Nov. 26, 2017
ESTERO, Fla. – In dramatic, come-from-behind fashion, the No. 6/6 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team knocked off defending national champion No. 3/2 South Carolina, 92-85, to win the Gulf Coast Showcase tournament championship on Sunday.
With the win, Notre Dame (6-0) snapped South Carolina’s (6-1) 17-game winning streak and recorded its first victory against a top-five team since it defeated the Gamecocks at the 2015 Final Four in Tampa.
How It Happened
South Carolina opened the game with an 8-0 run, but the Irish quickly responded with a combined 12 first-quarter points from Arike Ogunbowale and Kathryn Westbeld. The Irish, which allowed four three-pointers in the period, finished the quarter trailing 28-18.
In the second period, the Irish found themselves down 33-24 at the 5:51 mark but responded with a 12-2 run, which was later extended into a 17-5 run, and capped by a Marina Mabrey three-pointer in the final seconds. Notre Dame ultimately outscored South Carolina 23-10 in the period to take a 41-38 lead into halftime.
The Irish wasted no time adding to their lead, accounting for the first six points of the half and running out to a 55-42 lead at the 5:42 mark of the third quarter. Back-to-back layups by Kristina Nelson and Jackie Young helped cap Notre Dame’s 14-4 run and 25-point swing after it trailed by as many as 12 points in the second period.
The Gamecocks cut the Irish lead to 59-51 with 2:07 remaining in the third, but the Irish regained their double-digit lead at 66-55, courtesy of Mabrey’s second three-pointer and four straight points from Young.
South Carolina attempted to mount a comeback in the final period, when A’ja Wilson scored 18 of the team’s 30 points, but the Gamecocks could not keep pace with the Irish. Led by Ogunbowale’s 10 points and critical free throws in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame held off the Gamecocks, defeating South Carolina 92-85 to take home the Gulf Coast Showcase title.
Player of the Game
Jackie Young recorded her first career double-double, collecting 22 points with 10 rebounds. It marked the second straight game in which Young tallied 20+ points and third overall on the season.
Young’s performance also marked her sixth straight game with double-figure points — the 17th such game of her career.
Stat of the Game
Notre Dame’s 92 points marked the most points scored against South Carolina since North Carolina defeated the Gamecocks, 93-85, on Dec. 20, 2009, in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Notre Dame’s Jackie Young was named the Most Valuable Player of the Gulf Coast Showcase, averaging a team-best 19.3 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game in the tournament. Young collected a career-high 23 points in Notre Dame’s semifinal win over South Florida.
Arike Ogunbowale also earned a spot on the all-tournament team, averaging 18.6 points per game with 8.0 rebounds per game in the tournament.
- With tonight’s win, the Irish take a 3-2 lead in the all-time series against South Carolina.
- The last time the Irish knocked off a top-5 ranked opponent was on April 5, 2015, when it defeated South Carolina at the Final Four in Tampa Bay
- Ogunbowale scored a season-high 23 points with seven rebounds and five assists, recording her fourth game of 20+ points.
- Young entered tonight’s game averaging 6.0 ppg in the fourth quarter this year (six fourth-quarter points tonight)
- The Irish join the ranks of past Gulf Coast Showcase tournament champions Baylor (2016), Stanford (2015), UConn (2014) and Middle Tennessee (2013).
The Irish road tour rolls back to the Midwest on Wednesday, Nov. 29, when Notre Dame takes on No. 25/22 Michigan in Ann Arbor as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.