TOLEDO, Ohio – The No. 2 Notre Dame women’s basketball team (8-1) faced the third largest crowd in Toledo history (6,059 fans) and emerged with a 72-56 victory over the Rockets (6-3). Arike Ogunbowale led four players in double-figures with 22 points, her eighth game with 20-plus points this season.
“It’s really great for us to go on the road and face a team like this in such a great atmosphere,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “We had some defensive issues today that we’ve had all year and still continue to plague us.”
How It Happened
Notre Dame and Toledo traded baskets for most of the first quarter. Later down 18-17 with 1:35 left, the Irish finished the period on a 6-2 run to go up 23-20. Jackie Young led all Irish players with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting. Meanwhile, Brianna Turner and Ogunbowale combined for 13 points.
A Jessica Shepard layup and a pair of Ogunbowale free throws in the first 90 seconds of the second period extended the Irish lead to 27-20, but the Rockets rallied to make it a one-point game with 3:35 left till half at 33-32.
Enter Marina Mabrey, who connected on back-to-back treys to keep a hot three-point shooting Rockets team at bay (5-for-8 in the first half). Ogunbowale and Young followed with layups to give the Irish a 43-37 lead at the half. Speaking of whom, Ogunbowale had 12 points by the midway point, followed by 10 points from Young. Both teams shot over 55 percent from the floor in the half.
The Irish defense took over the third quarter, keeping Toledo off the scoreboard from 8:14 to 2:14, in which the Rockets went 1-for-14 from the field. Notre Dame went on a 10-3 scoring spree before outscoring the Rockets 15-8 for the quarter, resulting in a 58-45 lead heading into the final quarter.
Up 60-50 at 8:48 in the fourth, the Irish utilized an 8-0 run over a four-minute span to put the game away, spreading the wealth with buckets from Ogunbowale, Young, Shepard and Mabrey. The Irish then cruised into the 72-56 final and their eighth win on the year.
Joining Ogunbowale in double figures was Shepard (16 points), Mabrey (11 points) and Young (14 points), as the latter earned a double-double with 10 rebounds, marking her second of the season.
Player of the Game
Young finished with the best plus-minus on the team at +24. Her 14-point, 10-rebound double-double was the seventh of her career. In addition, Young finished with five assists and just two turnovers.
Stat of the Game
The Irish kept the Rockets off the scoreboard for a six-minute stretch in the third quarter and limited Toledo to 1-for-14 shooting in the first eight minutes of the period.
- Notre Dame now leads the all-time series, 6-2, against Toledo, including a 3-1 mark at Toledo.
- Coach McGraw earned career win No. 896.
- Ogunbowale, who entered the game averaging 13.6 points in the first half, had 12 points by the midway point of today’s game.
- Ogunbowale finished with 22 points in the game, marking her eighth game with 20 or more points on the year. That number continues to lead all DI players.
- Ogunbowale now sits just seven points away from 2,000 in her career. She would be the fifth Irish player to achieve the feat.
- 6,059 fans packed into Savage Arena on Saturday, marking the third largest crowd in school history.
- Mabrey finished 3-for-5 from beyond the arc and has now made a three-pointer in 22 straight games – good for second place all-time at Notre Dame.
- The Irish defense kept Toledo off the scoreboard for a six minute stretch in the third quarter (8:14-2:14).
- Young’s double-double was the second on the year and seventh of her career.
- Shepard has reached double-digit points in every game she’s played this season.
- Irish tallied 52 points in the paint and have now scored over 50 in 7-of-9 games this season.
Up next, Notre Dame players clash with finals week before beginning a two-game homestand starting with Binghamton on Sunday, Dec. 16. Tip-off for that game is set for 1 p.m. ET on ACCN Extra. Next, the Irish welcome in Western Kentucky on Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.