Nov. 11, 2017
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 6/5 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team (1-0) won its 23rd consecutive season opener, topping Mount St. Mary’s (0-1), 121-65, on Saturday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
On a day when two-time All-American Kayla McBride was inducted into Notre Dame’s Ring of Honor, Irish junior Arike Ogunbowale recorded her 1,000th career point and joined McBride and 35 others in the program’s 1,000-point club.
How It Happened
Junior Jessica Shepard got the Irish started offensively, accounting for nine of Notre Dame’s first 19 points, shooting 5-for-6 to push Notre Dame ahead 33-17 at the end of the first quarter. The Irish then held the Mountaineers scoreless for 3:22 midway through the second period before ultimately capitalizing with a 16-2 run to close the half, jumping out to a 61-35 advantage.
The Irish continued playing a game of runs, going on a 12-2 run in the third quarter and opening up a 93-53 lead. Ogunbowale’s six fourth-quarter points helped Notre Dame outscore the Mountaineers 28-12 in the final period, securing the 121-65 victory.
Player of the Game
Ogunbowale used a fast-break layup in the final seconds of the third quarter to surpass the 1,000-point milestone, becoming the 37th Irish player to accomplish the feat. Ogunbowale totaled 21 points in the game and now owns 1,007 in her career.
Ogunbowale also added seven rebounds and four assists in the game.
“In the first game of her junior year, that’s an amazing accomplishment,” Karen and Kevin Keyes Head Women’s Basketball Coach Muffet McGraw said. “When you look at all the great players who have done that, not many of them have done it that early. She has an amazing future with us.”
Stat of the Game
Notre Dame’s 121 points marked the third-most points in a single-game in Irish history and most since it scored 120 versus Pittsburgh on Jan. 17, 2012.
The 121 points also marked the most in a season opener since Notre Dame defeated Liberty 113-35 on Nov. 24, 1989.
“I thought we scored the ball well and did some good things on offense,” McGraw added. “I was disappointed in our defense. I think we can play much better and bring a little more intensity. We can play better team defense, and we have a lot of work to do there.”
- Notre Dame has won 23 straight season openers, dating back to Nov. 30, 1994.
- The Irish move to 1-1 all-time against Mount St. Mary’s.
- Shepard recorded her 26th career double-double and first in an Irish uniform, collecting 18 points and 11 rebounds.
- Marina Mabrey also added 18 points in the Irish victory.
- Six Irish players recorded double-figure scoring totals against the Mountaineers, including freshman Danielle Patterson (11 points)
- Two-time All-American Kayla McBride became the fifth Irish women’s basketball player to be inducted into the Ring of Honor during a special pregame ceremony, joining Ruth Riley, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Beth (Morgan) Cunningham and Niele Ivey.
The Irish return to action at Western Kentucky at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 14. The game will be broadcast live on the Fox College Sports Network.
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