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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Tops A Pesky Penn Team 75-55

November 12, 2018

Written by Dave McGovern

Notre Dame found the going much tougher in its second game against Ivy League competition to open the season.  After blowing by Harvard by 45 points last Friday, the Irish scrapped to a 75 to 55 win against Pennsylvania on Monday evening at Purcell Pavilion.

Notre Dame was sloppy from the start — turning to ball over three times in the first 90 seconds.  The Irish finished with 19 turnovers, and coach Muffet McGraw was not pleased.

“We have a lot of issues right now — missing some easy shots, but the turnovers, way too many turnovers,” said McGraw.

Leading scorer Arike Ogunbowale got off to a slow start — hitting just 1 of 8 shots in the first quarter and missing all five three-point attempts.  Brianna Turner and Jessica Shepard combined for 14 of the team’s 16 first quarter points.  The Irish led 16 to 13 after one.

Ogunbowale and Jackie Young led the second quarter charge as the Irish outscored Penn 23 to 14 to take a 12 point lead at the half.  Ogunbowale was 3 for 3, including a three-point basket, and 4 for 4 from the line for 11 points.  Young chipped in 6 points on mid-range jumpers.

The Irish opened the second half with an 11 to nothing run to stretch the lead to 23 points and were never seriously challenged the rest of the way.  

Notre Dame’s offense flowed well at times, but the Irish had trouble getting the ball inside the Quakers’ 2-3 zone. McGraw was disappointed her team was unable to build any offensive momentum.

“They’re a great defensive team,” McGraw said. “They were ninth in the nation last year in defense. They don’t give up a lot of points.  But from the start of the game, we were just bad.”

Ogunbowale led all scorers with 21 points on 6 for 19 shooting (5 for 11 after her ice cold 1 for 8 start in the first quarter).  She was 6 for 6 from the line.  She’s a perfect 15 for 15 from the stripe over the first two games.  She added 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals.

Shepard scored 17 points on 8 for 13 shooting and grabbed 8 rebounds, while Turner registered a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.  Young scored 12 (6 for 9 from the field) and had 9 rebounds.

McGraw is pleased to have Turner back.

“She’s capable of a double-double every night, and I was really pleased she was able to get another one tonight,” explained McGraw. “I’d like to get her the ball more.  We had opportunities, but we’re still learning that we need to throw the ball up in the air to her.  We’ll fix that.”

Notre Dame out-rebounded Penn 45 to 34 and outscored the Quakers in the paint 40 to 20.  The Irish had 14 fast break points to none for Penn.  

The Irish shot 47% from the field, but just 25% from three.  Notre Dame shot 51.9% inside the arc.  Penn shot 35.9% for the game and made just 4 of 15 three-point attempts (26.7%).

Freshman Danielle Cosgrove and sophomore Danielle Patterson both saw their first action of the season in the second half.  Cosgrove scored her first points at Notre Dame with about 4 minutes remaining the in the third quarter.  Patterson did not score.

After the game, McGraw said Marina Mabrey is still not ready to play: “Marina is day to day now.  We’d like to have her back soon.  But, we’re going to be patient because it’s early in the year.  We definitely want to make sure she’s completely healed before we put her back in the game.”

McGraw did praise freshman guard Abby Prohaska, who didn’t score but had two assists and steal in 20 minutes of action.

“She brings so much energy,” stated McGraw. “She was in the passing lane.  She was helping.  She was doubling. She did everything that we talked about at practice.   I was really happy with her tonight.  She’s going to add a lot to our defense.”

Before the game, Notre Dame unfurled the banner commemorating the 2018 national championship.

The Irish travel to DePaul this Saturday afternoon for their first away game of the season.

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