GREENSBORO, N.C. – For the sixth consecutive year, the Notre Dame women’s basketball will be competing for the ACC Tournament title. The top-seeded Irish knocked off fifth-seeded Syracuse, 91-66, in Saturday’s first semifinal matchup.
Notre Dame will now challenge second-seeded Louisville in Sunday’s championship bout set for Noon ET on ESPN2.
“I thought we got our transition game going. I thought defensively in the second half we got a little bit better. Syracuse was probably a little tired from the third game they had to play but i thought we executed really well in the second half,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “Really proud of Marina Mabrey in her accomplishment of becoming the all-time three-point shooting record holder in Notre Dame history.”
With a 4-for-9 shooting performance from beyond the arc, Marina Mabrey became the program’s all-time leader in made three-pointers with 263, surpassing Alicia Ratay (262). Mabrey finished with 16 points.
For the seventh time this season, Jessica Shepard and Jackie Young recorded double-doubles together. Shepard tallied 16 points and 12 rebounds while Young finished with 18 points and a season high tying 13 boards.
Lastly, all five starters ended in double figures for the 12th time this year as Brianna Turner poured in 14 points, followed by 12 points from Arike Ogunbowale.
How It Happened
Syracuse jumped out to a 13-9 lead at the 6:08 mark behind a 3-for-3 start from three-point range. However, the Irish went on to outscore the Orange 22-8 for the rest of the quarter, receiving points from six different players including a big three from Abby Prohaska. All-in-all, Syracuse went 5-for-8 from beyond the arc in the quarter but Notre Dame’s offense pushed ahead 31-21.
After 52 combined points in the first, it was a defensive battle in the second. The Irish edged ahead 13-10, ending the half on a 8-2 scoring stretch for a 44-31 halftime lead. Both Young and Shepard reached double digits with 10 points each.
The Irish used an early 7-0 run in the third to garner a 20-point lead at 53-33, but Syracuse countered with an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to 55-44 at the 4:40 mark. Yet, Notre Dame answered with a game-changing 15-2 scoring spurt to end the quarter, building a 70-46 advantage. Both Shepard (16 pts / 12 reb) and Young (15 pts / 10 reb) had double-doubles by the end of the third, while all five starters were in double figures already.
Notre Dame tacked on 21 more points in the fourth, turning to its bench for the final 3:30 of the game. Mabrey’s record breaking three came at the 4:20 mark in the fourth.
- Irish move to 16-1 all-time in ACC Tournament play.
- Notre Dame moves to 34-2 all-time vs Syracuse with a 2-0 mark in conference tournament play.
- With four three-pointers today, Marina Mabrey becomes Notre Dame’s all-time made threes record holder. She surpassed Alicia Ratay (262) and now boasts 263 in her career.
- For the seventh time this season, Shepard and Young recorded double-doubles in the same game.
- Shepard notched her 13th double-double on the year with 16 points and 12 rebounds. She tallied 15 with the Irish last season.
- Young earned her ninth double-double on the year, which continues to break the single season record for a guard at Notre Dame. Young tallied 18 points and a season high tying 13 boards on Saturday.
- Young’s 14 career double-doubles ranks second all-time at Notre Dame by a guard and sits three back from the record holder Lindsay Schrader.
- Turner is 44-of-56 from the field over the last seven games — she has made 78.6 percent of her shots in that span.
- Young has now dished out an impressive 37 assists over the last four games.
- Shepard earned her 17th straight game with double-digit points. Her career high is 21.
- All five starters finished in double figures for the 12th time this season.