March 2, 2018
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The No. 5 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team remained undefeated in ACC Tournament play, now 13-0, after rolling to an 83-47 victory over Virginia in Friday’s quarterfinal round. The No. 2 seeded Irish (28-2) were powered by a 24-point night from junior guard Marina Mabrey, who knocked down a career high five three-pointers to eliminate the No. 7 seeded Cavaliers (18-13).
“I was really pleased with the win and I thought we did a lot of really good things,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “I thought defensively, especially, they had a barrage of threes early and only made one in the second half, so I think our defense definitely tightened up.
“Offensively, Marina (Mabrey) had a great game and shot the ball really well. I thought the bench really helped us tonight and that’s what we needed them to do, so good game all around.”
How It Happened
The first quarter witnessed an exchange of runs. The Irish struck first, tallying a 9-0 run thanks to seven straight points from Arike Ogunbowale in the first two minutes. Virginia countered with an 8-0 run only for the Irish to respond with yet another 9-0 stretch that was capped by back-to-back buckets from Jessica Shepard. Marina Mabrey then tacked on a three-pointer at the buzzer, handing the Irish a 21-12 lead.
In the second, Notre Dame held the Cavaliers without a field goal from 5:49 to 1:30, resulting in an 8-0 Irish run. Virginia could only hit one of its last nine field goals of the half while the Irish sunk four in a row to head into the locker room up 40-27. Ogunbowale led with 13 points at the break, while Mabrey followed right behind with 10.
Mabrey then started the second half on fire, recording an individual 7-0 run for the Irish before a three-pointer at the 6:01 mark gave her 11 points in under a four-minute span in the quarter. Notre Dame ultimately started the period on a 15-4 spurt and outscored the Cavaliers 26-11 in the third, all capped by an Ogunbowale three-point dagger in the final seconds, giving the Irish a 66-38 advantage.
The Irish went on to outscore Virginia, 17-9, in the fourth to settle on the 83-47 final. Four Irish finished in double figures as Ogunbowale (16 pts), Young (13 pts) and Shepard (10 pts) all joined Mabrey. Meanwhile, Kristina Nelson led the squad in rebounding with a career-high tying nine boards.
Player of the Game
Mabrey finished with a stat line of 24 points, five rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Both the point and assist total were one off her season highs. In addition, her 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc marked a career best.
Stat of the Game
By holding Virginia to 47 points, Notre Dame’s defense recorded its best outing in an ACC Tournament game in 13 appearances.
- Notre Dame now leads the all-time series vs Virginia, 7-2, and have won seven straight against the Cavaliers.
- The Irish have now eliminated Virginia in the quarterfinal round in the ACC Tournament in back-to-back years.
- The Irish remain perfect in ACC Tournament play, extending their record to 13-0. Duke holds the record at 17 straight. When dating back to the final year in the Big East, the Irish have won 16 consecutive conference tournament games. Overall, Notre Dame is now 49-19 in conference tournaments.
- Notre Dame’s defense recorded its best outing in an ACC Tournament game, limiting Virginia to 47 total points.
- Virginia has only allowed opponents to shoot over 50 percent from the field on two occasions and both those times were to the Irish. Notre Dame shot 53.3 percent this evening.
- Mabrey notched her eighth game with 20-plus points tonight, finishing one shy of her season high with 24 points. Her performance also extended her double-digit scoring streak to five games, which marked a season high.
- Nelson tied her career high of nine rebounds, previously achieved vs. Central Michigan on Nov. 11, 2016.
- Ogunbowale tallied her 29th game with double-digit points with 16 points on 5-of-14 shooting.
- Young recorded her 23rd in double figures with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field.
- Shepard picked up her 24th game in double figures with 10 points.
- Notre Dame, who ranks No. 6 in the country for fewest fouls per game, got charged with a season low of five tonight.
- Mabrey’s consecutive free-throw streak came to end tonight at 30, finishing 3-of-4 from the stripe.
The Irish advance to Saturday’s ACC semifinal round which will tip-off at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Standing in their path from a ninth consecutive conference tournament final will be No. 3 seed Florida State, who defeated No. 6 seed Miami tonight by the score of 73-69.
— ND —