Feb. 14, 2018
|Game 26: #5/4 Notre Dame (23-2, 11-1) at (NR/RV) Virginia (16-9, 9-3)|
|When:||Thursday, Feb. 15 | 7:00 pm ET|
|Where:||Charlottesville, Va. | John Paul Jones Arena (14,593)|
|Watch:||ACCN Extra Stream|
|Listen:||Pulse FM 96.9 / 92.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP)|
|Notes:||Notre Dame | Virginia|
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With the regular season winding down, the No. 5 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team begins its final week on the road during the regular season, starting with a trip to Charlottesville for a Thursday night matchup at Virginia. Tip-off against the Cavaliers is set for 7 p.m. ET, streaming live on ACCN Extra.
The Irish (23-2, 11-1), who sit atop the conference standings alongside Louisville, is vying for its seventh consecutive regular season title and fifth straight in the ACC.
HISTORY VS VIRGINIA
Since joining the ACC, the Irish have not lost to Virginia (16-9, 9-3), boasting a 5-0 record. All-time the Irish are 5-2, with a 2-1 mark in Charlottesville.
Notre Dame and Virginia squared off twice last year, first at home that resulted in an 82-74 victory. Both Mabrey and Ogunbowale recorded 20-plus point efforts with 26 points and 21 points, respectively. The two sides met once more in the ACC Tournament, where the Irish won 76-59. That time, Ogunbowale poured in 19 points, while Mabrey added 13 points.
In her final season, senior Kat Westbeld is leaving nothing on the table. Just look at the last four games – Westbeld has shot 76.0 percent (19-of-25), averaging 11.0 points and 6.8 rebounds. In addition, the Ohio native currently ranks first in ACC play in shooting percentage (.623) and second overall (.631).
SHEPARD’S ACTIVE CAREER NUMBERS
In midst of a stellar first year at Notre Dame, junior Jessica Shepard continues to solidify herself among the best in the country. Shepard’s 17.6 points per game career scoring average ranks 13th among all active Division I players. In addition, her 8.9 career rebounding average ranks 13th while her 34 career double-doubles ranks 20th.
SCORE WITH THE BEST OF THEM
Notre Dame continues to climb the charts in the major offensive statistics. The Irish currently rank fourth in the nation in shooting percentage, converting 49.6 percent of their shots. If the season ended today, that number would tie for the ninth best in program history. Points wise, the Irish are averaging an impressive 84.8 points per game, which ranks fifth in the country. That number would stand as the second best in school history, checking in behind the 2013-14 squad’s 86.1 ppg.
BLINK AND YOU MISS IT
Notre Dame enjoys a quick strike transition offense which has been exemplified over the last five games. In that stretch, the Irish have tallied double-digit fast break points in all five games, including 18 vs both No. 8 Florida State and Georgia Tech, and a season high of 19 at No. 19 Duke.
A DEFENSIVE FRONT
The Irish continue to up the defensive ante. In fact, Notre Dame’s defense has forced a total of 169 turnovers that resulted in a combined 192 points over the last eight games. That’s good for an average of 21.1 forced turnovers and 24.0 points off said turnovers. In addition, the Irish have forced over 20 turnovers in five of the last eight games.