SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The No. 4 Notre Dame women’s basketball team earned its nation leading eighth victory against a ranked opponent when the Fighting Irish (26-3, 13-2) charged past No. 17 Syracuse (20-7, 9-5) by the score of 98-68. Notre Dame recorded 29 assists on 38 made field goals, as the assist total marked its second highest of the season.
Brianna Turner poured in a season high 22 points while Jessica Shepard tallied her fifth double-double over the last six games with 17 points and 13 boards. Arike Ogunbowale recorded a team high 24 points. Marina Mabrey flirted with a double-double with 17 points and eight assists, while Young flirted with a triple-double with 10 points, eight rebounds and a career high 12 assists.
“I thought we did a really good job, particularly in the first half, of looking inside,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “We were trying to find Brianna Turner and we had an opportunity to go to her quite often. I thought that was quite effective.”
How It Happened
The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair which saw eight total lead changes. Mabrey paced the Irish offense in the opening quarter with seven points on 3-of-4 shooting, followed by six points each from Ogunbowale and Shepard. The Irish earned some separation in the final two minutes where they produced a 7-1 run to go up 24-19.
The second quarter was all Notre Dame, outscoring Syracuse 22-8. The Irish produced a 16-0 run in the period, keeping the Orange off the scoreboard for a 5:30 stretch.
Syracuse, who started the game 3-for-4 from three, were blanked from beyond the arc (0-for-3) in the second. In addition, Notre Dame, who was trailing the rebounding battle 11-3 at the first quarter media, rallied to go up 23-21 at the half. All-in-all, the Irish led Syracuse, 46-27, at the break.
Notre Dame’s offense continued to click for the first half of the third quarter, where they outscored Syracuse 18-7 over the first five minutes, building a 64-34 advantage. Yet, the Orange mustered a 10-0 run (second one Notre Dame has given up all year) before Shepard ended it with an and-one at the 1:04 mark, ending the period up 69-47.
Next, Notre Dame saved its biggest offensive quarter for last, pouring in 29 points in the fourth to bring the game to its 98-68 final.
“It was a good day for us shooting,” Ogunbowale said. “It’s a credit to our posts. They had a good inside-out game and were able to find our guards.”
- With the win, Notre Dame moves to 33-2 all-time in the series against Syracuse, including a 15-1 mark at Syracuse.
- The Irish move one win away from at least a co-share of the ACC regular season title.
- The Irish move to 89-5 in league play since joining the ACC for the 2013-14 season.
- Notre Dame earned its eighth ranked win on the year, which continues to lead all Division I teams.
- Shepard earned her 12th double-double on the year and her fifth over the last six games. Shepard tallied 17 points and 13 rebounds.
- Young dished out a career high 12 assists, picking up a double-double with 10 points, her seventh of the season. Young flirted with a triple-double with eight boards.
- Ogunbowale achieved her 19th game with 20-plus points, which continues to lead all players in the ACC. The senior tallied 24 points, which included a 4-for-7 effort from three.
- Turner poured in a season best 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the floor. Turner nearly netted a double-double with eight boards.
- Mabrey nearly recorded a double-double with 17 points and eight assists.
- Notre Dame tallied 29 assists on 38 made field goals. The 29 assists were its second highest game total on the year.
- All five starters finished in double figures for the 10th time this season.
- With three treys tonight, Mabrey now has 255 threes in her career, just seven back from Alicia Ratay’s program record.
The Irish return home to Purcell Pavilion for the final regular season game of the year on Sunday. The Irish will play host to Virginia and celebrate the seniors with tipoff set for 12:30 p.m. ET, airing live on Raycom Sports Network.