Game 30 Preview: Virginia

Game 30: #4/4 Notre Dame (26-3, 13-2) vs Virginia (11-17, 5-10)
 When:  Sunday, March 3 | 12:30 pm ET
 Where:  Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
 Watch:  RSN | WatchESPN Link | How to Watch
 Listen:  Pulse FM 96.9/92.1/103.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP) | Listen Online
 Live Scoring:  Statbroadcast
 Notes:  Notre Dame | Virginia
 Social:  @NDWBB
 Reminder:  Irish have a clear bag policy for the 2018-19 season and moving forward

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With one game remaining in the regular season, the Notre Dame women’s basketball team will be fighting for at least a share of the ACC regular season title on Sunday. The No. 4 Irish (26-3, 13-2) host Virginia (11-17, 5-10) on March 3 inside Purcell Pavilion at 12:30 p.m. ET on Raycom Sports Network. For a full listing on how to watch, click here.

Sunday also marks Senior Day at Notre Dame as the program will honor Maureen Butler, Marina Mabrey, Arike Ogunbowale, Jessica Shepard and Brianna Turner. Festivities will occur immediately following the game. 

With wins over Gonzaga, Drake, Oregon State, Iowa, Marquette, Louisville, Florida State, N.C. State and Syracuse – the Irish boast nine RPI top-25 victories – that number leads the nation and the next best team (Louisville) by two. Also doubles the amount by Baylor and UConn. The Irish also boast eight top-25 ranked wins and three against the top 10 – both lead the nation.

Shepard leads the Irish with 12 double-doubles on the year while Turner (7) and Young (7) follow right behind. Interesting to note though, that six of the games in which Young recorded a double-double, Shepard recorded one as well. In fact, the duo have achieved a double-double together three times over the last four games.

Shepard is currently riding the best stretch of her season posting five double-doubles in the last six games –> in that six game span, Shepard has averaged 19.7 points, 12.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists & 1.8 steals.

Last year, Shepard became the first Irish player since Jacqueline Batteast in 2002 to record five straight double-doubles, doing so from March 3 vs FSU to March 24 vs Texas A&M. Shepard actually came one board shy vs Oregon from making it six straight, which would have been a program record. Shepard currently boasts four straight.

Young has garnered three double-doubles over the last four games. She has achieved seven double-doubles this season, which ties the program record for a guard. Young had five total from the previous two years. In addition, h`er 12 career double-doubles ties Niele Ivey for 2nd most all-time by a guard. The top spot belongs to Lindsay Schrader (17).

Answer: the entire team. Over the last five games, the Irish have averaged 95.2 points per game on 53.5 percent shooting. Notre Dame has dished out 125 assists on 190 made field goals, which accounts for assists on over 65 percent of their baskets.

Last year, Notre Dame earned its fifth straight ACC regular season title and seventh straight conference regular season title when dating back to the final two years of the Big East. Seven straight regular season titles would be the third highest active streak in the country, only behind Baylor (9) and Green Bay (20) – as the latter is one game back in the Horizon League standings with one game left to play.

If the Irish were to get six straight regular season titles , it would tie the all-time mark set by Virginia from 1991-96.

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 or in the top three in the ACC in one statistical category:

Mabrey –> 3rd in three-point FG% (.455)
Turner –> 1st in blocks (2.7) & 1st in FG% (.624)
Ogunbowale –> 2nd in scoring (21.3)
Shepard –> 2nd in FG% (.599) & 2nd in O-Reb (3.5)
Young –> 1st in A/TO ratio (2.4) & 3rd in AST (5.0)

— ND —