Team pregame

Game 28 Preview: Duke

Game 28: #5/5 Notre Dame (24-3, 11-2) vs. Duke (11-13, 3-9)
 When:  Thursday, Feb. 21 | 7 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 | Duke
 Social:  @NDWBB
 Reminder:  Irish have a clear bag policy for the 2018-19 season and moving forward

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With a three-way tie atop the ACC standings, all three of Notre Dame women’s basketball’s final three games weigh significant importance. Up next on the docket, the No. 5 ranked Fighting Irish will host Duke in a Thursday night affair on Feb. 21. Tip is set for 7 p.m. ET inside Purcell Pavilion, streaming live on ACCN Extra. 

Senior guard Arike Ogunbowale is within striking distance of the Notre Dame scoring record. Ogunbowale enters Thursday’s game with 2,346 career points – just 11 points back from Skylar Diggins (2,357). Back on Dec. 16, Ogunbowale surpassed the 2,000 career point milestone, becoming the fifth player to do so, joining Irish greats, Ruth Riley, Katryna Gaither, Beth Morgan and of course Skylar Diggins.

Two Irish players rank in the top 15 in the nation in shooting percentage, shooting over 60 percent each. In addition, four Irish players rank in the top 50, shooting over 50 percent each.

10. Shepard – 60.9 percent
14. Turner – 60.5 percent
31. Young – 55.6 percent
46. Mabrey – 52.6 percent

Shepard and Turner are the only post duo in the country both shooting over 60 percent. The two towers rank 1st and 3rd, respectively, in the ACC in field goal percentage.

In addition, Young continues to be the most efficient guard in Notre Dame’s arsenal. Her .556 shooting percentage ranks 4th nationally among just guards.

As a team, the Irish are shooting 51.6 percent, which ranks third in the country. That number is on pace to finish 2nd all-time in Notre Dame history. The 1987-88 team holds the top spot at 53.2 percent.

Continuing with the theme that each Irish starter can step up on any given day and deserves All-Conference or All-America honors is the fact that each starter ranks first in the ACC in one statistical category:

Mabrey –> 1st in three-point FG% (.472)
Turner –> 1st in blocks (2.7)
Ogunbowale –> 1st in scoring (21.1)
Shepard –> 1st in FG% (.609)
Young –> 1st in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3)

Only two players in all of the ACC came claim they rank in the top 10 in six different statistical categories in league play only. The answer: Notre Dame’s Marina Mabrey and Duke’s Haley Gorecki.

Mabrey ranks 10th in Scoring (15.7), 7th in FG% (.545), 7th in Assists (4.2), 3rd in 3PT FG% (.519), 2nd in 3PT FG (3.1) and 7th in A/TO Ratio (1.7).

Shepard leads the Irish with 10 double-doubles on the year while Young and Turner follow behind with six double-doubles each. Interesting to note though, that five of the games in which Young recorded a double-double, Shepard recorded one as well. In addition, both have recorded a double-double in the last two games.

Jessica Shepard has achieved 11 straight games in doubles figures, as the senior recorded a season best of 12 to start the year. Shepard has also earned three double-doubles in the last four games — in the said four game span, Shepard has averaged 19.3 points and 12.5 points.

Furthermore, over the last two games, Shepard has hit 72.2 percent of her shots, knocking down 13-of-18.

Meanwhile, Young has totaled eight straight games in double figures. The junior previously set a career high of nine straight games with double digit points at the start of the year before it came to an end vs WKU on Dec. 19. 

With 20 blocks over the last five games, Turner is averaging 4.0 blocks in the month of February. Only Alexes Bryant of Texas A&M CC and Channon Fluker of CSUN have a better total and average this month.

Turner has collected 37 blocks over the last 10 games, including her season high of five four times. It’s a major reason why Turner was recently named a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist. 

Over last seven games: Mabrey has converted 24-of-43 (.558) from beyond the arc – In that span, only four players in the country have made over 20 treys and have a higher shooting percentage.

As a result, Mabrey has raised her season three-point shooting percentage from .425 to .472, as that number now leads the ACC and ranks 4th in the country. Mabrey has also raised her three-point field goals made per game from 2.3 to 2.6, which ranks 5th in the ACC.

Last but certainly not least, Mabrey is up to 252 career treys, which ranks second all-time and sits just 10 threes behind the record holder, Alicia Ratay (262).