Santa in Purcell

Game 11 Preview: Western Ky.

Game 11: #2/2 Notre Dame (9-1) vs Western Kentucky (5-7)
 When:  Wednesday, Dec. 19 | 7:00 pm ET
 Where:  Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
 Watch:  ACCN Extra
 Listen:  Pulse FM 96.9/92.1/103.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP) | Listen Online
 Live Scoring:  Statbroadcast
 Notes:  Notre Dame | WKU
 Social:  @NDWBB
 Tickets:  Buy Online
 Reminder:  Irish have a clear bag policy for the 2018-19 season and moving forward
 Promotion:  Christmas Game | Free photos with Santa

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 2 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team will look to keep its momentum rolling when the Fighting Irish (9-1) host Western Kentucky (5-7) on Wednesday, Dec. 19. Tip-off inside Purcell Pavilion is slated for 7 p.m. ET, as the game will stream live on ACCN Extra.

The Irish lead the all-time series against the Lady Toppers, 2-0. Last season, Notre Dame defeated Western Kentucky, 78-65, in Bowling Green. The Irish are coming off a 103-53 victory over Binghamton on Sunday, in which they tallied a season high 27 assists.  

Senior guard Arike Ogunbowale is closing in on the Notre Dame all-time scoring record in her final season. First off, Ogunbowale surpassed the 2,000 career point milestone Dec. 16 vs. Binghamton, becoming the fifth Irish player to do so.

She is now chasing down four of the all-time Irish greats:
No. 4 Ruth Riley – 2,072 points
No. 3 Katryna Gaither – 2,126 points
No. 2 Beth (Morgan) Cunningham – 2,322 points
No. 1 Skylar Diggins-Smith – 2,357 points

Ogunbowale enters Wednesday’s game with 2,006 career points, which also ranks fifth among all active DI players. Ogunbowale is just 351 points behind Skylar Diggins-Smith.

To help emphasize how dynamic the Irish scoring is this season, simply take a look of the top-10 scorers in the ACC and you’ll find three Irish players among them. Jessica Shepard ranks ninth at 16.6 points, Jackie Young third at 17.8 points and Arike Ogunbowale first at 22.9 points. In fact Ogunbowale’s scoring ranks eighth in the country. 

Six different players finished in double figures for the first time since the Irish scored over 100 points in the win at Florida State on Jan. 28, 2018. All five starters plus Mikayla Vaughn scored in double figures.

Ogunbowale reeled in a career high 11 rebounds to go with her 13 points for the double-double. Mabrey tied her career high in assists with 10 to go with her season high 21 points for a double-double.

For the first time in four seasons, an Irish player shot 8-for-8 from the field (or better) thanks to Jessica Shepard.

Lastly, the Irish produced a 21-0 run, its longest scoring spree this season. 

Young has dished out five or more assists in six of the last seven games, rising her assist average from 3.7 to 5.0 in that span. Young’s 5.0 assist average ranks third in the ACC. In addition, Young’s 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks third in the ACC and 44th in the nation.

A trio of Irish players boast notable double digit scoring streaks, starting with the leading scorer Ogunbowale. The senior is 10-for-10 this season and has gone 31 straight games when dating back to last season (vs Louisville on Jan. 11, 2018). Of those 31 straight games in double figures, 21 have been of 20-plus points.

With nine in a row, Shepard has tied her best double figure stretch in an Irish uniform. If you include the end of last season, that’s now 18 straight games in double digits.

Lastly, Young has set a new career best wth nine consecutive games with double-digit points.

— ND —