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No. 6/5 Notre Dame Battles to 78-65 Win Over Hilltoppers

Nov. 14, 2017

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The No. 6/5 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team (2-0) topped (RV/NR) Western Kentucky (1-2), 78-65, in the first game of a seven-game road trip on Tuesday at Diddle Arena.

Notre Dame received double-digit efforts from four different players, including Arike Ogunbowale‘s career best fourth straight game of 20-plus points, which dates back to last season.

“I thought the zone really slowed us down and when you don’t rebound you can’t get out and run, which is what we like to do,” Karen and Kevin Keyes Women’s Basketball Head Coach Muffet McGraw said. “We need more work pushing the ball against the zone.”

How It Happened

Notre Dame attacked the rim early, scoring 14 of its first 17 points in the paint, spearheaded by junior Jessica Shepard, who accounted for 11 of those points by the end of the quarter.

In the second period, Ogunbowale hit Notre Dame’s first three-pointer at the 6:22 mark and proceeded to score the next nine points for the Irish to open a 30-23 lead. Then after a Mikayla Vaughn lay-up in the final seconds, Notre Dame closed the half with a 37-28 advantage over Western Kentucky.

Later in the third, Vaughn and the Irish went on a 10-3 run, as the forward ultimately tallied nine points in the period, helping Notre Dame regain a 56-49 edge over the Hilltoppers.

Graduate student Lili Thompson drained two critical three-pointers midway through the fourth quarter, giving the Irish a double-digit lead. Vaughn added six points in the period and Notre Dame secured the 78-65 victory.

Player of the Game

Shepard logged her 27th career double-double and second in as many games this season, totaling a season-high 19 points and 12 rebounds against the Hilltoppers. Shepard scored 15 points and collected nine rebounds in the first half, including five offensive boards.

Stat of the Game

Notre Dame limited Western Kentucky to a .158 shooting percentage from three-point range. The Hilltoppers, which entered the game ranked 12th in the country with 11.0 three’s per game, made just 3-of-19.


  • Notre Dame improves to 2-0 all-time against the Hilltoppers.
  • The Irish out-rebounded Western Kentucky 49-44 and picked up 22 offensive boards in the game.
  • Four Notre Dame players recorded double-figure points, including Ogunbowale (21), Shepard (19), Vaughn (17) and Young (12).
  • Thompson dished out seven assists tonight and is averaging 7.5 through two games.

Up Next

The Irish look to make it three in a row on Sunday, Nov. 19, when they make the trip to Corvallis to challenge No. 18/17 Oregon State at 2 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network.

For more on the Notre Dame women’s basketball team, follow @NDWBB on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.