Game 7 Preview: No. 14 Iowa

Game 7: #1/1 Notre Dame (6-0) vs. #14/15 Iowa (4-1)
 When:  Thursday, Nov. 29 | 7:00 pm ET
 Where:  Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
 Watch:  ESPN2 | Watch Online
 Listen:  Pulse FM 96.9/92.1/103.1 | Bob Nagle (PxP) | Listen Online
 Live Scoring:  StatBroadcast
 Notes:  Notre Dame | Iowa
 Social:  @NDWBB
 Halftime:  Annual Teddy Bear Toss
 Reminder:  Irish have a clear bag policy for the 2018-19 season and moving forward

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 1 University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team (6-0) takes to the national tv stage for the first time on Thursday when the Irish welcome in No. 14 Iowa as part of the ACC/B1G Challenge. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. ET inside Purcell Pavilion and the top-15 matchup will air live on ESPN2. Furthermore, at halftime, the Irish will hold their annual Teddy Bear Toss, which benefits the Saint Joseph Health Network & Christ Child Society. 

The Irish are 5-0 in the ACC/B1G Challenge. Last year, Notre Dame defeated Michigan in Ann Arbor, 83-63. Overall, the ACC owns eight challenge titles (8-0-3) and boasts an 81-55 record in challenge games since its inception in 2007. Last year, the ACC went a record 10-4 against the B1G. 

After shattering the Notre Dame single season record for 20-point games with 25 last year, Ogunbowale is back at it again, starting the season with six in a row. That marks a new career high for the senior. Furthermore, the Milwaukee native is just 1-of-2 players in the country to do so (Central Michigan’s Presley Hudson), but the only player from a Power Five conference.

In addition, Ogunbowale is just 1-of-4 in the entire country to already have two games with at least 30 points.

Ogunbowale now has 39 career games with 20-plus points, passing Ruth Riley’s 37 for fourth all-time. Next up is Skylar Diggins at No. 3 with 45.   

After missing the first five games due to a leg injury, Marina Mabrey made an impact in her first game back. Facing No. 9 Oregon State in the Vancouver Showcase title game, Mabrey knocked down a game-changing three with the game tied at 77-all with 3:43 left, all leading to an Irish 91-81 victory.

Mabrey converted 85 three-pointers last season, which stood as the second most for a single season in ND history. In addition, Mabrey has hit a three-pointer in 19 straight games, which ties Madison Cable for fourth all-time. Sheila McMillen holds the No. 3 and 2 spot with 20 and 21 respectively.

Lastly, Mabrey’s 195 career treys ranks fifth all-time at ND.

Ogunbowale (24.5 ppg), Shepard (18.4 ppg) and Young (18.3) now represent three of the top-four scorers in the ACC, with Asia Durr mixed in to the No. 2 spot (22.2). The Irish continued to be led by Ogunbowale, who ranks 7th in the nation in points per game.

Furthermore, the trio are also shooting out of the gates in the first halves of games. Ogunbowale (13.7), Young (11.2) and Shepard (10.4) all average double-digit points in the first halves of games this season. 

The biggest trait of last year’s championship squad was its ability to come back, posting seven double-digit come-from-behind wins. Fast forward to Nov. 24 vs No. 9 Oregon State and the Irish erased a 14-point deficit in the second quarter to win 91-81.

The Irish continue to attack the basket and reach the charity stripe. As a team, the Irish rank second in the country in made free-throws with 116, just two back from North Carolina. They rank sixth nationally in attempts with 161. In addition, ND has made more free throws than its opponent in every game.

Ogunbowale is a major reason, as the senior ranks fourth nationally in made free-throws (37) and fifth in attempts (49).