RALEIGH, N.C. – The No. 5 Notre Dame women’s basketball team earned its third top-10 win and nation leading seventh ranked victory on Monday evening, defeating No. 9 N.C. State, 95-72. The Fighting Irish (24-3, 11-2) outscored the Wolfpack (22-3, 9-3), 54-36, in the second half and recorded a season-high 37 fastbreak points.
Jessica Shepard and Jackie Young each notched double-doubles. Shepard tallied 18 points and 13 rebounds while Young procured 16 points and 12 boards. Arike Ogunbowale flirted with a triple-double with 22 points, eight boards and eight assists.
Marina Mabrey earned her seventh game over 20 points with 21 tonight. Lastly, Brianna Turner made it five-for-five in starters in double figures with 12.
“We played together defensively, we rebounded, we got the break going, and I think when we get going in transition, we can score,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “It was the team effort on defense that I was really impressed with.”
How It Happened
The Irish built an early 12-6 lead at 5:42 in the first behind their two post players in Shepard and Turner, who combined for nine of the points. A minute later, the Irish were up just 12-10 when Ogunbowale heated up, scoring nine of the team’s final 11 points of the quarter to give Notre Dame a slight 23-21 advantage at the end of the period.
N.C. State scored the first basket of the second, knotting the game at 23-all. The Irish responded by recording an 11-2 scoring stretch which spanned from 7:02-4:51, claiming their largest lead of the half at 34-25. However, the Wolfpack didn’t go away, cutting the deficit at the half to 41-36. Ogunbowale and Mabrey each boasted double digits by the half with 11 and 10 points, respectively, followed by eight points each from Turner and Shepard.
The Wolfpack briefly caught fire from beyond the arc early in the third, connecting on three treys to tie the game at 47-all at 7:03. The Irish then silenced the capacity crowd with a 12-0 run in less than a two-minute span, powered by Mabrey, Young and Turner.
All five starters were in double figures by the end of the third, as the offense posted its best quarter of the game, outscoring N.C. State, 34-23, to take a 75-59 lead into the fourth.
Ogunbowale scored the first five points of the fourth, followed by layups from Young and Shepard as the 9-0 run prompted a Wolfpack timeout, extending the lead to 84-59 with 6:46 left. When the final buzzer sounded, the Irish had outrebounded the Wolfpack 25-11 in the second half and tallied the most points ever in the series against N.C. State with 95.
“We really focused on our defense in the second half,” Young said. “It was important to get stops and get boards. Jess is a great outlet, so everytime she gets it, she gives us a heads start and we’re able to get going in transition.”
- With the win, Notre Dame moves to 7-1 all-time in the series vs. N.C. State, with a 3-1 mark in Reynolds Coliseum.
- Irish also move to 87-5 all-time in ACC play.
- The win also marks Notre Dame’s seventh ranked victory on the year, which leads all Division I teams. Also marked Notre Dame’s third top-10 win.
- Chasing the all-time scoring record → Arike Ogunbowale tallied 22 points tonight and ups her career total to 2,346. Skylar Diggins holds the record with 2,357 points.
- All five starters finished in double figures for the ninth time this season.
- Shepard recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds. It also marked her third double-double in the past four games.
- Ogunbowale notched her ACC leading 17th game with 20-plus points.
- Young earned her sixth double-double on the year with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Young had five in both her freshman and sophomore years combined.
- The Irish recorded a season high 37 fastbreak points tonight. N.C. State only recorded two.
- Notre Dame recorded the most points ever in the series against N.C. State.
- Mabrey earned her seventh game with 20-plus points with 21 tonight.
- Notre Dame outrebounded N.C. State, 45-28, in the game.
The Irish return home to Purcell Pavilion to host ACC foe Duke on Thursday evening. Tip is set for 7 p.m. ET, airing live on ACC Network Extra.