Nov. 29, 2017
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The No. 3/2 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team topped No. 22/20 Michigan, 83-63, on Wednesday in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge at the Crisler Center.
The Irish (7-0) picked up their third straight top-25 win and fourth such victory overall, tying UConn for the most thus far this season. Also with the win over Michigan (4-2), Notre Dame leads the country with six victories away from home.
“I thought we had a nice stretch to start the second quarter. We got some breakaway layups, we got on a little bit of a run and then continued to do that,” Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Women’s Basketball Head Coach Muffet McGraw said. “The second half we were a little better on offense.”
How It Happened
Notre Dame capitalized on a 14-2 run in the first quarter to open a quick 17-8 lead. The Irish, who limited Michigan to just one field goal in the final 4:29 of the period, capped the quarter with a 7-0 run (spanning 1:51), earning a 24-13 advantage.
The Wolverines answered with 11 points in the first four minutes of the second quarter, but Arike Ogunbowale helped the Irish maintain its lead with 11 points of her own in the period. The junior totaled 20 points in the half and made four three-pointers, giving Notre Dame a 43-34 halftime lead.
The Irish defense held the Wolverines to three points in the first 3:51 of the second half. Michigan’s Katelynn Flaherty, who ranks second in the nation in points per game, made just one field goal from the 4:29 mark of the first quarter through the final minute of the third (0:56).
“I thought that was a key to the game,” McGraw said. “We had to shut down Flaherty. She’s a great player, a great scorer. We needed a lot of help. We needed a great team defense, great awareness. I thought we did a really good job on her. Everybody had a turn guarding her.”
Notre Dame closed the game with its second 14-2 run, this one coming in the fourth period and sealing the team’s 83-63 victory over Michigan to remain unbeaten in 2017.
Player of the Game
Arike Ogunbowale equaled a career-high 32 points with a season-best four three-pointers. Ogunbowale, who finished with 20 first-half points, made a career-high 13 field goals (13-20).
“Arike, just amazing,” McGraw said. “She shot the ball so well and efficiently, made some huge threes at the end of the shot clock. We were struggling offensively, and she just carried us pretty much through the entire first half.”
Ogunbowale has recorded double-figure scoring efforts in all seven games and 20-plus point performances in five games this season.
Stat of the Game
The Notre Dame win at Michigan marked just the second victory by a Wolverines opponent in the team’s last 32 games played at the Crisler Center, dating back to the 2015-16 season.
- Irish lead the series vs Michigan, 12-7, with a now 6-3 record in Ann Arbor.
- Notre Dame remains undefeated in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games at 5-0.
- Tonight’s victory marked the third straight top-25 win for the Irish and fourth overall, tying UConn for the most ranked wins in the nation right now.
- The win is Notre Dame’s sixth away from home, the most such victories in the country this season.
- Michigan’s Katelynn Flaherty (25.8 ppg), ranked second in the nation in scoring, was kept in check tonight by Notre Dame’s defense, scoring just 13 points.
- Notre Dame’s defense once again did not allow a 10-0 run against them, marking the seventh straight game.
- Tonight’s game marked No. 999 in Coach McGraw’s career.
- Kathryn Westbeld made her first start of the season.
- Jackie Young recorded her second straight double-double with 18 points and a career high 14 rebounds.
- Marina Mabrey finished with double-digit points (10) for the fifth time this season.
The Irish road tour rolls into its final stop to Hartford, Connecticut, on Sunday, Dec. 3, where they’ll challenge the top-ranked UConn Huskies at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN as part of the Jimmy V Classic.