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Notre Dame Basketball

WBB | Notre Dame Starts Slow Before Rolling 80-51 at Virginia Tech

January 16, 2019

Virginia Tech thrilled the home crowd at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg for the game’s first four minutes as the Hokies outscored the Irish 11-2.  From that point until the end of the third quarter, ND dominated the Hokies 71-33.  The Irish used an aggressive zone defense to hound the Hokies into 19 turnovers, which ND turned into 20 points.  The Irish had 10 steals and 8 blocks in the game.

"I was really pleased with the game defensively and really happy with the zone. Thought we made some good adjustments and played smart defensively," head coach Muffet McGraw said. "Offensively, Shepard had a huge game. They couldn't handle her inside. Our advantage was the mismatch in size inside and I thought we did a good job of taking advantage of it."

Jess Shepard led the Irish with 20 points (8-11 from the field and 4-5 from the line), 11 rebounds, 3 assists, one steal and one block in just 26 minutes on the floor.

Arike Ogunbowale had a slow start. She only made 2 of her 9 shots in the first half to score 7 points at the break.  She warmed up after halftime with two threes and 12 points to finish with 19.

Marina Mabrey helped the Irish dig out of the early hole with a couple of three-point baskets in the first quarter as the Irish battled back to trail 20-18 after the first ten minutes. Mabrey ended up with 15 points, 4 assists, 5 rebounds, one steal and one block.  The one block came in the game’s opening minutes as younger sister, Dara, a freshman at Virginia Tech tried to drive to the basket on her sister. Marina swatted the shot out of bounds — the beginning of a tough night for Dara. She was just 1 for 10 from the field until the fourth quarter when she made a three from the corner to finish the night with 5 points.  For the game, she only made 2 of 14 shots from the field including 1 for 6 from three.

The Hokies leading scorer, Taylor Emery, led the Hokies with 15, but only managed 6 after the first quarter.  She had averaged over 24 points a game in her first three ACC contests.  Trinity Baptiste added 11 points and 16 rebounds, and Regan Magarity scored 11 with 8 rebounds.

While the Hokies tied the Irish on the boards (40 to 40), the other stats favored the Irish. ND outscored the Hokies in the paint 46 to 20.  They picked up 20 points off 19 Tech turnovers to just 8 on 9 Irish giveaways.  ND scored 13 points on the break to none for Virginia Tech.

The Irish were 28 for 52 from the field (53.8%) through the first three quarters.  ND played with just one starter on the floor for most of the fourth quarter and only made 3 of 12 attempts for just 7 points.  The final quarter dropped the Irish to 48.4% for the game.  The Hokies shot just 30.6% from the field and they made just 4 of 20 three-point attempts (20%).  They came into the game averaging 9.5 made threes per game.  The Hokies only scored 17 points in the second half.

Dani Patterson played 18 minutes and scored 8 points on 4 for 7 shooting.  She was second on the team in rebounds with 7.  Abby Prohaska had 4 of ND’s ten steals in her 17 minutes of action.  

The win moves the Irish to 4-0 in the ACC and 17-1 overall.  The loss drops the Hokies to 0-4 in the ACC and 13-4 on the season.

The Irish are at home against Boston College this coming Sunday afternoon, and then they hit the road again for three straight away games against Tennessee, North Carolina and Clemson.

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