Jan. 24, 2018
|Game 21: #5/5 Notre Dame (18-2, 6-1) at Pittsburgh (9-11, 1-6)|
|When:||Thursday, Jan. 21 | 7:00 pm ET|
|Where:||Pittsburgh | Petersen Events Center (12,508)|
|Listen:||PULSE FM 96.9 / 92.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP)|
|Notes:||Notre Dame | Pitt|
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After wrapping a perfect three-game homestand, the No. 5 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team will hit the road for three of its next four ACC contests. Up first, the Irish (18-2, 6-1) travel to Pittsburgh (9-11, 1-6) for a Thursday night 7 p.m. ET contest streamed live on ACCN Extra.
CAREER VS PITT
The Irish have won eight straight against Pittburgh and lead the all-time series, 25-3. The last time these two squared off, Notre Dame claimed an 86-54 victory at home in which Kristina Nelson tallied her career high of 13 points. Arike Ogunbowale led all scorers with 19 points, followed by a 15-point effort from Jackie Young.
Junior guard Arike Ogunbowale gets the ‘who’s hot’ nod this time after claiming both the ACC Player of the Week award and the USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week. Ogunbowale averaged 25.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.0 steals in wins over No.6 Tennessee and Clemson.
Ogunbowale scored 13 of her game high 27 points in the fourth quarter vs the Lady Vols, spearheading the biggest comeback in program history. It also marked the fifth time this season, Ogunbowale tallied double-digits in the final period. The Milwaukee native then followed that with another game high, 23 points vs Clemson. It marked her ACC leading 14th game of 20-plus points this season.
A DEFENSIVE FRONT
The Irish flexed its defensive muscle during its recent three-game homestand that resulted in three wins in addition to the team’s 19th straight win at home. Notre Dame’s defense forced a total of 71 turnovers that resulted in a combined 74 points over the three-game span:
Boston College — 20 turnovers resulting in 20 points
Tennessee — 28 turnovers resulting in 28 points
Clemson — 23 turnovers resulting in 26 points
That’s not all. Notre Dame’s defense put an emphatic stamp on the fourth quarter vs Clemson, holding the Tigers to 1-for-11 from the field for three points, marking the fewest points allowed in a quarter by the Irish since NCAA Division I women’s hoops moved to the four-quarter system.
Notre Dame’s shooting prowess has been nothing short but spectacular over the last two games. In fact, the Irish shot 61.7 percent vs Clemson, marking the second highest shooting percentage on the year, trailing just their 62.3 percent at Georgia Tech.
Breaking it down further, in five of the last six quarters, Notre Dame has shot over 60 percent. Furthermore, the Irish have shot over 55 percent in three straight halves: 55.2 percent in second half of Tennessee, 67.7 percent in first half vs Clemson and 60.5 percent in second half of Clemson.
LUCKY NUMBER 23
After a 23-point performance vs Clemson on Jan. 21, Jackie Young has raised her scoring average to 14.5 ppg, which ranks third on the team and 14th in the ACC.
This season, Young has had a knack for the No. 23. It started in the Gulf Coast Showcase, when the Indiana native set a new personal best 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting vs USF on Nov. 25. Next, Young rattled off eight points in the fourth quarter vs Syracuse on Dec. 28, to finish with a career-high tying 23 points, in which she also set a new career high of 10 made field goals and tied her season best of two made three’s.
Young later hit the 23-point mark yet again at No. 3 Louisville on Jan. 11. Then, for the fourth time this season and the second time in four games, Young secured 23 points, this time vs Clemson on Jan. 21.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS
Pittsburgh enters with a 9-11 overall record and 1-6 mark in ACC play, with the Panthers lone win being a 68-62 victory over Georgia Tech on Jan. 14. Pitt ranks seventh in the nation in blocks per game (6.7) and 31st in field goal percentage defense (.361).
Yacine Diop leads Pittsburgh with 15.7 ppg. The redshirt junior tied her career high of 26 points vs Louisville on Jan. 18 and boasts six games of 20-plus points. Kalista Walters also averages double figures with 10.8 ppg. The junior center ranks fourth in the nation with her .654 shooting percentage and has produced five double-doubles on the year.