July 5, 2018
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Just when you thought the accolades and hardware were all distributed for the 2017-18 season, Notre Dame women’s basketball’s Arike Ogunbowale picked up another major award on Thursday morning. The Atlantic Coast Conference named the rising senior guard its 29th recipient of the Mary Garber Award, recognizing Ogunbowale as the top female athlete in the entire league last season.
The prestigious award joins the long list of honors earned last year for Ogunbowale, including being named the 20th different All-American in program history, an Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Top-5 Finalist, a Naismith Trophy Semifinalist, Wooden Award National Ballot honoree, First Team All-ACC, Spokane Regional MVP and the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.
Ogunbowale will forever be remembered for her back-to-back game-winning buzzer beaters at the Final Four in Columbus, helping deliver the Irish with their second national title in program history. Ogunbowale’s 145 points (24.2 ppg) during the NCAA Tournament were the fifth most all-time, and the most by an Irish player, topping Ruth Riley‘s 139 points in 2001.
The Milwaukee native averaged 20.8 ppg over the course of the year, which ranked 18th in the nation and set a new Irish single season record. Speaking of which, Ogunbowale’s 25 games of 20-plus points led the league and shattered the Notre Dame record of 20 previously set by both Jewell Loyd and Katryna Gaither.
In addition, the 5-8 guard thrived against top competition, averaging 20.3 points against the 16 ranked opponents competed against last season. Ogunbowale also shone brightest in crunch time, averaging a team best 6.3 points in the fourth quarter on 53.5 percent shooting from the floor. She reached double-digit points in the fourth quarter alone seven times, and tallied 15 combined points in the fourth quarter and overtime period in the NCAA semifinal win over UConn.
The ACC athlete of the year awards are given in memory of distinguished journalists from the region. Garber, of the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal, was a pioneer as one of the first female sports journalists in the nation. Lastly, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson took home the top honor on the men’s side.
— ND —