Game 18 Preview: Virginia Tech

Game 18: #1/1 Notre Dame (16-1, 4-0) at Virginia Tech (13-3, 0-3)
 When:  Wednesday, Jan. 16 | 7:00 pm ET
 Where:  Blacksburg, Va. | Cassell Coliseum (9,847)
 Watch:  ACCN Extra
 Listen:  Pulse FM 96.9/92.1/103.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP) | Listen Online
 Live Scoring:  Sidearm
 Notes:  Notre Dame
 Social:  @NDWBB

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For seven of the next 10 games, the No. 1 Notre Dame women’s basketball team will hit the road, beginning with Virginia Tech on Wednesday, Jan. 16. Tip is set for 7 p.m. ET inside Cassell Coliseum, streaming live on ACCN Extra. The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series, 10-1, with a 3-1 mark at Virginia Tech.

Right now, three Irish players all average above 4.0 assists per game and rank within the top-6 in the league. Jackie Young ranks 3rd at 4.7 assists per game, Mabrey fifth at 4.3 and Ogunbowale sixth at 4.2.

Furthermore, all five starters average 13.0 ppg or higher, accounting for 88.9 percent of the team’s scoring.

For the first time in their respective basketball careers, it’ll be a Mabrey vs Mabrey showdown.

Marina & Dara played together in high school in 2015 at Manasquan, where they won the Tournament of Champions.

“She’s my sister, and I want to see her play well in every game, so if they’re playing us or anybody, I want her to play well every time she steps on the court,” Marina said. “I’m just really happy I get to watch her play and see that she’s playing at such a high level. It’s cool to see someone so young impact a program so quickly.”

2,000 POINTS & 1,000 REBOUNDS
Shepard is quickly approaching a very rare milestone in 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Entering Wednesday’s game, Shepard boasts 1,944 points and 1,012 rebounds, which rank 14th and 13th respectively among active D1 players.

The only Irish player to ever achieve this impressive feat was 2001 graduate Ruth Riley, who garnered 2,072 points and 1,007 rebounds.

A stat sheet stuffer game is when a player records at least five of three different stats. Against No. 2 Louisville on Jan. 10, Young collected 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, marking her seventh 5-5-5 game on the season –> which is two more than the next highest player in Shepard.

Graduate student Brianna Turner is turning up the heat in the block department. Turner has reached her season high of four blocks on four separate occasions this season. The Texas native is averaging 2.1 blocks/game, which ranks 2nd in the ACC and ranks 34th in the nation. Furthermore, Turner is chasing Ruth Riley’s all-time mark of 370 at Notre Dame, currently in second place with 299.

Basketball is a game of runs, and the Irish have achieved success by not allowing a single 10-0 run by any opponent yet this season. In fact, Notre Dame leads its opposition, 19-0, in that category. Notre Dame first posted its longest run of the season vs Binghamton on Dec. 16 with 21 straight. 

Then the Irish matched it twice vs Pitt on Jan. 3, recording 21-0 runs in both the first and second quarters. 

The Irish continue to attack the basket and reach the charity stripe, ranking first in the country in made free-throws with 290 and second in attempts with 396. 

Ogunbowale currently ranks 16th nationally in made free throws (80) and 18th in attempts (100). Against No. 2 Louisville on Jan. 10, Ogunbowale went a perfect 12-for-12 from the free-throw line, which stood as the second best single-game performance in ND history, trailing just Ruth Riley & Ashley Barlow (13-for-13). 

— ND —