NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The top-seeded Notre Dame women’s basketball team earned some measure of revenge in its quarterfinal matchup of the ACC Tournament, defeating North Carolina, 95-77. The Irish will now square off against fifth-seeded Syracuse in Saturday’s semifinal, airing live at noon ET on ESPNU.
Arike Ogunbowale poured in a game-high 28 points behind five three-pointers. Brianna Turner continues the best stretch of her career with her fourth 20-plus point performance. In fact, Turner earned her eighth double-double on the year with 10 boards and a season-high 24 points.
In addition, Jackie Young hovered around what would have been yet another triple-double, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists. That’s now 32 assists for Young over the last three games.
“I thought offensively we did a lot of good things. We were able to see the mismatch and get the ball to Brianna. She had a fantastic game, 11-of-15 from the field. She did a great job taking advantage of whoever was guarding her. Disappointed with our defense but Paris Kea is a phenomenal player. Just a tough matchup for us,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said.
How It Happened
Both teams started 5-for-9 from the field resulting in a 12-10 North Carolina lead at the 5:01 mark in the first quarter. The Irish then responded with a 9-0 run spanning 79 seconds, which expanded into a 15-4 scoring stretch to end the quarter. Thus, after one, Notre Dame was up 25-16, making seven of its last nine shots. Turner was a perfect 5-for-5 in the period, already at double digits with 10 points.
Young and Mabrey connected on back-to-back threes to start the second, but the Tar Heels immediately answered with a 9-0 run to cut the gap to 31-27. Enter Ogunbowale, who recorded a personal 8-0 run which was capped by a steal followed by an and-one. Yet North Carolina wouldn’t go away, recording a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 39-33. Later, a Shepard buzzer-beater pushed the Irish up 45-38 at the half.
Each team had three players in double figures by the midway point, as Ogunbowale (13 points), Turner (12 pts) and Young (11 pts) led for the Irish. In addition, both sides shot over 50 percent for the half.
Up 47-41 at 9:18 in the third, Turner notched six consecutive points, which ignited a 16-3 scoring stretch for the Irish, giving them their largest lead of the game at 63-44 at 5:27. Furthermore, Turner boasted a 20-point, 10-rebound, double-double by the end of the third, helping push Notre Dame up 70-59.
The Irish came out red hot to start the fourth, connecting on their first 10-of-12 field goals to go up 93-79 before cruising to the 95-77 final. Ogunbowale went 3-of-4 from deep in the period, finishing 5-for-9 from beyond the arc on the day. Shepard tacked on eight points in the fourth to finish with 14 points.
- Irish move to 15-1 all-time in ACC Tournament play.
- Notre Dame moves to 8-2 all-time vs North Carolina. Today marked their first meeting in the ACC Tournament.
- Brianna Turner recorded her eighth double-double on the year with 10 rebounds and a season high 24 points.
- Turner continued the best stretch of her career on Friday with her fourth straight game of 20-plus points.
- Arike Ogunbowale tallied a game high 28 points, which included a 5-for-9 day from three-point range.
- Ogunbowale tied her career best of seven straight games with 20-plus points and will go for the program record in Saturday’s semifinal.
- Ogunbowale has made 15 three-pointers over the last three games.
- Jackie Young flirted with a triple-double with 19 points, seven boards and nine assists.
- Young has now dished out an impressive 32 assists over the last three games.
- Marina Mabrey hit one three on Friday and is now three away from tying the all-time record fo 262 set by Alicia Ratay.
- Shepard earned her 16th straight game with double-digit points. Her career high is 21.
- Turner is 40-of-49 from the field over the last six games — she has made 81.6 percent of her shots in that span.