Tip vs Tenn

Game 20 Preview: Tennessee

Game 20: #1/1 Notre Dame (18-1, 6-0) vs. Tennessee (12-6, 1-5)
 When:  Thursday, Jan. 24 | 7:00 pm ET
 Where:  Knoxville, Tenn. | Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678)
 Watch:  ESPN | WatchESPN Link | Adam Amin, Rebecca Lobo, Kara Lawson, Holly Rowe
 Listen:  Pulse FM 96.9/92.1/103.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP) | Listen Online
 Live Scoring:  Click Here
 Notes:  Notre Dame | Tennessee
 Social:  @NDWBB

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – No. 1 Notre Dame women’s basketball renews its rivalry with Tennessee on Thursday, Jan. 24, when the Irish make the trip to Knoxville. Tip is set for 7 p.m. ET, inside Thompson-Boling Arena, with the game airing live on ESPN. 

Tennessee leads the all-time series, 21-7, as the Lady Vols boast a 9-2 record in Knoxville. The two last met on Jan. 18, 2018, when the Irish recorded the largest comeback in program history, rallying down 23 points to defeat Tennessee, 84-70. 

Coach McGraw has often stated that she boasts a team of All-Americans and any starter can step up on a given day. The four senior starters are all projected to go in the first and second round of this year’s WNBA Draft, with Young a projected pick for 2020. In addition, the starting five represent 88.7 percent of the team’s scoring.

What’s important to note when comparing the five to other All-American candidates is how well this team spreads the wealth. All five starters average over 13 points/game. The team averages 19.6 assists/game which ranks seventh in the nation.

Also keep in mind, Notre Dame’s starters have accomplished great numbers against the nation’s No. 1 rated strength of schedule, in the No. 1 RPI ranked conference with the ACC and with the  No. 1 ranked overall team RPI. 

Notre Dame loves to push the tempo and run on the opposing defense. The Irish are averaging over 17 fast break points per game, which ranks sixth in the country.

Rank Team FB PPG
1. Marquette 24.3
2. New Mexico 24.1
3. Michigan St 20.4
4. Northern Illinois 18.4
5. Coastal Carolina 18.3
6. Notre Dame 17.9

 – Two straight games with a double-double
 – Three straight games with double digit points
 – Three out of the last four games with double digit rebounds
 – In those four games, Shepard has shot 29-for-43 aka 67.4 percent

Shepard led the team in scoring for the first time this season at Georgia Tech on Jan. 6, tallying 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go with seven rebounds and six assists. The senior then led the squad in scoring yet again on Jan. 16 at Virginia Tech, recording 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting, with 11 rebounds and three assists. 

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 Thursday’s game, Shepard boasts 1,975 points and 1,033 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.

Ogunbowale has certainly found her moments lately to take off in a quarter of a game:

  • Dec. 22 at Marquette – Arike scored 15 of her 32 points in the third quarter alone.
  • Jan. 10 vs Louisville – scored 19 of her 30 points in the fourth, including 12 in the final 40 seconds
  • Jan. 16 at Virginia Tech – scored 12 of her 19 points in the third quarter
  • Jan. 20 vs Boston College – scored 13 of her 24 points in the first quarter, going 3-for-3 from deep in the period

Notre Dame’s No. 3 Marina Mabrey is heating up from beyond the arc. Mabrey shot 4-of-7 vs Wake Forest, tying her season high of made threes. Then the senior hit three treys at Virginia Tech before knocking down three more vs Boston College. Thus, over the last three games, Mabrey has shot 55.6 percent from deep (10-of-18).

As a result, Mabrey has raised her three-point shooting percentage to 44.0 percent, which ranks 7th in the ACC and 24th in the nation. Her 2.4 threes/game leads the team and is tied for 5th in the league.

Furthermore, Mabrey sits at 227 career treys, just one behind her sister, Michaela, who holds the No. 4 spot on the all-time list. Right in front of Michaela is Beth Morgan at No. 3 with 231. 

— ND —