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Notre Dame Basketball

WBB | Notre Dame Wins the Season’s Second 1 vs. 2 Matchup

January 10, 2019

Arike Ogunbowale exploded for 26 of her game-high 30 points in the second half to lead No.1 Notre Dame past second-ranked Louisville 82-68 before a sold-out crowd at Purcell Pavilion.

“That was a great basketball game,” Irish Coach Muffet McGraw said.  “I thought for one vs. two, it had everything that you’d want to see.  Both teams had the lead, both teams had to fight back, and I was just so proud of what we did.  Overall, a great win in terms of the conference, but it’s still early and we’ve got a lot of games to play.”

The Irish survived a poor shooting second quarter — just 2 for 14 from the field (14.3%) — and only trailed by two 35 to 33 at the half.  

Louisville used an aggressive man to man defense to frustrate the Irish and force them into 11 first-half turnovers.  The Cardinals were whistled for 15 fouls in the first half, which the Irish turned into 17 points from the free throw line — over half their points.  The aggressive play also saddled several Louisville players with foul trouble, and three Cardinals fouled out in the second half.

Marina Mabrey hit her only three-point basket of the game to start Irish scoring in the second half, and the Irish turned the tables on Louisville as the Cardinals only managed to make 2 of 11 shots in the quarter (18.2%).  The Irish made 9 of 16 shots in the quarter, and Ogunbowale hit a three just before the buzzer to extend the Irish lead to 10 points — 57 to 47.  Notre Dame outscored Louisville in the third quarter 24 to 12.

The Irish extended the lead to 12 points early in the fourth quarter before committing three offensive fouls in a row to give Louisville an opening to climb back in the game.  The Cardinals eventually pulled to within two points, before Ogunbowale made big shots and free throws down the stretch.  In all, she scored 19 of Notre Dame’s 25 fourth quarter points.  She finished 8 for 15 from the field, 2 for 4 from three, and 12 for 12 from the free throw line.  She also had 5 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and a blocked shot.

“I just really try to make a play for my team,” Ogunbowale said answering a question on her aggressive second half play, “…or get the ball to one of my teammates to make a play, and just be in attack mode.”

Brianna Turner added 16 points (7 for 11 from the field), 6 rebounds and 3 blocks shots.  Jess Shepard was limited to 7 points (she only took 4 shots and made two), but she grabbed 15 rebounds helping the Irish to a 48 to 32 advantage on the boards.

Jackie Young scored 14 pounds to go with 5 assists.  Mabrey scored 8, and Mikayla Vaughn, who recently discarded her knee brace, added 5 points and 8 rebounds in just 8 minutes of action.

After shooting 29.6% (8 for 27 including 0 for 5 from three) in the first half, the Irish made 17 of 29 shots in the second half — 58.6%.  The Irish made all three of their three-point attempts in the second half.  Notre Dame made 29 of 39 free throw attempts.  Louisville was 12 for 16 from the line. The Irish outscored the Cardinals 49 to 33 after halftime.  Both teams were below their season averages for points and shooting percentage -- the Irish shot 44.6%, while Louisville was held to 38.2% from the field.

Asia Durr led Louisville with 29 points, but she only managed 10 after halftime and went 1 for 8 from three.

The Irish had trouble getting the ball inside and their slight points in the paint advantage (36-32) showed the difficulty the Louisville defense presented.  The Irish did outscore the Cardinals in second-chance points (20 to 5) and had a big advantage in fastbreak points (23-6).

The win moves the Irish to 15-1 on the season and 3-0 in the ACC.  This was Louisville’s first loss of the season — the Cardinals are now 14-1 overall and 2-1 in the league.

After the game, Louisville’s coach, Jeff Walz, said he reminded his team that they can learn from this experience, “It was a 1 vs. 2 game, and it looked like a 1 vs. 2 game.  You go on the road and play in an environment like this, I thought our kids were fantastic.  We have a lot of room to grow, no question about it.  But, I’m not going to leave here upset or devastated.  It’s a game I thought we had a chance to win, we didn’t, now we’ve got to learn from this and get ready for a really good Georgia Tech team on Sunday.”

The Irish return to Purcell Pavilion on Sunday afternoon to play Wake Forest.  The Demon Deacons are winless in the ACC and 9-6 on the season.

Irish Sports Daily
Final Box Score
Irish Sports Daily
Final Notre Dame Stats


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