NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 1 Notre Dame women’s basketball team (7-1) fought hard but ultimately came up short against No. 2 UConn (7-0), losing by a final tally of 89-71. All five Irish starters finished in double digits. Jackie Young led with 18 points while Arike Ogunbowale notched her first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds, tying her career high in boards.
“We lost our poise. That was unexpected,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “I was disappointed to see the veterans that we have not rise to the occasion. We’re a better team than we showed.”
How It Happened
The Irish scored within the first 11 seconds of the game which kicked off a back and forth affair. In fact, no team had a run greater than five in the first half. Notre Dame shot 10-of-20 in the opening period, led by 10 points from Ogunbowale, but ultimately trailed the Huskies 27-22.
In the second quarter, the Irish cut it to a one-possession game at 37-34 at 5:07 before UConn pushed its lead back up to seven at 44-37 with 2:02 left till half. A Turner layup followed by a pair of free throws from Mabrey cut it to one possession. A big defensive stand before the buzzer sent the Irish into the locker room trailing 44-41. Turner had seven points in the period.
At 6:09 in the third, UConn’s Megan Walker converted a three which extended UConn’s lead to 55-46. Yet, the Irish continued to fight back, as a Mabrey three-pointer at 4:20 capped a 7-0 run, cutting the deficit to 55-53. However, a late Huskie surge pushed the visiting team’s lead back up to 65-59 heading into the fourth.
UConn maintained the momentum over the final period, outscoring the Irish 24-12, to hand Notre Dame its first loss of the season. Outside of the 35 combined points from Young and Ogunbowale, Shepard finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, Mabrey tallied 11 points and Turner earned 10 points and four blocks.
- Notre Dame now trails the overall series against UConn, 37-12.
- Today marked the 53rd sellout in women’s basketball history. Notre Dame is 43-9 in those instances.
- Ogunbowale entered the game with 1,954 career points and now has 1,971.
- Limiting turnovers: For the fourth consecutive game, the Irish have maintained single-digit turnovers.
- Turner tied her season high of four blocks for the second time in four games.
- Ogunbowale registered her first double-double on the year and fifth of her career.
- Neither team had a run greater than seven in the game.
In its next contest, Notre Dame hits the road to face Toledo, Saturday, December 8th. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. ET.