Feb. 21, 2018
|Game 28: #5/4 Notre Dame (25-2, 13-1) vs Virginia Tech (17-10, 6-8)|
|When:||Thursday, Feb. 22 | 7:00 pm ET|
|Where:||Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion (9,149)|
|Watch:||ACCN Extra Stream|
|Listen:||Pulse FM 96.9 / 92.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP)|
|Notes:||Notre Dame | Virginia Tech|
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With the ACC regular season title still up for grabs, the No. 5 Notre Dame women’s basketball team will look to close it out with their two remaining games at home, starting with Virginia Tech on Thursday, Feb. 22. Tip is set for 7 p.m. ET, inside Purcell Pavilion, streamed live on ACCN Extra.
Tickets are still available at UND.com/buytickets.
LAST TIME VS VIRGINIA TECH
The Irish (25-2, 13-1) lead the Hokies (17-10, 6-8), 9-1, in the all-time series, with a 5-0 record inside Purcell Pavilion. The two programs last squared off on Feb. 2, 2017, which resulted in a 76-59 Irish victory in Blacksburg. Notre Dame was powered behind Arike Ogunbowale‘s first career double-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Kathryn Westbeld came off the bench and scored 15 points while Marina Mabrey followed right behind with 13 points.
MAGIC NUMBER IS TWO
With Notre Dame and Louisville remaining deadlocked atop the ACC standings at 13-1, the magic number is two for the Irish. Two games left, two wins to claim, and the Irish have secured at least a co-share of their fifth straight ACC regular season title and seventh straight when dating back to the final two years of the Big East. Seven straight regular season titles would be the third highest active streak in the country, only behind Baylor (8) and Green Bay (20). Five straight ACC regular season titles would be one shy of the all-time mark set by Virginia from 1991-96.
ARIKE ACHIEVEMENTS – CASE FOR ACC PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Case for ACC player of the year? Let’s start with the fact that Ogunbowale leads the ACC in scoring with 20.1 points per game, which also ranks 28th in the nation. If the season ended today, it would rank as the third best in program history, with Katryna Gaither holding the top spot at 20.4.
Ogunbowale also leads the ACC in 20-plus point performances this year with 17, which is three more than the next ACC player. More impressive is the fact, that Ogunbowale has produced more 20-point games than all combined opponents faced this season (13).
Next, let’s look at the fact that the Irish have faced nine ranked teams in the nation’s second toughest rated schedule, and in those ranked games, Ogunbowale still averaged 19.2 points and 5.0 rebounds on 42.1 percent shooting.
Then, there’s the fact that Ogunbowale takes over games in the fourth quarter. She averages a team best 6.0 points in the final period on 54.9 percent shooting. She has reached double-digit points in the final period five times this season, including a season best 13 points in the fourth vs Tennessee and at Penn.
POINT MILESTONES CONTINUE
Notre Dame’s 1,000-career point club is looking to add yet another member this season in senior Kat Westbeld, who sits just eight points away entering the game vs Virginia Tech. Westbeld would be the 39th Irish player to achieve the feat and the third this season, joining Ogunbowale and Mabrey. The three in the same season would tie the all-time mark, previously done in 1985 by Trena Keys, Mary Beth Schueth and Carrie Bates.
Speaking of milestones, both Ogunbowale and Shepard surpassed the 1,500 career point mark at Virginia on Feb. 15.
MOST IMPROVED IRISH
Undoubtedly, the most improved Irish has to go to Jackie Young. The sophomore has nearly doubled her scoring average from last year (7.3 ppg) with her 14.2 ppg, which ranks third on the team. She has also almost doubled her double-digit scoring performances going from 11 as a freshman to 20 this season.