NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the 10th straight year, the Notre Dame women’s basketball team is heading to the Sweet 16. The No. 1 Fighting Irish defeated No. 9 Michigan State, 91-63, on Monday night inside Purcell Pavilion.
Brianna Turner recorded a 14-point, 11-rebound, double-double, becoming the program’s all-time leading rebounder in the process. Turner entered the game with 999 career rebounds and surpassed Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Ruth Riley’s 1,007 mark.
Turner was not the only Irish player with a double-double though, as Jackie Young tallied 21 points and 11 boards. Young flirted with yet another triple-double, dishing out seven assists as well.
“I thought we played well at both ends,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “I’m just so proud of Bri (Turner) for getting the Notre Dame rebounding record, beating Ruth Riley, and it is definitely well-deserved.”
Arike Ogunbowale poured in a game-high 23 points while Jessica Shepard almost made it a trio of double-doubles with 19 points and nine boards.
How It Happened
It was 11-8 in Notre Dame’s favor at 4:13 in the first quarter when the Irish seized the momentum, ending the quarter on a 14-6 scoring spree to go up 25-14. The Irish held Michigan State without a field goal from 8:06-2:46 and scored 18 of their 25 points in the paint. Young and Shepard combined for 17 points in the quarter.
The Irish defense held the Spartans to another long stretch without a field goal in the second, this one spanning from 8:48-2:48. The Notre Dame offense capitalized by recording a 19-1 scoring run, ultimately outscoring MSU, 27-12. In fact, from 3:25 in the first to 2:59 in the second, Notre Dame connected on 16-of-23 shots.
The Irish led 52-26 at the half, as Young (13 points), Shepard (14 pts) and Ogunbowale (13 pts) were all in double figures.
The Irish outscored the Spartans, 21-17, in the third, and recorded a 7-0 run midway through the period. Both Turner and Young already possessed their double-doubles by the end of the quarter.
In the final minutes of the fourth, Maureen Butler got in on the action, connecting on a layup. That bucket was followed by a three-pointer from Danielle Cosgrove, which brought the Irish to their 91-point total.
- The Irish earned program win No. 996.
- The five Irish starters have now amassed 9,905 combined career points, which stands as the most in Division I women’s basketball all-time.
- Notre Dame now boasts 64 NCAA Tournament wins.
- Notre Dame moves to 22-2 all-time inside Purcell Pavilion for NCAA Tournament games.
- The Irish have advanced to their 17th Sweet 16 and 10th straight.
- The Irish are one of four programs to make the last 10 straight Sweet 16s, joining UConn, Stanford and Baylor.
- Turner became the program’s all-time leading rebounder with 11 boards tonight. Turner surpassed Ruth Riley (1,007) and now sits with 1,010.
- Turner notched her ninth double-double of the year and 30th of her career, tying Shepard in the latter.
- Turner earned four blocks, bringing her career total to 359. Ruth Riley holds the program record with 370.
- Young earned her 11th double-double on the season, which continues to break the record for a guard. She has notched four double-doubles over the last six games.
- With 23 points, Ogunbowale earned her 23rd game with 20-plus points. Last season, Ogunbowale broke the Notre Dame record with 25 of such games.
The Irish make the short bus ride to Chicago where they’ll have a Sweet 16 rematch from last year with No. 4 Texas A&M. Tipoff will be on Saturday, March 30, at either 4 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. ET inside Wintrust Arena.