Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

No. 5 Irish Look to Carry Momentum into Clemson Game Sunday

Jan. 20, 2018

Game 20: #5/5 Notre Dame (17-2, 5-1) vs Clemson (11-8, 1-5)
When: Sunday, Jan. 21 | 1:00 pm ET
Where: Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
Watch: ACCN Extra
Listen: PULSE FM 96.9 / 92.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP)
Live Scoring:
Notes: Notre Dame | Clemson
Social: @NDWBB

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Coming off the best comeback in program history and fifth best all-time in Division I women’s basketball, the No. 5 Notre Dame women’s basketball team looks to carry a world of momentum into Sunday’s homestand finale against Clemson. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. ET inside Purcell Pavilion and will be streamed on ACCN Extra. Tickets are still available at

The Irish have never lost to Clemson with an unblemished 4-0 record. The series began when Notre Dame made the jump to the ACC for the 2013-14 season. Last year, the Irish prevailed with the 84-80 victory, in what was the closest game to date in the series.

Marina Mabrey had 24 of her career-high 29 points in the second half last February at Clemson to help give Notre Dame the victory. Overall, Mabrey is averaging 17.5 points, while Arike Ogunbowale averages 15.5 points in two games against the Tigers.

Jessica Shepard is currently riding a season best five straight games in double-digit points. The junior has tallied exactly 12 points in four of the games and then registered her second highest scoring effort on the year with 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting vs Boston College on Jan. 24. Shepard has also increased her assist production, averaging 4.7 assists over the last three games, including a career high tying of six at Louisville on Jan. 11.

Next, Mabrey has tied her season high of three straight games with double-digit points, averaging 14.7 points per game in that span. Mabrey also averaged 6.0 assists and 4.7 steals over the three-game stretch.

Trailing 23 points at 37-14 at the 7:03 mark in the second quarter vs No. 6 Tennessee, the Irish lived up to its fighting moniker. Notre Dame not only came back to earn the biggest come-from-behind victory in program history, but also did it by recording a 37-point swing in the process, winning 84-70. The Irish ultimately outscored Tennessee 34-10 in the fourth in what was their most complete quarter of the season. The Irish shot 60 percent in the final period, including going 3-for-3 from three and 7-for-7 from the stripe, all resulting in two separate runs of 12-0 and 14-0. The defense also set the tone in the second half, where they recorded 15 of their eventual season high 28 forced turnovers, seven of which came in the fourth quarter.

The 23-point comeback marks the largest deficit overcome in Notre Dame history, surpassing the original mark of 18 set vs Duke on Nov. 26, 2011.

The comeback tied for the fifth best all-time in Division I women’s basketball and tied for the second largest rally over the last five years.

Though the stat sheet may not show it, Kristina Nelson, particularly her defense against Tennessee’s Mercedes Russell, played a pivotal role in igniting the Irish rally. Nelson posted the biggest plus-minus of any Irish player in the game, finishing at +20.34.

Three times now in the past six games, Ogunbowale and Mabrey have reached the 20-point mark together. The duo posted back-to-back games of 20 or more points at Wake Forest on NYE and Miami on Jan. 4. Then the pair ignited the 84-70 comeback win over Tennessee on Jan. 18 with a combined 47 points.

At Wake, Mabrey and Ogunbowale became the first Irish duo this season to both reach double digits in the opening period, as each secured 10 points in the first. By the half, the pair had combined for 29 points before finishing with a combined 47 points.

Versus Miami, Mabrey and Ogunbowale tallied 21 and 20 points, respectively. Then vs Tennessee, the duo combined for 21 points in the fourth quarter before Ogunbowale finished with a game high 27 points, while Mabrey followed with 20 points.

Clemson enters with an 11-8 record and a 1-5 mark in ACC play. The Tigers ended a five-game skid with a 65-61 double-overtime win over Boston College on Jan. 18. Clemson boasts a strong defensive front, ranking 21st nationally in scoring defense (55.9), 11th in field goal percentage defense (.346) and 18th in blocks per game (5.5).

Danielle Edwards is the lone Tiger averaging double figures with her 10.3 points per game. Kobi Thornton leads the rebounding effort with 7.0 boards per game to go with her 9.3 points per game.