NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It was a milestone day for Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw, who earned her 900th career win against the very school in which she started her head coaching career 37 years ago. The No. 2 Irish (12-1) defeated Lehigh (8-3) on Sunday afternoon, 95-68, inside Purcell Pavilion.
Coach McGraw becomes the ninth Division I women’s basketball head coach to join the 900-win club and the fourth fastest to do so, reaching the milestone in 1,172 games.
“Thought it was really fitting that Lehigh was our opponent today, seeing that’s how I got my start as a head coach. Seems like a long time ago, but I have great memories of being there,” Coach McGraw said. “It was really special to have Lehigh here, to be surrounded by former players and the current team, along with Matt and Murphy. Definitely a memorable moment in my career.”
How It Happened
At 8:24 in the first, the Irish earned an 8-0 run, spanning 3:47, to build a 12-5 advantage over Lehigh. Marina Mabrey and Brianna Turner had all 12 points for the Irish with six each. Mabrey finished the period with eight, but Notre Dame’s lead was to cut to one at 20-19.
Arike Ogunbowale stepped up in the second, scoring 12 of the team’s 26 points. Notre Dame finished the period by making six of its last seven shots, ending on a 6-0 run to go up 46-31. Notre Dame shot 9-of-13 (69.2) in the second period and held Lehigh to 5-of-17 (29.4 percent) shooting, while also forcing 12 total Mountain Hawk turnovers by the half.
A Mabrey three-pointer to kick off the third jump-started a 12-3 scoring run. The Irish went on to post its best quarter of the game, outscoring Lehigh 30-17. Ogunbowale was up to 21 points by the end of the third, officially surpassing Ruth Riley for the No. 4 spot on Notre Dame’s all-time scoring list. Furthermore, both Turner and Jackie Young had joined Ogunbowale and Mabrey with double-digit points by the end of the quarter.
The Irish began the fourth quarter up 76-48 before cruising to the 95-68 final. It marked the seventh victory in which the Irish totaled over 90 points and the third time in the last four games. In addition, the Irish dished out 26 assists, marking the fourth consecutive game in which they recorded 25 or more.
Mabrey finished with 19 points, which included a 3-for-4 day from beyond the arc, to go with her seven assists and season high six rebounds. Turner collected 15 points, seven boards and three blocks. Shepard notched 14 points, seven boards and a season high six assists. Lastly, Young earned 10 points, five boards and a season high four steals.
Player of the Game
Ogunbowale led five Irish in double figures with 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting. It marked her 10th game of 20 or more points this season, which continues to lead all players in the ACC.
Stat of the Game
Coach McGraw is just 1-of-4 coaches (men’s or women’s) in NCAA Division I history with 900 wins, eight Final Fours and multiple national championships. The prestigious list includes Pat Summitt, Geno Auriemma and Duke men’s coach Mike Krzyzewski.
- Notre Dame takes the first ever meeting against Lehigh.
- Coach McGraw earned career win No. 900.
- McGraw is the ninth women’s basketball Division I coach to reach the 900-win milestone and the fourth fastest to do so – reaching it in 1,172 games.
- Ogunbowale surpassed Ruth Riley (2,072 points) on the all-time scoring list on Sunday with her 23-point performance. Ogunbowale now boasts 2,077 career points.
- Ogunbowale, who leads the ACC in 20-point scoring games, tallied her 10th on Sunday.
- Shepard recorded her 12th consecutive game with double-digit points, marking her best stretch in an Irish uniform.
- Mabrey collected a season high six rebounds.
- Young dished out seven assists on Sunday. It marked the fourth time in the last five games in which she recorded five or more assists.
- Young garnered a season high four steals.
- Turner notched three blocks against Lehigh and has now totaled 11 over the last three games.
- The Irish recorded 26 assists on 35 made field goals. They have now dished out 25 or more assists in four consecutive games.
Up next, the Irish begin Atlantic Coast Conference play when they host Pittsburgh on Thursday, Jan. 3, inside Purcell Pavilion. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, streaming live on ACCN Extra.