most in the nation.
  • Marina Mabrey recorded 15 points against the Quakers and now averages 15.3 points per game in contests immediately following showings of five points or fewer.
  • Mabrey’s 15-point showing marked her seventh double-figure performance of the season.

Up Next

After a week break due to final exams, Notre Dame returns to action at home when they welcome DePaul on Sunday, Dec. 17, for a 1 p.m. ET tip-off on ACC Network Extra.