Story Poster
Photo by Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Notre Dame Basketball

WBB | Notre Dame Hosts Western Kentucky Wednesday Evening

December 19, 2018

The Notre Dame women’s basketball team returns to action Wednesday night at Purcell Pavilion against Western Kentucky of Conference USA.  

The Hilltoppers appear to be going through a transition year with a record of 5-7 after averaging nearly 26 wins a season over the past six years under former head coach Michelle Clark-Heard.  Former assistant coach Greg Collins was elevated to the head coaching position after Clark-Heard left WKU after last season to take the head coaching job at Cincinnati.

The Irish managed a 78-65 win last season in the Hilltoppers’ arena in Bowling Green, Kentucky.   ND never trailed in the game, but WKU battled all the way and only trailed by four points with about a minute remaining in the third quarter.

Tashia Brown was the WKU star that night with 25 points and 10 rebounds.  The senior went 13 for 14 from the free throw line.   Whitney Creech, a 5’8” sophomore guard, scored 17, and Raneem Elgedawy, a 6’4” freshman, added 12.

Both Creech and Elgedaway are back this season.  Elgedawy is second on the team in scoring in her sophomore season at 15.3 points per game and converts 53.1% of her field goal attempts.  She is also averaging 8.1 rebounds.   Creech is only averaging 4.3 points per game.

The Hilltoppers leading scorer averaging 19.6 points per game is Dee Givens, a 6’1” junior forward.  Givens shoots 48% from the field, 42.7% from three, and 90.5% from the free throw line.  She averages 2.8 steals per game.  She only managed 4 points in last season’s game.

A second three-point sharpshooter for WKU is Alexis Brewer, a 5’9” guard, who sat out last year after transferring from West Virginia.  She’s currently averaging 12.2 points per game and makes 40.4% of her three-point field goal attempts.  She also shoots 82.2% from the free throw line.

Notre Dame and Western Kentucky have three common opponents so far this season — Iowa, Oregon State, and Gonzaga.  The Irish have wins against all three, while WKU has lost to each.

Western Kentucky is averaging 78.0 points per game vs. their opponents 78.3.  As a team, they’re shooting 44.3% from the field, 36.7% from three, and 70.8% from the line.  They average 7 made three-pointers per game.

After ten games, Notre Dame is averaging 88.4 points per game while surrendering 66.9.  The Irish shoot just under 50% from the field (49.6%) — a figure dragged down by ND’s 29.1% three-point shooting.  The Irish make 53.9% of their two-point attempts, which is currently higher than any Irish team over the past eight seasons.

ND makes 73.3% of its free throw attempts and through the first ten games this season have made 46 more free throws than their opponents have attempted. The Irish are averaging 51.6 points in the paint each game to just 29.2 for their opponents.  They also average 16 fast break points per game vs. just 3.8.  In Sunday’s game vs. Binghamton, ND had 34 fast break points to none for the Bearcats.

In that game, Arike Ogunbowale became just the fifth player in ND history to top 2,000 points.  She currently leads the Irish in scoring at 22.9 points per game.  She’s also averaging 6.4 rebounds per game — 9 per game over the past three contests (UConn, Toledo and Binghamton).  She’s currently converting 53.0% of her two-point attempts this season — and 62.5% over the last four games since Marina Mabrey returned to full-time duty following a leg injury.  

Mabrey, who’s only played in five games, scored a season-high 21 points in the last game.  She’s rounding back into form from behind the arc and has made 5 of 10 in the last two games.  She had a season-high 10 assists in the last game vs. no turnovers and her assist to turnover ratio after five games is 2.7.  She’s averaging 14.0 points per game since her return.

Jackie Young is ND’s most efficient offensive player averaging 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5 assists per game (2.5 A/TO average).  She’s shooting just under 55% from the field and 80.7% from the line.

Jess Shepard is averaging 16.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.  While her free throw shooting was sub-par early in the season, she has made 7 for 8 over the last three games.

Brianna Turner is averaging 12.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.  She only averages 9.4 shots per game — the lowest among the starters (Mabrey - 10.8, Young - 11.5, Shepard  - 11.8 and Ogunbowale - 18.3).  She’s shooting 55.3% from the field, and 69.4% from the line (71.4% over the last seven games).

Freshman guard Abby Prohaska is expected to be back in action Wednesday night after missing the Binghamton game with the flu.  Sophomore forward Dani Patterson may be back — she’s missed the last two games.

The Western Kentucky game can be seen via ACCN Extra on ESPN+.  Game time is 7:00pm (eastern).

In-game updates will be posted below.

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.