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Strong Start Leads No. 5 Irish to 83-69 Victory at Virginia

Feb. 15, 2018

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The No. 5 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team used a strong first quarter at the University of Virginia to garner an instant 16-point lead in which they primarily maintained throughout the remainder, defeating the Cavaliers (16-10, 9-4) by the final, 83-69.

The Irish (24-2, 12-1), who won their season high ninth straight game, were led by junior guard Arike Ogunbowale who tallied a game-high 27 points and tied for the team lead in rebounds with eight.

Three other Irish players finished in double-figure scoring. Junior guard Marina Mabrey added 16 points, junior forward Jessica Shepard recorded 15 and sophomore guard Jackie Young chipped in 11 in the winning effort.

“Getting out to a big lead was a key for us,” Karen and Kevin Keyes Women’s Basketball Head Coach said. “We had great balance. When you need a bucket Arike is someone who can get one for you.

“Getting out and running is our game. We want to run and that was important tonight because they want to slow the tempo and play at a deliberate pace and we don’t want to play at that pace so it was a battle to see who was going to win. I thought we won early and then later on in the fourth we tried to use the clock in the fourth quarter and just didn’t look good.”

How It Happened

Notre Dame came flying out of the opening tip, starting 5-of-6 from the field to jump out to an 11-2 lead just over three minutes into the contest. The Irish continued to roll in the first, extending its hot start to a 20-2 advantage with Virginia’s second field goal not occurring until the 3:35 mark.

All-in-all, the Irish tallied 10 fast-break points in the period and converted all six UVA turnovers into points (12). Jackie Young and Arike Ogunbowale led the way with nine points each.

Jessica Shepard took over the second quarter, leading the Irish on an 8-0 run midway through the period, in which she scored six points in said stretch. Shepard went on to finish 7-of-8 for 14 points for the first half, handing the Irish a 46-27 lead over the Cavaliers.

Virginia cut the deficit to 15 points, 49-34, at 7:24 in the third, but the Irish shut the door on the rally by responding with a 10-0 run, thanks to five points each from Mabrey and Ogunbowale.

Notre Dame entered the final period up 67-48. Ogunbowale, who leads the Irish in fourth quarter scoring this season, poured in seven more points over the final 10 minutes to help the Irish put the game away, winning by a final score of 83-69.

Player of the Game

For the second straight game, Arike Ogunbowale tallied 27 points, this time converting 11-of-20 attempts from the floor and shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. The 11 made field goals are tied for the second most she has made in a game this season.

Stat of the Game

The Irish tallied 10 fast break points in the first quarter alone, finishing with 18 tonight, one shy of their season high. It marked the sixth straight game in which the Irish have tallied double-digit fast break points.


  • Notre Dame leads the all-time series vs Virginia, 6-2, including the winners of six straight. The Irish are 2-1 all-time in Charlottesville and have not lost to UVA since joining the ACC.
  • Irish are 74-3 all-time in ACC play.
  • With tonight’s victory, the Irish captured their 13th win away from home this season.
  • Notre Dame earned its ninth straight win, which marked a season high.
  • Jessica Shepard recorded her 21st game in double-figures with 15 points.
  • Arike Ogunbowale netted her 17th game with 20-plus points, which continues to lead all players in the ACC. Ogunbowale finished with 27 points.
  • Both Shepard and Ogunbowale joined the 1,500 career points club in tonight’s victory.
  • Both Jackie Young and Marina Mabrey earned their 19th games in double figures with 11 points and 16 points, respectively.
  • Young tied her career high of eight assists tonight. Young is averaging 6.8 assists over the last five games.
  • The Irish have tallied double-digit fast-break points in six consecutive contests. Notre Dame registered 10 fast-break points in the first quarter alone tonight, finishing with 18 for the game, one shy of its season high.
  • Notre Dame has shot at least 50 percent from the field in five straight games.

Up Next
The Irish play their regular-season road finale at Boston College at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 18. The game will air live on ACC Network Extra.